Because your home may well be your largest asset, selling it is probably one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.

So, it makes sense that you want to list and sell it the RIGHT way, ensuring you get the most money in the shortest amount of time! This blog will guide you through the important issues you need to know to list and sell your home the right way in the Northern Virginia Area in order to stay competitive in today’s market.

  1. Understand Why You are Selling Your Home: Your motivation to sell is the determining factor as to how you will approach the process. It affects everything from what you set your asking price at, to how much time, money, and effort you’re willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale. For example, if your goal is for a quick sale, this would determine one approach. If you want to maximize your profit, the sales process might take longer thus determining a different approach.

  2. Keep the Reason(s) You are Selling to Yourself: The reasons(s) you are selling your home will affect the way you negotiate its sale. By keeping this to yourself, you don’t provide ammunition to your prospective buyers. For example, should they learn that you must move quickly, you could be placed at a disadvantage in the negotiation process. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason(s) you are selling is only for you to know.

  3. Before Setting a Price—Do Your Homework: When you set your price, you make buyers aware of the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. As a seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to the list price as possible. If you start out by pricing too high, you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and their agents, and pricing too low can result in selling for much less than you were hoping for.

  4. Do Some “Home Shopping” Yourself: The best way to learn about your competition and discover what turns buyers off is to check out other open houses. Note floor plans, condition, appearance, size of the lot, location, and other features. Particularly note, not only the asking prices but what they are actually selling for. Remember, if you’re serious about getting your home sold fast, don’t price it higher than your neighbor’s.

  5. When Getting an Appraisal is a Benefit: Sometimes a good appraisal can be a benefit in marketing your home. Getting an appraisal is a good way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. However, an appraisal does cost money, has a limited life, and there’s no guarantee you’ll like the figure you hear.

  6. Tax Assessments‚What They Really Mean: Some people think that tax assessments are a way of evaluating a home. The difficulty here is that assessments are based on a number of criteria that may not be related to property values, so they may not necessarily reflect your home’s true value.

  7. Deciding Upon a Realtor: According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly two-thirds of the people surveyed who sell their own homes say they wouldn’t do it again themselves. Primary reasons included setting a price, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints. When deciding upon a Realtor, consider two or three. Be as wary of quotes that are too low as those that are too high. All Realtors are not the same! A professional Realtor knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience, qualifications, enthusiasm, and personality. Be sure you choose someone that you trust and feel confident that they will do a good job on your behalf. If you choose to sell on your own, you can still talk to a Realtor. Many are more than willing to help do-it-yourselfers with paperwork, contracts, etc., and should problems arise, you have someone you can readily call upon.

  8. Ensure You Have Room to Negotiate: Before settling on your asking price, make sure you leave yourself enough room in which to bargain. For example, set your lowest and highest selling price. Then check your priorities to know if you’ll price high to maximize your profit or price closer to market value if you want to sell quickly.

  9. Appearances Do Matter—Make Them Count: Appearance is so critical that it would be unwise to ignore this when selling your home. The look and “feel” of your home will generate a greater emotional response than any other factor. Prospective buyers react to what they see, hear, feel, and smell even though you may have priced your home to sell.

  10. Invite the Honest Opinion of Others: The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to rely solely on your own judgment. Don’t be shy about seeking the honest opinion of others. You need to be objective about your home’s good points as well as bad ones. Fortunately, your Realtor will be unabashed about discussing what should be done to make your home marketable.

  11. Get in Spic n’ Span Clean and Fix Everything, Even if it Seems Insignificant: Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn’t work, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal-killers and you’ll never know what turns buyers off. Remember, you’re not just competing with other resale homes, but brand-new ones as well.

  12. Allow Prospective Buyers to Visualize Themselves in Your Home: The last thing you want prospective buyers to feel when viewing your home is that they may be intruding into someone’s life. Avoid clutter such as too many knick-knacks, etc. Decorate in neutral colors, like white or beige, and place a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are great for tips.

  13. Deal Killer Odors Must Go: You may not realize, but smells like traces of food, pets, and smoking odors can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know you have a dog, or that you smoke, they’ll start being aware of odors and seeing stains that may not even exist. Don’t leave any clues.

  14. Be a Smart Seller—Disclose Everything: Smart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce liability and prevent lawsuits later on.

  15. It’s Better With More Prospects: When you maximize your home’s marketability, you will most likely attract more than one prospective buyer. It is much better to have several buyers because they will not compete with each other; a single buyer will end up competing with you.

  16. Keep Emotions in Check During Negotiations: Let go of the emotion you’ve invested in your home. Be detached using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You’ll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.

  17. Learn Why Your Buyer is Motivated: The better you know your buyers, the better you can use the negotiation process to your advantage. This allows you to control the pace and duration of the process. As a rule, buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for the least amount of money. Knowing what motivates them enables you to negotiate more effectively. For example, does your buyer need to move quickly? Armed with this information, you are in a better position to bargain.

  18. What the Buyer Can Really Pay: As soon as possible, try to learn the amount of mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much his/her down payment is. If their offer is low, ask their Realtor about the buyer’s ability to pay what your home is worth.

  19. When the Buyer Would Like to Close: Quite often when buyers would “like” to close when they need to close. Knowledge of their deadline for completing negotiations again created a negotiating advantage for you.

20. Never Sign a Deal on Your Next Home Until You Sell Your Current Home: Beware of closing on your new home while you’re still making mortgage payments on the old one or you might end up becoming a seller who is eager (even desperate) for the first deal that comes along.

If you are considering making a move and want to sell your home for the most amount of money, there isn’t a better time to do that than right now! We have the systems in place to earn you top dollar on your home including our guarantees and seller programs. For example, our 100% of Asking Price Guarantee promises we will sell your home for 100% of the asking price or we will pay you the difference!  We like to say that your price is our promise! Call us now at 304-316-6412 to learn more about this program!