Jan 31,2006 00:00
Selling a home can be difficult. But by employing the right tactics, you can find a buyer who's willing to pay the price you want.
Here are four tips to help you sell your home for top dollar:
* Create competition for the property. Create an environment where multiple buyers are competing to buy. Stack appointments to show the house in a narrow window so that several buyers are at the property at the same time. This strategy taps into a buyer's fear of loss, the single greatest spark to get a buyer to buy now.
* List it with the very best agent in the area. Interview agents and choose one who has a record of selling homes for a high percentage of the listing price. You should interview at least three agents, ask for referrals and ask for proof of their ability to do what they say they can do. Get in writing what the agent will do to market the house. Be clear that if the agent doesn't live up to his or her promises, you want the option of canceling the listing.
* Set the right scene in your house. Make sure the house is bright, clean and open. Get the temperature right, and make sure the house smells nice. The three most important views of the house are the view from the front curb at the front of the house, the view at the front door, and the view at the front entranceway when someone first walks into the house. The combination of these three views gives the prospective buyer his or her first impression of the house. Make sure it's a good one.
To improve the front view, use flowers with color and ensure the front porch looks tidy. The door should be either freshly painted or brand new.
The kitchen and master bedroom deserve special attention. Simple things like new hand towels in the bathroom or fresh flowers in the kitchen go a long way.
* Spend money for the upgrades that buyers want most. Before you rush off to make repairs in the property or pay for expensive upgrades, tour five or more homes of similar value that are selling in your area. See what final touches are popular with actual buyers. For example, a Jacuzzi tub can be an important feature on homes in certain price ranges but can be a waste of money in
David Finkel is co-author of the Wall Street Journal best seller "Making Big Money Investing in Foreclosures Without Cash or Credit." He also is a full-time real estate investor and the host of the nationally broadcast "Real Estate Radio." His Web site, www.freeinvestortools.com, is ranked as one of the top 10 investor sites on the Web by the American Real Estate Investors Association.