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Tips for Sellers

Useful Tips to Sell Your Home Quickly and For Top Dollar

To make sure your home selling experience a profitable and successful one, here are some useful tips to follow:

  • Price your Home Correctly by consulting your Platinum International Real Estate Agent to begin with so you don't waste time and money attracting the wrong buyer. If you start out with the right price, you will sell your home quickly for top dollar.
  • Ask a Platinum International Real Estate Agent to prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for you of homes that have recently sold in the area similar to yours.
  • Have your home professionally appraised to find out the current market value.
  • Have a professional home inspection done so you can find out the condition of your home. This way you can decide if you want to make the repairs or give the buyer a price reduction or credit towards repairs.
  • Educate yourself about basic local real estate laws and ordinances as well as listen to what your real estate agent suggests for a fast sale.
  • Establish a relationship with your local Platinum International Real Estate Agent so that you can be comfortable with the services provided.
  • Consider offering seller financing if you home is paid in full to buyers that may not be able to get traditional financing. 
  • Get your home ready to sell by cleaning, painting, getting rid of clutter, making repairs, staging and presenting it in a manner so that it stand out from the rest of the competition.
  • Your Platinum International Real Estate Agent may conduct an open house for the public and coordinate your open house with other local area Real Estate Agents to bring more foot traffic into the neighborhood and ultimately your property.
  • Your Real Estate Agent will place signage on your property so that buyers know your home is available. Many homes are sold as a result of buyers driving the area looking for homes in the neighborhood they want to live in.
  • Your Agent will advise you to offer buyer incentives such as paying the buyer's closing costs, credits for repairs and prepaying homeowner dues, offer the buyer a new flat screen TV, airline tickets and other incentives. Offer a bonus to the buyer's agent. Agents are ultimately driven by commissions and Buyers are driven by the extras also.
  • Your Platinum International Real Estate Agent will qualify ALL buyers making sure they are pre-approved with a lender. For cash buyers, ask for proof of funds or financial statements. Your Agent will also ask questions to determine your buyer's motivation.  You want to make sure your buyer is serious and will close the transaction. 
  • Take Back Up Offers in case your first offer falls out, then you have another buyer lined up.
  • Consult with your Platinum International Real Estate Agent and your attorney and have them assist you with all your contract negotiations and filings.

Selling a home takes thought, time and knowledge of the local real estate market. Many Sellers fail to sell their Homes or Property because they don't know the market, price their homes too high and are unrealistic in their expectations. Choosing a Platinum International Real Estate Agent should give you the time, skills and experience you need to sell your home. You should be able to sell it quickly for top dollar with the guidance from your experienced and professional Agent.

How to Start Your Home Selling Process?

Selling a house is large undertaking.
Choosing to List and Sell your Real Estate and Property with Platinum International Real Estate is the first good decision. If you List your house or Property with a Platinum International Real Estate Agent, you will have to enter into a listing agreement and pay commissions. The good part is you won't have to do any of the work.  Your time is worth money too so if you are very busy, then it might be better to hire a professional. 
Here are some general tips to help make your home selling process less stressful and more successful:  
Decide on a Sales Price First
Choosing the right selling price is essential. Don't make a mistake and overprice your home. It won't sell, and you will end up taking it off the market.
In order to determine the correct price, there are three things to consider:

  • Market conditions
  • Comparable home sold prices
  • The condition of the home, including its features and amenities.

Market Conditions

If the market is a buyer's market, then you need to price your home at or slightly below market. If the market is a seller's market, then you can price slightly higher than market if your home has special features that you think make it worth more than comparable homes. It is a mistake in any market to overprice a home because it will not sell.  Educate yourself as much as possible on the market conditions and home sale prices in your neighborhood before you make a final decision.
Sold Prices of Comparable Homes
To find the sold prices of comparable homes, you can get them from your local Platinum International Real Estate Agent
Property Appraisal
Hire a professional property appraiser to appraise the current market value of your home.  This will ensure the price of your property is where it needs to be and certainly not overpriced.
Condition of Home and Features and Amenities
Have your agent assist you to make a list of your home's features and amenities. Then make adjustments accordingly up or down compared to similar properties that have sold in your neighborhood.  
If you under price the home, you may attract multiple buyers who will bid the home up to the price you want. However, this strategy can backfire on you if you become greedy. All the buyers could end up walking away in a multiple offer situation if you don't handle it correctly. Once you receive more than one offer, your professional Platinum International Real Estate Agent will consult with you to guide you along the way of selecting the highest and best offer.  

