Why Use a Realtor?

When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace including price, financing and terms of competing properties. These are key factors in a successful sale of your property at the best price in the least amount of time. 

Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®.   REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. They are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTOR® business practices are monitored at local board levels. Arbitration and disciplinary systems are in place to address complaints from the public or other board members.

Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal and then help write an appropriate legally binding sale agreement. Between the initial sales agreement and settlement, questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs may be required to obtain financing or a problem with the title is discovered. Your REALTOR® is the best person to help you resolve those issues and move the transaction to settlement.

Determining the Value of Your Home

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is essential to determine the value of residential property.  Location and characteristics of the property are the key elements in determining value. Therefore, the basis for valuation is similar properties in your area. The market analysis takes into account the amount
received from recent sales of comparable properties and the quantity and quality of comparable properties currently on the market. The desired end result is to find a price that will attract a willing and able buyer in a reasonable time. Once the value of your home has been determined, you can decide on an offering price that will achieve your goals. Generally, the price should not exceed the value by more than 5% or potential buyers may not even make offers. Naturally, if you want to sell quickly your asking price should be very near the value. The following are a few things to keep in mind about pricing:

- Realistic pricing will achieve maximum price in a reasonable time.
- Your cost or profit desire is irrelevant; the market determines the price.
- The cost of improvements are almost always more than the added value.
-  Houses that remain on the market for a long time do not get shown.
-  A house that is priced right from the beginning achieves the highest proceeds.

The Importance of Intelligent Pricing

Determining the best asking price for a home can be one of the most challenging aspects of selling a home. It is also one of the most important. If your home is listed at a price that is above market value, you will miss out on prospective buyers who would otherwise be prime candidates to purchase your home. If you list at a price that is below market value, you will ultimately sell for a price that is not the optimum value for your home.  More buyers purchase their properties at market value than above market value. The percentage increases as the price falls even further below market value. Therefore, by pricing your property at
market value, you expose it to a much greater percentage of prospective buyers. This increases your chances for a sale while ensuring a final sale price that properly reflects the market value of your home.

Another critical factor to keep in mind when pricing your home is timing. A property attracts the most attention, excitement and interest from the real estate community and potential buyers when it is first listed on the market. Improper pricing at the initial listing misses out on this peak interest period and may result in your property languishing on the market. This may lead to a below market value sale price or, even worse, no sale at all. Therefore, your home has the
highest chances for a fruitful sale when it is new on the market and the price is reasonably established.

We can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are
key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

Preparing Your Home for Sale
Your home has just one chance to make a great impression with each potential buyer. And it can! The following "tricks of the trade" will help you keep track of what needs to be done. The whole idea is to present a clean, spacious clutter-free home--the kind of place you’d like to buy. Accomplish a little everyday, and before long your home will be ready to make the impression that can make the sale.

Your Home’s Curb Appeal

- Mow lawn
- Trim shrubs
- Edge gardens and walkways
- Weed and mulch
- Sweep walkways and driveway, remove branches, litter or toys
- Add color and fill in bare spots with plantings
- Remove mildew or moss from walls & walks with bleach and water 
- Take stains off your driveway with cleanser or kitty litter
- Stack woodpile neatly
- Clean and repair patio and deck area
- Remove any outdoor furniture which is not in good repair
- Make sure pool or spa sparkles
- Replace old storm doors
- Check for flat-fitting roof shingles
- Repair broken windows and shutters, replace torn screens, make sure frames and seams have solid caulking
- Hose off exterior wood and trim, replace damaged bricks or wood
- Touch up exterior paint, repair gutters and eaves
- Clean and remove rust from any window air conditioning units
- Paint the front door and mailbox
- Add a new front door mat and consider a seasonal door decoration
- Shine brass hardware on front door, outside lighting fixtures, etc.
- Make sure doorbell is in good working order

General Interior Tips

- Add a fresh coat of interior paint in light,neutral colors
- Shampoo carpeting, replace if necessary
- Clean and wax hardwood floors, refinish if necessary
- Clean and wash kitchen and bathroom floors
- Wash all windows, vacuum blinds, wash window sills
- Clean the fireplace
- Clean out and organize closets, add extra space by packing clothes and items you won’t need again until after you’ve moved
- Remove extra furniture, worn rugs, and items you don’t use; keep papers, toys, etc. picked up--especially on stairways
- Repair problems such as loose door knobs, cracked molding, leaking taps and
toilets, squeaky doors, closets or screen doors which are off their tracks
- Add dishes of potpourri, or drop of vanilla or bath oil on light bulbs for scent
- Secure jewelry, cash and other valuables

The Living Room

-  Make it cozy & inviting, discard chipped or worn furniture & frayed or worn rugs

The Dining Room

- Polish any visible silver and crystal
- Set the table for a formal dinner to help viewers imagine entertaining here

The Kitchen

-  Make sure appliances are spotless inside and out 
-  Make sure all appliances are in perfect working order
- Clean often forgotten spots on top of refrigerator and under sink
- Wax or sponge floor to brilliant shine, clean baseboards
- Unclutter all counter space, remove countertop appliances
- Organize items inside cabinets, pre-pack items you won’t use before you move
The Bathrooms
-  Remove all rust and mildew
- Make sure tile, fixtures, shower doors, etc. are immaculate and shining
- Make sure all fixtures are in good repair
- Replace loose caulking or grout
- Make sure lighting is bright, but soft

The Master Bedroom

-  Organize furnishings to create a spacious look with well-defined sitting, sleeping, and dressing areas

The Garage

-  Sell, give away, or throw out unnecessary items
-  Clean oily cement floor
-  Provide strong overhead light
-  Tidy storage or work areas

The Basement

- Sell, give away, or throw out unnecessary items
- Organize and create more floor space by hanging tools and shelving items
- Clean water heater and drain sediment
- Change furnace filter
- Make inspection access easy
- Clean and paint concrete floor and walls
- Provide strong overhead light

The Attic

-  Tidy up by discarding or pre-packing
-  Make sure energy-saving insulation is apparent
-  Make sure air vent is in working order
-  Provide strong overhead lighting

When It’s Time To Show

- Make sure your property profile folder, utility bills, MLS profile, house location
survey, etc. are available
- Open all draperies and shades, turn on all lights
- Pick up toys and clutter,  make sure beds are made & clothes are put away
- Give the carpets a quick vacuuming
- Add some strategically placed fresh flowers
- Open bathroom windows for fresh air
- Pop a spicy dessert or just a pan of cinnamon in the oven for aroma
- Turn off the television and turn on the radio music at a low volume
- Make a fire in the fireplace if appropriate
- Put pets in the backyard or arrange for a friend to keep them
- Make sure pet areas are clean and odor-free
- Make sure all trash is disposed of in neatly covered bins