"Within a week of listing our home at your site our buyer found our property, came out and put a contract on our home."

FSBO Newsletter Volume Three

Buying and Selling Real Estate, Part 3 - Getting Your Property Ready to Sell
Every home seller would like to sell their property easily and quickly, while getting top dollar. While there are many factors that you can't control, such as location, the neighborhood or the economy, one thing you can do a lot about is the condition of your home. Selling a fixer upper is rarely a good choice; the house in tip-top condition gets more interested buyers as well as the best offers. What should you consider? Here are a few pointers:
  • Fix up Now!
    Now is the time to take care of those things around the house that you have been meaning to do, when they will make your sale easier and perhaps put extra dollars in your pocket.
    Inside your home, don't forget the details. That light switch that hasn't worked for years, the hard to change light bulb in the ceiling fixture, that noisy toilet that has to have the handle jiggled all need to be fixed. When the buyers see some things with problems, it causes them to wonder what else may be wrong.
    It can't be said too often that a fresh coat of paint is one of the best investments you can make. Your home should be clean, spotless and fresh looking and this is a great place to start. You often notice after painting how much nicer it looks, but the former dinginess was not apparent before you painted.
    Selling your home is not the time to save money on your heating or cooling bill. Be sure that the interior of your home is kept at a comfortable temperature. A house that is too hot or too cold may cause your prospective buyers to wonder how much it will cost them to heat or cool the home.
    Pay attention to the outside of the house as well as the inside. A neat and tidy yard, simple and attractive landscaping, a fresh coat of paint on the house, missing or broken screens or storm windows repaired or replaced are all inexpensive items that need to be taken care of. Even vacant land looks more appealing when neatly cleaned up, with overgrowth and brush removed.
  • What is their First Impression?
    Professional Real Estate agents use and understand the factor they call "curb appeal". Simply stated, it's the feeling the buyer gets when they first pull up to the curb (or driveway) in front of the house. Do they feel impressed, charmed, discouraged? A cute paint job or a new set of shutters can do wonders for the front of your house. A nice set of plants along the walk or set in large pots on either side of the front door is a very inexpensive dress up.
    Stand out at the road or in the driveway in front of your house. Pretend that you have never seen it before, and see what you see. Does it look cute, clean, attractive, inviting? Look at the neighbors houses or at those in neighborhoods like yours. Your goal here is not to change big things, but those small things you can do to improve your home's looks.
    A fresh coat of paint is almost always a real improvement that will be paid back by a better price for the house. Be sure that your home looks neat, clean and attractive before they ever ring the door bell! Studies show that 50 percent of purchase decisions are actually made before the buyer ever sets foot inside the door, within the first 60 seconds. Make those precious seconds count for you!
  • Plenty of Space?
    Do you remember how roomy that house seemed when you first moved in? Over the years, we all seem to accumulate more and more furniture, knick-knacks, pictures and possessions that can make that once roomy place seem small and cramped. You'll have to clean up anyway when you move. Do it now, giving away extra furniture and clothes, clearing out the junk and removing or storing any unneeded items.
    When your buyers visit, you want them to feel their family and belongings will fit in the new home. Many a home sale has been lost due to fears of not being big enough. Newly built homes may have a large and open room plan that you are competing against. Make sure that you show off your space to it's best advantage.
  • A Project or a Delight?
    Buyers are looking for something that attracts them, not something that looks like work. All routine maintenance should be taken care of before you put the house on the market, including painting, gutter repairs, any broken windows or hinges, door problems, tiles, faucets or plumbing problems or any other neglected items. If you aren't the do-it-yourself type, then get a handyman or a contractor to do it for you.
    The buyer will not only not be excited at the prospect of doing the work, they will also deduct the cost of the work required from what they are willing to pay for the house. Doing it first is both cheaper and more enticing.
  • Do You Need Professional Help? The Pre-Sale Inspection
    A professional Pre-Sale Inspection will usually be required by the bank or mortgage company before the sale can close. Smart sellers like to have their own inspection done in advance. This allows them to find and clear up any problems before they can become an issue as well as to protect them from any possible accusation should a defect arise later that they were not aware of.
    In most states, the laws require you to notify the buyer of any known defects, a clean inspection shows your good faith efforts to determine the condition of the home. It can also act as a positive sales tool to show a buyer that may be nervous about the home's condition. Professional home inspectors are available in every community, with the price ranging from $250 to $450 dollars. The cost could be money well spent, to save unexpected delays before closing or problems down the road.
    Now that your property is ready to show them, next month we'll discuss how to advertise to attract buyers.

    AllTheListings.com Continues to Grow!
    January set a new record with over 4700 active listings here at AllTheListings.com. That brings us to well over a billion dollars worth of property listed, all with no advertising fees or real estate commissions! Tell your friends about the best site on the net where your For Sale By Owner home, business or commercial property can be exposed to the world at no charge, complete with all details and up to six full color photos.
    Through our new partnerships with some of the leading sites on the net, thousands of potential buyers visit our site daily. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to list your home with us and helping us grow. We receive testamonials regularly from people who have sold their home through us. If yours hasn't sold yet, hang in there, make sure you have an appealing price, description and photos. You might consider using our URL in your local ads, www.allthelistings.com/home/details/1234 makes an effective 24 hour salesperson for your home.
    Or, if you want more exposure, consider spending a few dollars on a featured property listing, for thousands of views daily and hundreds of people typically clicking on your property to learn more.

    Finding the Right Home is Now Easier Than Ever!
    Finding a home for sale from a Real Estate agent is easy, and there are a number of good web resources available to assist you. Finding the home that suits you in the fragmented For Sale By Owner market is a little more difficult. While we offer a selection of almost five thousand homes here at AllTheListings.com, a number of other sites on the web may be needed to complete a thorough search. US House Finders offers a new service to ease this search at http://www.ushousefinders.com. This free service allows you to enter the parameters of your search just once, and then easily search all of the leading FSBO sites on the Net from a single site. Fast, easy to use and completely free, bookmark it for future use!

    Why are you receiving this Newsletter?
    At AllTheListings.com, we send our newsletter out to those who sign up on our site. It provides a convenient method for you to receive from us tips and help, special offers and articles like our buying and selling FSBO series.
    If you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, please just reply to the emailed version with the word REMOVE in the subject line and we will be glad to remove your name from our list. We do not support SPAM or any intrusive practices. Thanks!

    Part 4 - Advertising to attract buyers
    Back to the archives

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