Category Archives: Selling Home Tip

Tips on Selling Your Home

Let’s face it – selling your home can be a lot more difficult than it seems at first.  When your home first goes on the market, you may be filled with hope and looking forward to the next step of your life to begin…..just as soon as the house sells.  But then, maybe it doesn’t sell for a few weeks, then maybe months.  This can be an excruciating waiting game.  For some people, it can be very baffling as to why their home sits on the market while other homes seem to be selling.  Others are scratching their heads at why there has been so little traffic through their home when it is a perfectly good house on sale for a perfectly fair price.

The truth is that sellers are at a real disadvantage when it comes to seeing their own homes objectively and following some tips on selling your home can make a real difference in how buyers see your home.

Firstly, if you are selling your home through a realtor, they are the first ones you should seek an opinion from.  Ask them if there is anything you can do to make the home more attractive to buyers.  They may be hoping you’ll ask them just this question as there may be some fairly simple and obvious (to them) things that would make a big difference.  Maybe a small repair here or a cleanup job there might really change the atmosphere of the place.  If you are selling your home on your own, then you will have to make this call on your own so try very hard to look at your home with new eyes.

Here are the most useful tips on selling your home:

  1. De-clutter.  While your home may be perfectly acceptable to you and you don’t think you can live without every single picture of every single niece and nephew stuck to your refrigerator door, the fact is that your personal effects are very distracting and unattractive to other people.  These are the things that may make it “home” for you but the very same things that make it “someone else’s home” when buyers take a look.  You want them to be able to imagine making this house into their home, so leave them a little room to imagine their own photos and mementos on the shelves.
  1. Pare down.  Even if you have to move some furniture and personal items to storage, it is important to eliminate as much as you can from the house.  If you have some exceptionally shabby furniture, it’s not doing you any favours by sitting there waiting for moving day to eventually come.  Get it out now!  Keep the basics and make your home seem as open as possible.  If you have to take most of your clothes out of your overflowing closet and pack them up, then do it.  Buyers who see overflowing closets are more inclined to think the closets are too small than they are to be impressed by your extensive wardrobe.
  1. Freshen up the exterior.  While the same old dented mailbox you’ve had for the last 10 years may indeed be quite functional, it’s not exactly attractive.  Take a look at your home from the street and be honest with yourself about what you see.  Does it look tired and stale?  Some of the simplest things can make a huge difference.  A little paint on some trim, freshen up the front entrance with some potted flowers and replace your old door mat with something fresh.  This can really make the front door look more welcoming.  If you are flying a flag on the front porch, is it tattered and torn?  Replace it.
  1. Stage your photos.  Whether you or a realtor will be taking the pictures used to market your home, make sure that you do your best to make the pictures show a clean, uncluttered, welcoming home.  If you have to clear your entire kitchen counter top off to get a good picture, then do it.  You can put your personal things back afterwards.  If you have to move all your vehicles, bicycles and toys before taking the outside pictures, then get moving them!  Remember you want buyers to be able to imagine that this home has room for them and their things – not just be overwhelmed with you and your stuff.

It may seem as though these tips on selling your home are too simple.  That’s usually because of the lack of objectivity sellers have.  If it’s possible, bring back some of your objectivity by visiting some other comparable houses that are on the market.  Be brutally honest with yourself about what you like when you see those houses and how your own home stacks up in comparison.  Take note of how the houses are staged, how they smell, and how available they seem – can you see yourself moving in there?  Ask yourself what it is that makes you feel that way.

There’s no question that selling your home can be a long and sometimes frustrating process.  It’s important for you to stay focused on what you can do within your own budget and time frame to make your home seem as attractive as possible.  With some objectivity, some cleaning, editing and staging, you could very well be getting a lot closer to the finish line and out of that house!

How to Price a Home for Sale

A new season is on the horizon, and you believe the worst of the economic downturn is over, so it’s time to sell that house you’ve been living in the last several years.  You know what you want to get out of it, and you think you know what your home is worth, but it’s important to understand how to price a home for sale.

Real estate agents across North America who deal with sellers every day will be the first to tell you that many homeowners are out of touch with what their home is really worth.   In fact, many home sellers are lured to use a specific real estate agent simply because he or she estimates the value of the home higher than others.  Is this the right choice?

History shows: probably not.  The agent who tells you how to price your home for sale and prices it higher than other agents probably just wants your listing.  When that high price doesn’t result in the traffic and buyers you expect, that agent will be the first to suggest you lower your price.

This “over priced” strategy can actually backfire, both for the agent and the homeowner, but a lower price will signal to potential buyers and their agents that you are ready to deal.  Starting too high may actually result in your home sitting on the market too long, forcing you to lower the price just to get people inside.  This is definitely the wrong way to price your home for sale.

