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Any Tips on Selling Your Home?


jubjub75
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Well, we have decided to pack up and move to Chicago, but we need to sell our house here (Toledo) first. Actually, my wife is moving there early in September as she starts her new job on Sept 8th, so I need to sell the house before I move there :)

 

Any tips/tricks? I'm leaning towards trying to sell it ourselves at first, and give it 3 or 4 weeks. If we don't have any leads by that point, we'll probably call the professionals. I'm planning on getting a domain name to match the address, and list all pertinent info/pictures on there for people to look at. Any other suggestions? This is the first time I've sold a house, so I'm a noob :)

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A few tips:

 

1. Depersonalize the house. Remove all personal photos from the house. You want the buyer to imagine himself/herself in the house.

 

2. Declutter the place. If stuff is piling up in someplace, put it in storage.

 

3. Paint again. Unless your paint is immaculate, repaint and give it a new fresh look. Make sure it's neutral colors.

 

4. Find out what the market value is for your home and drop it about 10-15% below that. Overpricing your home or pricing it competitively will mean it will sit unless it's a stand out piece.

 

Selling your home yourself is a crapshoot and you are likely not going to save any money or time doing it. I wish you luck. Pros have leads and other creative ways to make your house sellable quickly. They'll also probably tell you to do the things I listed above.

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Everything Shane said is great.

 

Make sure the price is under market and then market the hell out of your house! Put up flyers, place an ad on Craig's list, and you may even be able to find one of those listing only realtors who charge a flat fee of a few hundred dollars and put your listing on the MLS so it's in front of other realtors.

 

Also consider offering seller financing. That can go a long way in helping a buyer qualify for your house if you carry a note.

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Gents - thanks for the tips! #1 makes a lot of sense, and I'd never heard/thought it before. #2 and 3 we are working on tomorrow. We recruited both sets of parents to help with little clean-up/repainting projects. The house is in really good shape, and just needs a few touch-ups to get it ready.

 

Cameron - how does "seller financing" work?

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Alot of this type of good advice can be found watching Designed to Sell. You can watch full episodes via the website.

 

They'll also rehash alot of the suggestions already given here. Like for #1 above they'll give you a good idea what it means to effectively "Depersonalize the house." and for #2 they'll give good suggestions for "decluttering" in ways you might not think of.

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You'd be amazed at what a dollar difference in your house can make. There is a HUGE difference between $300,001 and $299,000 because most search engines like Realtor.com search in increments of $25,000 or $50,000. So if you're at the margin of a round number, get below that round number. You'll get a ton of hits on the engines that way.

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Cameron - how does "seller financing" work?

 

You could essentially find a buyer who could only qualify for 80% LTV and you could carry the remaining 20% to create 100% financing.

 

Let say you sell your house for $100,000. The buyer qualifies for 80% LTV and gets a 1st Mortgage of $80,000. You could carry a junior note at $20,000 amortized over 15 years but due in 12 months. Their payment would be $191.13 and you'd make an extra $80 a month and then receive the rest of your $20k when they refinance at the end of 12 months. Just one example with round numbers. Disclaimer: As always, check with your attorney about this :) .

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Starhawk, that's crazy advice in the current mortgage market.

 

Because of today's mortgage market, it's precisely the method that a lot of investors and sellers use to help buyers move into houses quicker. I am by far an expert on it though. Just something that has helped people I know in case anyone wanted to look into it on their own.

 

The example I gave was a simple one with no down payment (which you would want to get). Just ask your attorney about it.

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Having lost money both times we have sold houses - and knowing what the current economy is like...

 

Kerosene and a match?

 

;)

 

You know, it'd be a lot easier ;)

 

At this point, I'd be happy if we just got enough to pay off the remainder of our mortgage and walk away from it...so much for "the only safe investment you'll ever make".

 

In good news, houses in our area have started selling again (there was about a six month period where NOTHING was selling around here), so it may not be as bad as I think/fear...

 

We just spent the last 7 or so hours scraping and painting outside trim and doing yardwork. We'll probably do another 7 or so hours tomorrow..fun stuff :)

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Only advice is make sure you aren't overpricing it. Figure out what you need to get out of it to stay solvent, find the market value, and then drop a litle below market (if that is above your needed sale price.) If you overprice your old house, you'll have the dubious luxury of deciding which house you want to celebrate Xmas in this winter. ;)

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For people who have sold before: how do you manage the transition from one house to another? When I think about selling my house and buying another, it's lining those two things up nicely that worries me.... what if I have a buyer for my house, but haven't found the house I want yet? Or what if I found the house I want, but haven't sold my old house yet?

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Only advice is make sure you aren't overpricing it. Figure out what you need to get out of it to stay solvent, find the market value, and then drop a litle below market (if that is above your needed sale price.) [/qUOTE]

 

This man speaks truth. The greatest exposure you will get is when the house is first listed, don't ruin that by thinking it is worth more than it is!

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If at all possible, the best situation is to have say a 1 month overhang of old vs. new house. We had a 2-3 month overhang from our old house to this one, and although that was a touch long, it allowed us to: paint the new house completely, change all the carpet, order some furniture, move stuff over in shifts, and get the old house set up for open houses / sale.

 

The part that was really nice was the carpet/painting. If you can let the pros work in an empty house, they can do the job super fast.

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