How to Sell your Home or Investment Property

By: Jason Loucks

It's off to the market you go. The real estate market that is, in all its glorious competitiveness.

You want to sell your home or investment property. Are you ready to sell it?

Are you ready for the finagling, offers and counter-offers? Can you handle the drama, the lights, cameras and all the action?

You can if you research before hand what today's real estate market is like for buying and selling homes.

Today, buyers do their homework. Therefore, you must do yours. When potential buyers walk through your doors, they have the knowledge, acquired from doing their homework. They will know exactly what they want. They will look for specific upgrades and features. They will know the market for comparable properties in your area.

You will have to give them a reason to choose yours. This is where the little things are important when it comes to selling homes and investment properties.

Right off the bat you have to make sure your product displays in the best possible light: clean, clean, clean. Then clean some more. This means top to bottom. Outside is where it all starts. Your home has to sparkle like a diamond. The 'wow' factor has to slap the potential buyer in the face as soon as they step foot in your driveway.

Make sure the driveway's swept and washed; make sure any potholes and cracks are fixed. Wash the windows from the outside, and the garage door, and anything else outside that needs cleaning. Wash the dog if he's going to be standing around out there.

Mow the lawn...unless you want to hide the dog.

Your garage: unless it's designated a production location for a remake of Sanford and Son, de-clutter it. Organize it. Sweep and wash down the floor, if you can find it! Neatness counts when it comes to selling a house.

Once inside give every room the critical eye. Of course, make sure any minor repairs get attention before a showing or open house. The major repairs should not be an issue; all accomplished well in advance. That dangling ceiling fan...has it been reattached properly or is ready to propel itself out the window? Those ceramic tiles in the bathroom; are they secured back in place? Does their continued falling play like a scene from the movie Earthquake? You won't be selling your home if people walk through it wide-eyed from fear.

Create an easy, unobstructed flow from room to room. Evoke a sense of freedom and spaciousness. Along with that, allow as much natural light into the home as is possible. When selling a house you want to create a positive atmosphere. You don't want potential buyers to feel they've entered a Dungeons and Dragons theme park.

Tone down your family's personality in the house. Give it the 'model home' aura to appeal to a wide range of personalities who will explore its features.

Consider this too, when selling your house: buyers want the best price in the best area. If the area you live in is a high-demand area, are you competitive in your price? Have you over priced because you feel buyers will pay it because of the attractiveness of the area? Homes similar to yours in size, style, upgrades and features may be lower-priced. They may sell fast, while yours lingers on the market. Of course, if you feel it deserves a higher price and are willing to wait it out, see where it takes you.

Selling your home, or any investment property, involves a commitment from yourself. You want the greatest return. You have to be willing to devote the time and energy in return, to ensure a successful sale. Buyers want the best price in the best location. You want the best price so you can move out of the location. It's up to you to do the things necessary to bring both sides together so it can happen.

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