“If you really want to sell your home, price it a little below market value,” says  Nancy Heisel, a ReMAX agent in Northern Virginia.  Heisel says in certain areas where there is a lot of inventory on the market, pricing below value can create a “feeding frenzy.”

“Homeowners usually want to price high and reserve the ability to lower the cost if they don’t sell it at that price, but if they really want to sell, pricing low can actually lead to more showings, more interest, and even a bidding war,” Heisel says.

When the price is lower than comparable homes, buyers will want to see it, and they will perceive it as “a really good deal.” The more potential buyers you attract, the more opportunity you have to sell it fast.

“Pricing low is the reverse of pricing it a bit high, which is usually what sellers want to do.  But what sellers don’t realize when they do that is that they have moved the house out of the range of a large pool of potential buyers.  Homeowners don’t want to buy the most expensive house in their price range,” Heisel says.

So how do you determine what the optimal price of your home is?

Real estate agents use a combination of pricing strategies to determine the true value of a home.  In this market, it has very little to do with what you paid for it or what you “want” to get for it.  Your home is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.

Many homeowners will decide they want to sell their house when they see the asking price on a home in their neighborhood.  But asking prices and actual sales prices can often differ by tens of thousands of dollars.

Realtors use the actual sales prices of comparable homes to determine an average sales price.  From that point, you can adjust up or down based on factors including upgrades, extras, or your desire to sell the home quickly.

Unfortunately, many homeowners who bought at the peak of the real estate market are finding that their homes have not appreciated. Some homeowners are actually upside down, owing more on their current mortgage than the house is worth.  In that case, staying put may be the best option.

However, in a market like the one we’re in now, many agents will suggest that taking a loss on the home you are selling is okay, since chances are you will be buying your next home at a discount over what it is worth, meaning you will have the opportunity to make up the loss when you sell your next home.

No matter what method you use to price your home for sale, you need to remain flexible in your thinking.  The more potential buyers who see your home, the better chance you have to sell it.

Remember: you can always turn down offers that are too low, but you can’t turn down offers if they are never made.  Pricing your home too high will ensure it sits for a long time.  If you want to sell, it’s best to price it to sell.

How To Sell Your Home Fast Without Giving It Away

A guide for selling your home using proven and effective tips that not only add value but also help you walk away with money in your pocket.

If your house is currently on the market, you know only too well the challenges facing sellers today.  You need to sell your home fast and without breaking the bank.  So how do you make your house stand out in the sea of homes for sale without completely giving it away?   Here are some practical tips and ideas for showcasing your home while keeping it within your price point.

Curb-appeal is everything

Remember the old adage about first impressions…it’s true!  Think about it.  The first thing a prospective buyer will see is the front of your home.  You will want to give it the wow factor so when a buyer walks up, they are impressed before they even step foot in the house.  Sprucing up the landscaping is one way to add curb appeal and bring value to your home that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  Some ideas to get you started include adding some color and different textures with flowers, shrubbery, rock landscapes, a tasteful water fountain and solar landscape lights.

Hire a good realtor

It really is important to have an experienced realtor in this market.  Do your homework and find a realtor that has many years of experience and recent success in the marketplace.  Some things to look for when hiring a realtor are:

  • Great negotiating skills
  • Impeccable organization
  • Aggressive track record
  • Good marketing skills
  • A wide array of connections

Get rid of the clutter

Not enough can be said about decluttering!  You want a potential buyer to be able to visualize themselves living in your home.  If your house is cluttered with so much stuff that it screams: this is my house – how will a buyer ever see it as theirs?  The best way to declutter is by renting a storage unit and filling it with all the non-essentials like toys, extra clothes, shoes, electronics, bulky items that take up a lot of space, books and anything that doesn’t add value in the buyer’s eyes.

Get out your paint brush

It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do.  Start with the exterior of your home and work your way in.  First, wash and paint the exterior of your home if needed.  Even adding a new color to compliment an existing color can revitalize the exterior of your home.  Then, step inside and consider repainting rooms.  Even repainting the closets will make them look clean and new.  Remember, when painting to keep the colors neutral.  Bright and bold personalized colors tend to turn off potential buyers.  Again, buyers find it hard to make it their own when you’ve made it your own favorite color.

Learn the basics of staging

Rather than hire a professional stager, consider reading up on how to stage your home yourself.  Some ideas to get you started might include an update of the lighting and to neutralize colors of drapes, upholstery and accessories throughout the house.  Also, create a focal point in the main room of your home.  That focal point could be the fireplace or a sitting area.  Another basic of staging is to depersonalize the house.  Take out any items that are personal and meaningful just to you.  For example, most or all of your family photographs, personal family heirlooms (only valuable to you) and nick knack items need to go.

