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Tips for Sellers

Curb Appeal:  Make your home stand out!


close-up-of-living-room-with-sofas-from-rattan-and-arm-chair.jpgEnhancing the look of your home from a street perspective is a great way to attract potential buyers. After all, the ‘curb appeal’ of your home is like a major plus for people driving through your neighbourhood or who see your house in a real estate for-sale photo. By putting in a little extra effort, you can improve your home’s curb appeal and increase your chances of an earlier sale at a higher price.

You probably live in the house you are trying to sell, and therefore you are familiar with its appearance – perhaps too familiar. Chances are, you don’t notice small cracks or peeling paint the same way someone seeing your home for the first time would. Starting from a position on the street, take a close look at your home. What stands out? What looks wrong? Does the tree in front need pruning? Perhaps a shutter needs to be repainted? Maybe the porch light fixture is broken. These are generally small tasks that don’t take a lot of time or money to repair, but that make – or detract—from the look of your home. It may help to take a photograph of your home from the street to see if that gives you a new perspective.

  • When a Realtor is opening the door of your home, a potential purchaser has plenty of time to look at the porch and entry. Accordingly, they should be clean and tidy. Do not allow flyers to accumulate, and if there is a doormat, it should be clean and in good condition. Decoration such as a tasteful wreath is fine, but don’t overwhelm your entry and door with frilly adornments.
  • A lush green lawn enhances your home. It should be freshly cut, weeded, and edged. Flower beds should be weeded and cultivated, hedges trimmed, and garden debris removed. If your lawn isn't in good shape, time will be required to improve it, and professional help may be desirable. Any areas that require new grass should be sodded rather then re-seeded to ensure a finished appearance. If you are selling during the fall or winter, when your yard may not look its best, make sure that all dead material is removed from gardens and leaves are raked off the lawn. Store shovels and other equipment in a shed or other out-of-sight location.
  • Doors should be unmarred, clean, and repainted with care if necessary. The doorbell and door hardware should be in good repair. Potential purchasers who see a Realtor wrestling with a reluctant door lock may wonder what else is wrong with the house.

Your home is an investment, and by taking a little time to put it in top form, you will get a higher return on that investment when you decide to sell.

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When Should You Accept A Low Bid?

If you are selling your home and are motivated to get the deal done quickly, you may be tempted to accept a low bid.  Whether you need to sell because you are being relocated or need to downsize to save your financial investment, there are several things you should consider before accepting a bid that is below your asking price.  Here are a few tips on making that decision a bit easier.

How Motivated Are You?

The decision to accept a low bid should always be influenced by your actual financial position rather than simply wanting a quick sale.  If you are in a situation in which you may lose your home due to foreclosure, accepting a low bid may be your only option.  If, on the other hand, you are simply tempted to take a low bid because it is more than you originally paid for the home, you may want to reconsider.  For most people, the motivation will lie somewhere in the middle, and balancing your motivation to sell and the potential financial loss of accepting a low bid should be carefully evaluated.

Avoid Becoming A Motivated Seller

The best way to sidestep having to take a low bid is by avoiding the position of being a truly motivated seller in the first place.  If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, be sure you have exhausted any refinancing options that may exist.  Another common reason people feel obligated to accept a low bid is that they have already purchased a new home and do not want to be in the position of paying two mortgages at once.  So before purchasing a new home, first sell your existing home.

No matter your reason for considering accepting a low bid for your home, be sure you get the advice of both a REALTOR® and a financial advisor to ensure you are making the right decision.

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What is the best time to sell your house?

There is no "best" time to sell per se. Selling a house depends on supply, demand and other economic factors. But the time of year in which you choose to sell can make a difference both in the amount of time it takes to sell your home and in the ultimate selling price.

Weather conditions are less of a consideration in more temperate climates, but most of the time, the real estate mafront-porch.jpgrket picks up as early as February, with the strongest selling season usually lasting through May and June.

With the onset of summer, the market slows. July is often the slowest month for real estate sales due to a strong spring market putting possible upward pressure on interest rates. Also, many prospective home buyers and their agents take vacations during mid-summer.

Following the summer slowdown, real estate sales activity tends to pick up for a second, although less vigorous, fall market, which usually lasts into November when the market slows again as buyers and sellers turn their attention to the holidays.

If this makes you wonder if you should take your home off the market for the holidays, consider the advice of veteran agents: You are always more likely to sell your house if it is available to show to prospective buyers continuously.