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Home Seller's Survival Guide


While there might be some indications that the housing market has begun to improve, around the country many homeowner's are still waiting on pins and needles. The market is still very much a buyer's market and homeowners hoping to sell their homes must know how to survive the current market. Below are few home selling tips:

When you are waiting to sell your home, it can certainly feel like an eternity. There is no doubt that sellers in the existing market are waiting longer than what was once the average for their home to sell. During the wait, it is a good idea to put your time to good use and make some improvements and renovations in your home. Making home improvements, such as improving the curb appeal of your home or updating the kitchen, can offer two major financial advantages. When you do sell your home you will be able to see a larger return on your investment. In addition, you will be able to save on the cost of labor. This is because when you are renovating your home it really comes down to a matter of supply and demand. In the current market, there simply is not as much work for contractors. Consequently, they are typically much more willing to negotiate on prices. Making renovations to your home can help you to obtain a better sales price and can also help your home to sell more quickly if your local housing market is competitive.

Considering the glut of homes on the market at the current time, it is important to remember that prospective buyers are usually going to be sticklers about what they really want in the home they buy. Therefore, the old and outdated fixtures and appliances need to go, if at all possible. Curb appeal is important as well. More and more buyers are shopping online. If the outside of your home doesn't appeal to them within the first few seconds, they will likely keep clicking and move on to the next house, leaving you with the missed opportunity to reveal the benefits of the interior of your home.

While renovations do offer advantages, it is important to make sure that you are smart with the improvements you make. The key idea is to spend the least amount possible and still garner the largest payoff. For example, while it might not be feasible to replace all of the cabinets in your kitchen, perhaps you could replace the doors or just replace the hardware for a fresh new look. Another idea would be to replace the countertops or the floor. Avoid making any huge improvements as they likely won't pay off with a good return on your investment.

One of the biggest mistakes sellers can make in the current market is to date their homes. It can also be easier to do than you might think. While at one time granite countertops were considered to be a must in many homes, today they signal a home that is dated. Buyers today are increasingly looking for homes with kitchens that feature manmade materials. Not sure what is considered to be the latest in home trends? Take some time to tour a home in one of the newer high-end development areas to get an idea and then plan your home improvements with the latest fixtures and materials in mind. This can help to keep your home competitive regardless of the number of other homes that are for sell in your neighborhood.

When you are selling in a competitive market, it is not only important to carefully choose your home renovations but also your real estate agent as well. The common trend is to select a real estate agent that says they can get you the highest price for your home. That is not much comfort when your home is still sitting on the market months later with a high price tag attached. Keep in mind when choosing a realtor that the best agent to choose is often the one who gives you the lowest value. By doing so you will at least know that you are getting an honest evaluation of what your home may be worth in the current market. This can be particularly important if you are in a hurry to sell and simply cannot afford to wait while your home languishes on the market. Of course, if you are in no hurry to sell you can always go with the agent that provides the higher value, but keep in mind that in the end you may have to drop the price anyway.


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