Make needed repairs and updates

Nothing looks worse than walking into a house with dings and holes in the wall.  It’s an inexpensive and easy fix to patch drywall mishaps throughout your home and it adds infinite value.  Another repair that makes a room shine is regrouting the bathroom and kitchen tiles.  If grout is stained and chipping, look into this option to add new life to a tiled area.  If you have outdated fixtures and appliances (especially in the kitchen and main living area) you will want to update them if your budget allows.  Most prospective buyers like the newest and latest things.  If they walk into a kitchen that needs a lot of updating, they may walk away rather than deal with it.  Inexpensive updates that won’t bust your budget may include replacing knobs, handles, light fixtures and refacing old cabinets and scratched up doors.

It’s a tough sellers market out there but it is possible to sell your house fast without making price the only deciding factor.  By taking the steps outlined here, you can put yourself in the best possible position to sell your home quickly.

Tips to Selling Your Own Home – Staging Like an Expert

Selling your own home in a buyer’s market can be a cumbersome, confusing task indeed.  However, with home prices plummeting, it’s almost impossible to think that you will take the real estate agent’s fee out of the profits – if there won’t be any.  For even a $200,000 sale, that means a whopping $12,000 in realtor fees (with an average 6% commission)!

There are other ways to maximize that type of investment to sell your own home.

  • First of all, get an appraisal!  You need to know what your home is worth.  This is what banks will base mortgages on.  You need to have a realistic figure when it comes to pricing your home.  You can’t use sentiment, and no one cares what you “have to” get from the sale.  The buyers are going to get the same figure you have when you do the appraisal.  It might not be what you expected, but it’s what the buyers and the banks must deal with.   For instance, if you think your home is worth $300,000 and the appraisal comes in at $215,000 – you need to deal with that.  No one is going to pay more than the appraisal.
  • Make necessary visible repairs: cracks in the foundation, walls, roof.  Fix anything that would prevent YOU from buying a house with the same problems.  Remember:  there are other  homes on the market that don’t need repairs.
  • Paint in neutral colors. You might love the red walls in the kitchen, but it could be a deal killer for someone who wants a total turnkey home.
  • If your kitchen and baths are dated, there are cheap ways to at least spruce them up.   Tear down old wallpaper.  Buy new cabinet hardware.  Replace sinks and faucets.  Get a tile repair kit at your local hardware store.  Find a neighborhood handyman who can do all this for a hundred dollars, and have it done right.
  • If your rugs are ancient, tear them up and at least buy some cheap carpeting.  There are plenty of deals out there where installation for an entire house is under $200.  You don’t need carpeting guaranteed for 20 years.  You need something clean and attractive on the floors to last through the new owner’s move in day.
  • If you are selling your home while you are living there, people will take into consideration the entire visual effect when they walk in for the first time.  If you furniture is worn out, dirty, or takes up too much room, put your things in storage and rent some nice furniture!
  • Put away family photos, awards, diplomas, and anything of a personal nature.  Buyers want to picture themselves living there, with their own possessions, and it’s pretty difficult when you have a life size painting of your wedding day hanging over the mantel.
  • Have a real open house just like a real estate broker would.  Put an ad in the paper, put balloons and signs on street corners, and put posters in a special stand on your front lawn.  Have visitors sign a guest book and provide contact information and a section for comments.   This is important!  If most of your visitors say your  house smells like a dog, you need to listen and do something about it!
  • It is the seller’s job to be ready with blank contracts.  You can buy standard versions at most office supply stores.  It’s even better to spend a few hundred dollars to have a real estate attorney provide you with a contract that already has your information in it, and buyers can fill in their offers, etc.  (You should always have a real estate attorney on your side in any home sale.)  Have these on a table, perhaps next to the sign in book, or in the kitchen next to the coffee pot (which should be full, with paper cups and fixings next to it).
  • Have refreshments!  Appetizers, small sandwiches, even tiny pizza slices.  Yes, people will come for the free food, but they may fall in love with the house at the same time they are falling in love with your grandmother’s Swedish meatballs!
  • Light candles.  Brand new candles.  Put one in the kitchen that smells like cookies, and put one in each room as well.  Try to keep to one scent such as vanilla or lilacs.
  • Unclutter everything!  Expose as much kitchen counter top as possible.  Take down everything stored over the fridge.  Put away the dish drainer.  Same for bathrooms.  Put away toothbrushes.  No towels in sight aside from clean, pristine finger towels.
  • Don’t forget the outside!  The first thing buyers will see is your front yard or front door/entrance way if you live in a condo.  Either way – a buyer needs to be seduced with your “curb appeal”.  Anything like chipped house paint, rotting doorways, dead grass, dying plants, or dirty windows will just make some people turn around and leave without even coming inside.  Remember:  there are other houses that have been properly maintained.   Invest in sod and some new plants if you need to.