Preparing Your Home

The way your home shows reflects the condition of the home. If your home is well maintained and in good condition, more buyers will definitely be interested. However, if your home is considered a major fixer or handyman special, then you will need to price it accordingly and market it that way to attract the right buyer. There are many investors and buyers who are looking for homes to fix and either flip or rent. Remember, there is a buyer for every home.  
Here is a general checklist of items that you should pay attention to in order to prepare your home for sale:

  • Clean and remove clutter.
  • Paint the inside and outside
  • Replace old appliances with new ones
  • Replace old lighting fixtures 
  • Fix water and roof leaks and make other minor repairs
  • Replace worn carpets or flooring
  • Your lawn and garden should be manicured. Hire a gardener if necessary. Mend any broken fences. Trim bushes and shrubs. 
  • Wash windows.
  • Box up any valuable items such as art or collectibles and put them in storage or lock them up someplace safe. Put jewelry in a safe deposit box.

Price Matters

Price is the most important factor that all sellers must consider when selling their home.  Pricing a home incorrectly is the primary reason why homes don't sell.  Many times sellers, make the mistake of over pricing their homes. The home will sit on the market for a long time. It will attract the wrong buyer. Sellers become frustrated. They make the mistake of thinking that even if the house is priced too high, a buyer will fall in love with their house and make an offer.
In reality, most of the time, buyers don't make offers if they feel the price of the home is too high. There are buyers that do go around making very low offers on multiple properties. However, that is not the type of buyer that you want to attract to buy your home.
More often than not, sellers that have priced their homes too high end up taking them off the market.  So the moral of the story is if you are really determined and motivated to sell your home, then you should carefully consider the proper price so your home will sell quickly and for maximum dollar.    
Educated Buyers
Today's homebuyers are educated about the housing market and home prices. Most buyers start their home search on the Internet looking for homes that meet their criteria and price range.  The other information that buyers research before they even view properties are comparable sold prices in the neighborhoods where they are interested in buying a home.
Majority of buyers work with a knowledgeable and experienced Platinum International Real Estate Agent who specializes in the area they want to live. The Real Estate Agent will also provide information to the buyer about home sales and available properties, property history, tax information and mortgage loan rates, etc. 
By the time a serious buyer looks at your home, they have seen other homes in the neighborhood and are able to recognize whether your home is priced right or not. Buyers are looking for value and are also concerned about resale. If your home is not priced competitively, they may not consider making an offer because they have formed an opinion that you are not realistic, and they don't want to waste their time or anyone else's. Or you may receive a very low offer.
Factors That Influence A Buyer's Decision to Buy
Besides price, there are other factors that influence a buyer's decision to purchase a home such as:

  • Location
  • Condition of the home. Fixer or move in condition.
  • Home's features and amenities. Sometimes emotions play a factor.
  • Market conditions.  Buyers are not willing to pay a higher than market price for a home in a buyer's market, but may do so in an appreciating seller's market.

8 Reasons Why You Should Work With a Platinum International Real Estate Professional

Not all real estate practitioners are Real Estate Professionals.

1. Navigate a complicated process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multipage settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.

2. Information and opinions. Real Estate Professionals can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

3. Help finding the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your Real Estate Professional to find all available properties.

4. Negotiating skills. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a Real Estate Professional, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your Real Estate Professional will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

6. Someone who speaks the language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.

7. Experience. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you have done it before, laws and regulations change. True Real Estate Professionals, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.

8. Objective voice. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, buying and selling a home can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll every make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
How to Improve the Odds of an Offer

1. Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.

2. Prepare for visitors. Get your house market ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it.

3. Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer.

4. Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.

5. Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, you should be prepared to at least consider lowering your asking price.

Simple Tips for Better Home Showings

1. Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.

2. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home.

3. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It’s worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it.

4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri or scented candles will help.

5. Brighten your rooms. Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint.

6. Don’t disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.

7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. For added curb appeal, place a pot of bright flowers near the entryway.

8. Patch holes. Repair any holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

9. Add a touch of color in the living room. A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa.

10. Buy a flowering plant and put it near a window you pass by frequently.

11. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers.

12. Set the scene. Set the table with fancy dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture living there. For example, in the basement you might display a chess game in progress.

13. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Show off the view if you have one.

14. Accentuate the fireplace. Lay fresh logs in the fireplace or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.

15. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight.

16. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (ideally in the basement), and let the real estate practitioner know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.

17. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. While a real estate salesperson will be on site during the showing or open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.

18. Leave the home. It’s usually best if the sellers are not at home. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.

