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Things You Should Do Before Selling Your House


Have you considered all the factors in selling your own house? Do you have an overall plan to make sure that you don't miss anything important? Overlooked details can hold up or completely derail a sale, so before you place an ad for your home's sale, take a look at the following checklist and make sure you've got all the bases covered.

Realtor or FSBO?

One of the most important decisions in selling your own house is whether you will hire a Realtor to do the work for you, or do it all on your own. While it's true that a Realtor can smooth a lot of the rough spots and save a lot of work for you, it's also true that a competent Realtor will cost you - typically about 6% of the selling price of your home in commission. There are, however, many home buyers willing to pay to get professional assistance. According to an article published by CNN money on August 29th 2005, Americans paid more than $70 billion a year in broker commissions!

Choose A Reputable, Competent Realtor

If you do decide to use a Realtor, don't hand your business to someone as a 'favor'. For most people, selling a house is one of the biggest financial deals they'll ever be involved in. Choose a realtor the same way as you would any other contractor or employee. Check their references, their success rates, and whether or not you could work with them comfortably.

Do Your Homework

If you decide to sell your house yourself, you will have a lot of research to conduct. You'll first need to find out what inspections you'll need done and then schedule them. Next, it's a good idea to research recent sales in your neighborhood so that you can set a realistic price on your property. You'll need to set up a budget for advertising so you know what you can afford to pay, and research options for closing costs and attorney fees. Then you should find a good real estate attorney who can help you the contract process. Finally, you will have to gear up to do some major work around the house to make it appealing and saleable.

Fix it up

No matter which method you choose to sell your own house, the same basic rules apply when it comes to getting it ready to sell. Take care of any repairs you've been putting off before the first prospective buyer steps through the door.

Keep It In Good Selling Condition

De-clutter. Get all personal belongings packed away and out of sight. Hold a yard sale to get rid of the accumulation of years, and put the money toward a fresh coat of paint for the kitchen and bathroom.

Set your price

Setting the price for your property means mixing the average selling price for similar homes in your area with any specifics that add or detract from the value of your home. You can pay for a home appraisal in order to get a good fix on the current value of your home, but bear in mind that the neighborhood and surroundings will play a major role in how desirable your property is to a buyer.

Get Pre-approved

You should already be taking steps toward getting a mortgage loan on your next home, and then start looking for that perfect dream home. It's possible to make approval of a loan contingent on the sale of your house. Getting pre-approved gives you flexibility in negotiating on your new home so that you have somewhere to go when your old house sells.

Get Ready To Negotiate

Being flexible doesn't necessarily mean cutting your asking price. There are many other ways that you can offer buyers some flexibility in negotiating a good deal for the sale of your home. Paying closing costs or including fixtures in the price of the house can make a big difference.

Closing The Deal

Make sure that all the paperwork is in order, and that you have copies of everything. You'll need to have cashiers checks on hand for the various closing fees and costs, inspection paperwork ready to be signed off on, and the closing contracts drawn up and ready to be signed.


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