Selling Your Own Home: The Ins and Outs

There are no rules that say you can’t sell your home yourself. However, before attempting to do so you should be properly prepared. The major steps involved in getting the house ready prior to selling it are:

  • Making repairs so that the place looks decent. A run-down, unattractive house will not appeal to most homebuyers and will definitely not bring in a decent price. Preparation should also include cleaning up the yard of clutter, giving some areas a much needed paint job and making sure to give the place a good overall cleaning.
  • Get a valuation: When selling your own home, it is a good idea to pay to have a professional valuator appraise the house and set the value based on market rates in your area. You can also do this yourself by doing a little research to find out the going rate for property in your geographical location.

Like most things in life, selling your own home comes with advantages and disadvantages. Some of the major disadvantages are:

  • Believe it or not, letting go of emotional ties to a house can be hard and can make selling it harder than it needs to be. Before actually selling the ‘old place’ you need to let go of emotional ties as much as possible.
  • The first major disadvantage is the cost and hassle of marketing the property you are selling. Marketing a property can be difficult especially in bad economic times.
  • Having to negotiate selling price. Many homeowners do not have the personality or desire to haggle over price.

Don’t get disheartened by the disadvantages listed above. There are many good reasons for selling your own home. Some of these are:

  • If you sell your own home you get to keep the entire sale price except for marketing costs and any government taxes that may be incurred. If you go through a real estate professional you will need to pay a commission to them for selling the house.
  • If you are really attached to the house you can decide who feels or seems like the best fit for it. Having total control over the sale is a benefit for many homeowners.

Steps Involved in Selling Your Own Home

The actual process of selling can be hard or easy depending on the time the sale is being made and how much you are willing to learn about selling a house. Apart from the professional appraisal, you need to do the following as well:

  1. Set your first open house visits so that prospective buyers can have a look around. This should be done weeks in advance so that it gives a deadline to get the other things done.
  1. Marketing the house can be done a number of ways. Marketing options include placing ads in newspapers, sending out flyers, and creating signs for posting on the lawn. In addition, advertise the house online on sites such as, or other multiple listing services websites (MLS). Although these websites charge a fee for the listing the advertisement will reach many more persons who are looking for houses to buy.
  1. Get a professionally drawn up sales contract that you can give to potential buyers. If they are really interested they will need this for their lawyer to look over and advise them on how to proceed.
  1. Be prepared for home inspections and be ready to accommodate inspectors when they arrive. Generally, the prospective buyer pays for the inspection. If disagreements occur at this stage, you may want to get another inspection done at your own expense.
  1. Once you have settled on a buyer be prepared to negotiate. Once both parties have reached an agreement the exchange of money takes place and contracts are signed.

Ultimately, the decision to use a realtor or to sell your home yourself will depend on a number of factors such as the time you have to complete the sale and how low you are willing to go. Finally, think like a buyer if you hope to get a good price for your old home.

How to Sell a House

If you a ready to sell your first home, you may be wondering how to sell a house without paying a significant commission.  Regardless of the current housing market, with a bit of knowledge you can sell your own home and realize thousands of dollars in savings. Please read on for our most common questions on how to sell a house.

What Is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is how your house looks from the outside to potential buyers.  If your have a rusty fence, dirty gutters, hanging shutters and broken window panes, it can make potential buyers leave before they even see the inside of your home.  Grab a hammer and some nails to repair minor flaws, paint the fence, replace broken glass and mow your lawn to give your house better curb appeal.  Little extras such as a flower bed, new mailbox and freshly washed windows go a long way when it comes to curb appeal.

Is It Worthwhile To Make Home Repairs Before You Sell?

You will never realize the full amount of money invested in repairs so you should only make those repairs that are completely necessary to sell the house.  For every thousand dollars invested in your house, you will get back about seven hundred dollars.

What Home Repairs Should Be Made?

Top repairs to make include modernizing your bathroom, updating your kitchen and replacing your windows.  These three upgrades can drastically increase the asking price of your house and help you to sell your home more quickly.

Are There Inexpensive Ways to Improve the Saleability of My Home?

