We all know houses are not selling like they used to.  If you are considering selling your home, there are several tips that will make it easier to sell.   First impressions make a huge difference between a sale or no sale.  These tips apply to any economy or market.For Sale

  1.  Less is More:  Even if you have not moved out, removing some furniture can help the home feel more spacious.  This also provides a potential buyer with a better visual of how the property could look as their home.
  2. Odor Control:  Sometimes homes have an odor you may not even notice since you there every day.  Ask a friend (or your agent) to be honest about any odor.  While the house is on the market, take the trash out every day and clean the refrigerator regularly.  If you have pets, keep an eye on the situation (i.e. litter box).  I have been in some gorgeous homes but a strong offensive odor has turned buyers away.
  3. The Little Things:  There are small and often inexpensive changes you can complete yourself to freshen up your home.  For example, replace dated/cracked light switch covers , install new hardware on cabinets, remove broken window treatment (no window covering is often better than broken blinds).  Although potential buyers know the house is lived it, it is helpful to remove excess clutter such as newspapers, mail, laundry and shoes.
  4. A Neutral Appeal:  If you have customized every room with dark paint or wall paper, you may want to update the colors to a more neutral tone.  This can help potential buyers create their own vision for the home and also when they are comparing their options, your home may need less investment and work if they buy the house.
  5. Curb Appeal:  This one is pretty obvious to most but again look at the exterior of your home from the potential buyers’ perspective.  Is the home welcoming?  Is there a clear path to the front door?  Is the front porch clean and appealing?

Keep these tips in mind when selling your property.  The best way to do this is to walk through your home with an honest friend as if you are both touring the home for the first time.  An experience real estate agent can also help.

Source:  Investopedia

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What happens when you receive multiple offers on your property?  Should you accept the highest offer?

This is a great question and I recently faced the same dilemma myself.   Last week, my husband and I listed personal property for sale and the same day we had five offers!   All the offers were over the asking price and we were tempted to go with the highest price.   The offers ranged from $1,000 over asking price all the way to $25,000 over asking.  Sounds like an easy decision, right?  Not so fast.   After careful review it became apparent the highest offer was not the most favorable offer.

All the offers were contingent on the buyer obtaining financing.  Three of the offers had “pre-approval” letters and the other two had “pre-qualify” letters.  (Note:  pre-approval is further along in the process than “pre-qualify”).  One of the pre-approval offers was going to pay 50% cash and finance the rest.   When buyers are obtaining a loan that means an appraisal is going to be required by the lender.  The first question was what would the appraisal be?  Although we didn’t know for sure, we did know what the comparable sales were for the last 6 months as well as the current listings.  With this knowledge, we guessed the appraisal would come in a little under asking price.  Assuming that was the case, how much out of pocket were the buyers willing/able to come?  After speaking with the other agents, it was obvious only one seller could come out of pocket for the difference.  This was not the highest bidder but the 3rd highest. The highest bidder was only willing to come out of pocket an additional $10,000.  After quick math that took their actual offer below the bid we accepted.

If we would have jumped at the highest offer we could have seen the deal fall apart in escrow.   At that point the other buyers may have moved on to another property and we would have to start all over.    Worse, the deal could be held up in escrow.

In summary, a qualified agent and solid information can help you make an educated decision when reviewing multiple offers.    The highest offer is not always the most favorable.

For previous articles, visit www.sonjabush.com

On average, serious buyers look at 15 homes before making an offer. This gives them an idea of the market and competitive pricing. If you overprice your property you will usually lose those serious buyers—even buyers who love the home—because those buyers often assume that a reasonable offer on an overpriced home will not be accepted.

When pricing your home, consider this:

Know what comparable homes are selling for….actual SOLD prices are much more helpful than listing prices.

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