5 Feng Shui Concepts to Help a Home Sell

To put the best face on a listing and appeal to buyers who follow feng shui principles, keep these tips in mind.

1. Pay special attention to the front door, which is considered the “mouth of chi” (chi is the “life force” of all things) and one of the most powerful aspects of the entire property. Abundance, blessings, opportunities, and good fortune enter through the front door. It’s also the first impression buyers have of how well the sellers have taken care of the rest of the property. Make sure the area around the front door is swept clean, free of cobwebs and clutter. Make sure all lighting is straight and properly hung. Better yet, light the path leading up to the front door to create an inviting atmosphere.

2. Chi energy can be flushed away wherever there are drains in the home. To keep the good forces of a home in, always keep the toilet seats down and close the doors to bathrooms.

3. The master bed should be in a place of honor, power, and protection, which is farthest from and facing toward the entryway of the room. It’s even better if you can place the bed diagonally in the farthest corner. Paint the room in colors that promote serenity, relaxation, and romance, such as soft tones of green, blue, and lavender.

4. The dining room symbolizes the energy and power of family togetherness. Make sure the table is clear and uncluttered during showings. Use an attractive tablecloth to enhance the look of the table while also softening sharp corners.

5. The windows are considered to be the eyes of the home. Getting the windows professionally cleaned will make the home sparkle and ensure that the view will be optimally displayed.

Are Your Buyers Qualified?

Unless the buyer who makes an offer on your home has the resources to qualify for a mortgage, you may not really have a sale. If possible, try to determine a buyer’s financial status before signing the contract. Ask the following:

1. Has the buyer been prequalified or preapproved (even better) for a mortgage? Such buyers will be in a much better position to obtain a mortgage promptly.

2. Does the buyer have enough money to make a down payment and cover closing costs? Ideally, a buyer should have 20 percent of the home’s price as a down payment and between 2 and 7 percent of the price to cover closing costs.

3. Is the buyer’s income sufficient to afford your home? Ideally, buyers should spend no more than 28 percent of total income to cover PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).

4. Does your buyer have good credit? Ask if he or she has reviewed and corrected a credit report.

5. Does the buyer have too much debt? If a buyer owes a great deal on car payments, credit cards, etc., he or she may not qualify for a mortgage.

5 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market

  • Have a pre-sale home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.

    2. Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.

    3. Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn our or will need to be replaced soon, such your roof or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.

    4. Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house.

    5. Spruce up the curb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and impediments?

 6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

While you’d like to get the best price for your home, consider our six reasons to reduce your home price.
If you don't receive any offers for a few weeks, check out other comparable houses on the market and what they're selling for.
Home not selling? That could happen for a number of reasons you can’t control, like a unique home layout or having one of the few homes in the neighborhood without a garage. There is one factor you can control: your home price.

These six signs may be telling you it’s time to lower your price.
1. You’re drawing few lookers
You get the most interest in your home right after you put it on the market because buyers want to catch a great new home before anybody else takes it. If your real estate agent reports there have been fewer buyers calling about and asking to tour your home than there have been for other homes in your area, that may be a sign buyers think it’s overpriced and are waiting for the price to fall before viewing it.
2. You’re drawing lots of lookers but have no offers
If you’ve had 30 sets of potential buyers come through your home and not a single one has made an offer, something is off. What are other agents telling your agent about your home? An overly high price may be discouraging buyers from making an offer.
3. Your home’s been on the market longer than similar homes
Ask your Platinum International Real Estate Agent about the average number of days it takes to sell a home in your market. If the answer is 30 and you’re pushing 45, your price may be affecting buyer interest. When a home sits on the market, buyers can begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with it, which can delay a sale even further. At least consider lowering your asking price.
4. You have a deadline
If you’ve got to sell soon because of a job transfer or you’ve already purchased another home, it may be necessary to generate buyer interest by dropping your price so your home is a little lower priced than comparable homes in your area. Remember: It’s not how much money you need that determines the sale price of your home, it’s how much money a buyer is willing to spend.
5. You can’t make upgrades
Maybe you’re plum out of cash and don’t have the funds to put fresh paint on the walls, clean the carpets, and add curb appeal. But the feedback your agent is reporting from buyers is that your home isn’t as well-appointed as similarly priced homes. When your home has been on the market longer than comparable homes in better condition, it’s time to accept that buyers expect to pay less for a home that doesn’t show as well as others.
6. The competition has changed
If weeks go by with no offers, continue to check out the competition. What have comparable homes sold for and what’s still on the market? What new listings have been added since you listed your home for sale? If comparable home sales or new listings show your price is too steep, consider a price reduction.