There are a variety of cost-effective ways to improve the saleability of your home that just take a bit of elbow grease and a few dollars such as:

  • paint everything white to give your home a clean, spacious appearance;
  • organize your garage, basement, closets and attic to maximize the potential of these extra spaces for prospective buyers;
  • make sure your house is well-lit so it looks bigger;
  • clean your house completely including windows, oven, bathroom, stove, kitchen counters, carpets, floors and fixtures;
  • get rid of clutter because no one wants to see your family photos but your family;
  • repairs all squeaks and leaks around the house;
  • get rid of dingy, discolored wallpaper;
  • replace caulking around tubs and sinks for a fresh appearance; and
  • tack down loose molding.

What Do Potential Buyers Dislike the Most?

When prospective buyers visit your house, they don’t want to be confronted with certain elements and they can actually hurt the sale of your home.  Before buyers come to check out your house make sure to:

  • get rid of odors;
  •  put your pets away – just because you love being greeted by Fido doesn’t mean buyers will;
  • damp, musty basements that give an impression of a faulty foundation;
  • dim rooms with minimal lighting, dirty windows and dark walls;
  • clutter because buyers want to see the home as their own;
  • bugs for obvious reasons; and
  • sellers that hang around and talk constantly while prospective buyers are trying to examine the house.

Should I Hire A Real Estate Attorney?

If you decide to sell your own home rather than use a real estate agent, you may want to have your own attorney to represent your interests.  A real estate attorney only costs a few hundred dollars and the sale of your home is a transaction worth thousands of dollars.  An attorney can prepare necessary paperwork, hold money for the sale of your house in escrow and provide essential guidance along the way for far less than paying commission to a real estate agent.

Should I Hire A Home Inspector

While it is not necessary to hire a home inspector, buyers may decide they want to do so before they agree to purchase your home.  If you hire your own inspector first, you will already have a report to compare to theirs and have an advance opportunity to make repairs. Inspectors check out heating and cooling systems, the roof, the foundation and they also look for termite damage or infestation.

Should I Get a Home Warranty?

A temporary home warranty covers items such as plumbing, major appliances, heating and the electrical system while a house is for sale with average deductibles of about $50 to $100.  A home warranty policy only costs a few hundred dollars and can be a great incentive for prospective buyers to consider an older house. Certain policies even convert to a one year buyer’s warranty after the closing.

How To I Determine the Sales Price for My House?

After you figure out how to sell your house, you need to review comparable sales of homes in the area to determine an estimated value for your home.  Consider the condition of your home, the location and amenities such as a deck, fireplace or pool that add to the value of your house.  You can also hire an appraiser for a couple of hundred dollars to formally appraise your house or take advantage of free, no-obligation consultations from local real estate sales agents to get a value analysis of your home.

Should I Have An Open House?

If your house is presentable, an open house gives several prospective buyers an opportunity to check it out and you save time because you don’t have to meet each buyer individually.  During the open house you can also serve refreshments, hand out pamphlets about the house, answer prospective buyers’ questions and provide copies of pertinent paperwork such as inspection reports, comparable home sales reports for the area, receipts for recent repairs and warranties.

How Do I Get The Word Out That My House Is For Sale?

There are many ways to get the word out that you are selling your house including:

  • list your house on a variety of Internet resources including Craig’s List and You Tube;
  • advertise your home in a local newspapers because 80 percent of homes are purchased by folks who work or live in the area;
  • put a large sign “For Sale By Owner” in front of your house;
  • get a billboard in the area advertising your house for sale;
  • distribute flyers about your house for sale at local businesses and include color photos;
  • put fact sheets in a transparent, waterproof envelope outside your house in a visible location; and
  • consider using a resource such as “For Sale By Owner” to help facilitate the sale of your home for a low fee rather than paying a broker’s commission.

Remember, it usually takes eight visitors to get one bid on your house so you need to have patience and keep smiling for those buyers.  With a bit of negotiation, flexibility and knowledge, you will successfully learn how to sell your house and get the bid you want sooner than you think.

Should I Invest in Land?

You have thought about owning your own car and house and investing in the stock market, but why not try staking a claim to a piece of land?

During an upswing in development, land appreciates faster than buildings. If you have enough capital to invest in land, now is a good time to invest in vacant office and industrial-zoned land, as land shortages and low vacancies in existing buildings drive values up, according to property experts.

In other words, during an upswing phase in office and industrial property such as what is happening now in many places, land appreciates much faster than developed properties.

The difficulty lies in the shortage of zoned office and industrial land. It is very good to bank in land, if you can find it. The residential market, on the other hand, is fully priced and you do not – as a rule – buy an asset that is fully priced.

Residential property prices should grow at about the consumer price index inflation rate for the next number of years. Therefore, office and industrial-zoned land is a good investment. Land values are skyrocketing for all types of commercial land.

The value of industrial-zoned land has risen 300% in the past 18 months in many parts of the world. This applies to zoned retail, commercial and industrial land. All three sectors have seen enormous growth in value.

Investment properties have not increased in value as much as vacant zoned land. The reason for the increase in the value of zoned land is due to the low vacancy levels in existing buildings and also the shortage of supply of land which is ready to be developed.

It can take up to 18 months or more to rezone land from agricultural or residential to other uses, whilst the demand for zoned land is such that developers are not able to wait that length of time and therefore require land that is already correctly zoned.

These factors have put upward pressure on land values. The increasing rentals in all the sectors have also made it possible for developers to pay higher prices for land and still achieve acceptable returns on new developments.

Since lots are guaranteed to be built and located within the respective community while priced wholesale, the greatest value is in the price itself.

For example, if the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listings for quarter acre interior lots within a given community range between $15,000 and $17,000 and they are provided to you wholesale than it is a very fair deal regardless of the exact location and physical attributes of the specific lot.

Land tends to increase in value far more often than not, so as long as you know you are in a good community and have paid below market prices, you can be confident that you’ve made a sound decision in your investment.

Try to avoid investing in lots near water unless you dream about owning lakeside land. The proposition is not very financially sound, however.

To wit: If today an interior lot is priced at $5,000 and a lake lot within that same community is priced at $30,000, which is more likely to double in value within a few years? It is quite logical that many more people will spend $10,000 for a build-able lot than would be willing to spend $60,000.

Many more people would be able to afford a $10,000 interior lot than a $60,000 lot of equal size that is on a lake.

Property taxes for these industrial-zoned vacant lots are relatively low, many of which are less than $100 per year. Furthermore, since these pre-platted lots are located within planned communities and subdivisions, there are nominal association or assessment fees required.

They are different for each community, but in general tend to range anywhere from $12 to $35 per month.

The association or assessment fees are worth it because a planned community or subdivision will tend to have much greater growth than a random lot outside of a planned community. Building activity is typically associated with appreciation, since it directly impacts supply and demand.

In summary, the risks of buying industrial-zone land do not stand up against the reward.

Investing in land for sale is a great place to put your money. Unlike other investment vehicles like the stock market, land does not experience much volatility. Historically speaking, its value tends to go in one direction and that is upward.

If you choose areas with values that are not over-inflated, then chances are very good that you will be making money and not losing it. On the other hand, if you invest in land in the right place at the right time, your returns can be excellent.

Whether you have $5,000 or $50,000 in capital, a good lot investment is available that will meet you budget. Since pre-platted lots are located in developed or developing planned communities or subdivisions, more people are likely to build there. With every new house that is built, supply gets lower and values should increase.

If you have the capital and the gumption, why not stake your name on a piece of land?

More Tips on Selling Your own Home

Check your home from top to bottom for signs of wear. Are the ceilings water stained, needing paint or, heaven forbid, drooping? Are any of the walls’ plaster chipped or in need of paint? Are all corner moldings properly tacked down?  How about the lighting fixtures; are the cords in good repair? Are all bulbs in working condition?  How is the flooring? Any squeaks when you walk across the floor or up or down the stairs? Is the linoleum, hard wood or tile in good condition? If you have carpeting is it clean? How are the exterior and interior doors looking? Are any of them in need of paint or in need of shimming? When you close the door does it stick? Do all the door knobs work and do any need to be adjusted? Are your counter tops free of chips and scratches? Are all moldings tacked down? Are all the drawer handles and cabinetry fixtures secured? Are all of your hand railings secure and not wobbly?

If you are in the income range of someone who can afford to pay for a home staging company to come in and design a set of furniture and other décor to exemplify your home by all means do this. Your housekeeper or cleaning service should follow this up with a quick dust, vacuum and floor care after they leave. Home stagers are all the rage and seem to produce a predictable profit increase for the home owners who hire their services.

For the rest of us a head to toe cleaning is of primary importance. Start at the curb of your home. Follow the line of sight up to your door. Remove any dog bones or old news papers and leaves. Sweep your stoop or front step area. Do you need to replace your welcome mat? Next begin at the front door checking for what the potential customer would first see upon entering. Does anything look out of place or unusual about the placement of your furniture or television for that matter? Is there an immediate odor of pet, smoke or other item that may offend your guest?

Now that you have the yard and entry way checked out it is time to begin your top to bottom cleaning of the interior of your home. Dust for cob webs first; especially in corners of the ceilings and light fixtures. Clean all door handles and smudge marks from doors and light switches. Move on to the floors. Vacuum, sweep and mop as needed. Clean your bathrooms very well. Use a tooth brush and bleach to clean old or mildew grouted areas, being very careful not to spill any bleach on the carpeting and use a foot stone to clean the water stain ring from the inside of your toilet bowel. Scrub all counter spaces and toilets. Pick up all clutter from beds and make all the beds. Move into the kitchen and do your dishes clean off the counters and put things away that are sitting around on your tables and counters. Did you remember to clean the oven; is the toe plate grill under the refrigerator clean? Is the top of the refrigerator and the shelf space above the cabinets clutter free?  Dust everything and shine glass and mirror surfaces.

If in the initial check of your home you discovered that your walls need painted this is the time to do so. Your home is basically clean and you can concentrate better on the task at hand. You will want to approach painting only on days when you would feel comfortable with the windows open for 8 hours or more; not in the middle of winter.  After your paint is dry and the smell has gone from your home you can think about the placement of artifacts and sense. You will use these to inspire the feeling of warmth, welcome and tranquility. Candles, flowers; fresh cut or artificial, lend a feeling of serenity and possibility to a room. If you have pets you will want to arrange for them to be away or in the back yard while you’re prospective buyers are guests in your home. It is possible that your people will have allergies to animals. What about your fireplace? Has a fire been lit in it recently? It is a good thing for your home to have a lived in look while still being clutter free and allowing the vision of the potential buyer some room to paint his own life style over the way your home looks now.

Play soft background music and if you’re so inclined bake something delicious to offer your quests. The aroma of fresh apple pie is sure to elicit memories of home in most people. Your goal is to make your space appear to them as their next home.

How to successfully sell your home By Owner

So, you want to sell your home?  You’d love to get every dollar possible from it, so you can put a nice down payment on your next residence and maybe even buy a new sofa or big screen TV.  If you use a realtor, though, you’ll pay her at least seven percent of the selling price.  Add in your portion of the finance charges from the bank on the loan, and you will likely cut up to ten percent off your profit.  Imagine owing $150,000 and selling your home for $200,000.  “Wow,” you think.  “I’m going to have fifty grand for my down payment and moving expenses.”

Then, you get the closing statement from the title company, only to find that you paid that sweet realtor $14,000 and dropped an additional $7,000 on closing and title costs.  Suddenly, your 50k profit on selling your home turns into a paltry-looking $29,000.  You’re eyeing a shiny new $250,000 home, and with your own closing costs on a new loan, you won’t even have ten percent for a down payment.  What’s the answer, you ask?  Simple, sell the home without the use of a realtor — By Owner.

There are several basics to a successful By-Owner sales transaction.  Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to eliminating most of those exorbitant, superfluous costs.

First, get busy advertising.  Even if you have things to do, in order to prepare for your By Owner sale, such as home improvements, making your house look nice from the outside and proper paperwork, you need to generate interest from buyers.  Realtors have a network of buyers lined up, so advertising is the least of their worries.  You need to make use of your own network and your resources.

Before you run to the local hardware store and grab a For Sale By Owner sign, compose a nice point-of-sale sheet that outlines the features of your home.  This is another product that realtors provide that you can make very easily or have a friend or family member make for you.  It should be eye-appealing and include all of the best features of your house, as well as all of the things you might not normally consider, such as square footage, new items, amenities, etc.  If you are struggling with completing this, find a sample at a home for sale in your neighborhood and just take one as a model.  As soon as you’ve done this, get that For Sale By Owner sign and place it in your yard.

Next, run some inexpensive ads on the Internet.  Just go to free classifieds at either Yahoo or AOL.  You’ll be surprised at the response.  Also place ads in inexpensive magazines and newspapers in your neighborhood, and post signs at community places.  Plan open houses, the same way your realtor would.  This is something most For Sale By Owner people neglect to do.  They simply say call for appointments.  Open houses are wonderful selling tools, because when people see that others are interested in your home, they may decide to bid faster, as well as higher.  Plus, they have the freedom to come on their schedule (within set limits), instead of an exact time on an appointment.

Once you’ve placed some ads and posted your sign, get yourself a mortgage professional.  This person can help in many ways, even with a For Sale By Owner transaction.  He’ll help you with loan and closing cost information, a title agent, and, most importantly, he’ll provide you with all of the necessary paperwork you need — for free.  Just tell the mortgage broker that you are looking for someone who may be able to finance two transactions – your sale and your next purchase – and you need some professional guidance in selling your home.  Explain that you need a purchase agreement and all other important point-of-sale material.  You’d appreciate his help and you’ll encourage your buyer to use him.  The broker will be very enthusiastic and will likely refer you to a title agent who will get you all of the paperwork you need to be successful.

What these steps do in the eyes of potential buyers is make you look like a professional – like a real estate agent.  You see, you can do all of the things a realtor does, without special training.  The key is to use resources available to you and to find people who are willing to work for free, because they know they’ll get paid later.

At your open houses or when people call for information, you may be asked how you came up with your asking price.  Never hedge on this.  In fact, another service your mortgage broker can provide is getting you a value of your home, without charging you for an appraisal fee.  He’ll have his own appraiser do some simple office work to come up with the number.  Now, you can tell people the home was appraised by a professional.  Also, have your mortgage broker check on recent sales within one mile of you.  He’ll probably have his appraiser do this too, but it won’t cost you anything.  Assuming the recent sales are similar to your house, this is a great tool in setting your price and selling your potential buyers on its fairness.  You’ll be able to say, “Take a drive by 1255 on School Street.  It’s almost identical to this house, and it went for $215,000.  As you know that’s $3,000 more than I’m asking.”  This is a great salesmanship – the type of tactic a realtor would use.

When it comes to setting your price, be sure not to ask too much, based on the appraised value.  This is a common mistake people make, especially when being influenced by a realtor, who wants to inflate the price, so she’ll make a higher commission.  If the value is $220,000 and you want to get $200,000, ask for $208,000 and settle for $196,000.  Remember, you are saving tens of thousands of dollars by selling your home By Owner and eliminating the realtor.  So, it’s okay to take a few thousand dollars less than what you want.  Plus, when you tell prospective buyers that your start price is twelve thousand dollars below the fair market value, you can add that they’ll be getting that twelve grand as instant equity in their new home.  That’s powerful selling.

Follow these basic steps, post your For Sale By Owner sign, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll sell your home.

Now, go buy that big screen TV; you’ve earned it.

Tips For Selling Your Home Quickly

Change is inevitable and it can affect where you call home.

You can buy your dream home one month, and then a few months or a couple of years later, a job transfer will require you to sell and buy a home in a different city with little time to spare.

This experience happened to me personally, although I was on the other end of the experience. A homeowner in Las Vegas needed to sell his house in less than a month because his wife received a job offer that was too good to refuse in Chicago.

His family of four was required to sell the house and pack to make the immediate move. These are the successful tips for selling his home quickly he followed after seeking advice from close friends in the real estate industry.

  • You can enlist a real estate agent, but you are better off selling the home on your own. Real estate companies tend to overprice houses in comparison to other homes in the particular neighborhood. In order to sell quickly, you can set the price and work with customers directly rather than rely on the busy schedule of a real estate agent. The homeowner can take a couple of days to research the price of homes sold recently in the neighborhood. Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) information is available through the Web and the county in which you reside.
  • Consider selling costs and how much cash you want after the sale. The seller should realize he or she will in most cases pay for buyer’s mortgage fees and other closing costs, but money can be saved in real estate brokerage fees. If the seller lists the home with a real estate agent, he or she can expect to pay up to 7 percent of the purchase price. If the homeowner makes the sale, he or she does not have to pay these fees. The seller also has the freedom to set the cost of which he or she will pay toward the buyer’s mortgage costs.
  • It’s not a bad idea to interview a real estate agent, perhaps someone you know who is in the business, to get an idea of prices and selling conditions in your neighborhood. The homeowner I purchased the house from received free advice from real estate agents he knew in Texas and Nevada.
  • You can obtain real estate sales contracts and disclosure forms from office supply retailers, such as OfficeMax and Office Depot.
  • Prepare the home before putting the house up for sale. Paying landscapers to fix the outside, and spending time to paint, clean or perform maintenance to the interior, is well worth the expense. The seller is wise to have a professional inspector perform a checklist on the house to fix any issues before the buyer’s inspector looks at the house.
  • Enlist the assistance of a real estate lawyer for a nominal fee of less than $800 to get legal advice.
  • Advertise with a classified ad in the daily newspaper and online. I discovered the home I purchased on the Web. Purchase professional looking “For Sale by Owner” signs and splash them throughout the neighborhood and nearby intersections. Make fact sheets about the house covered by plastic that can be attached to the “For Sale by Owner” sign in your yard.
  • Plan and execute an “open house” for prospective buyers. The best time to do this is on the weekend, when buyers have more time to look through the house. Keep a list of visitors with their phone numbers. Produce another list for your personal reference to people who have inquired about a down payment or attempted to bargain, to show who is a serious buyer. Do not eliminate the prospective buyers who offer less of a down payment, especially first-time home buyers. These people are very serious about buying the house, which can make the sale quicker.

Selling a house is not easy, especially in a limited time frame. However, the process is feasible for a homeowner to execute. All it takes is a good plan, a small budget and a week or two to smooth the rough edges in the house. The home can be sold in less than a month with this formula.