May 6th, 2009 9:08 AM by Lehel Szucs
1. Be committed to selling. In a buyer's market with inflated inventories, short sales, and repos, there is no place for sellers who want to 'test the waters'. Don't even think "If I get my price". You won't. Money is only a secondary motivator to the serious seller.2. Make sure the price is right. Try triangulation. Ask a few agents for their opinion. Glance at www.zillow.com Consider a formal appraisal. Focus on both current competition and current comps. Sellers should realize they seldom see their property objectively or know the other properties the buyers have seen.3. Staging is a necessity. Clutter eats equity. Hire a professional stager or listen very carefully to your agent's suggestions. View a staging DVD. Buyers 'horriblize' defects. A faded front door suggests deferred maintenance. A stucco crack may infer expansive soil.4. Consider a keysafe. The new lock boxes are electronic and enable the listing agent to see who is showing the property. Homes with easy access get more showings.5. Install a for sale sign. If you don't want the neighbors to know you are selling, reread #1 above. The people in your area will know with or without the sign your property is for sale. They might even have a friend or relative who wants to be their new neighbor.6. Absorb all feedback. If one buyer says something, others are thinking the same thing. If several similar comments are made, do something about the problem. Put your ego in storage with the excess furniture.7. Flexibility is fundamental. No showings usually means the price istoo high. No offers usually means the price is too high. Be proactive especially if the market is flat or declining. Regularly reduce the price until an acceptable offer is received.8. Accentuate the positives. Selling, buying, and moving are stressful events. Tell your agent you appreciate their efforts. Ask them how you can help get the house sold. Ask them what they would do if you were their relative, or it was their home. Ask this question frequently.9. Time is of the essence. This means sooner is better than later. Do not underestimate the first buyer. They may be the best buyer. They may be the only buyer for a long time. A lower asking price may net a seller more money in the long run.10. Patience is a virtue. Ask your agent what the average days on the market is in your area. The only way to get somewhere faster is to step on the gas if you are in a car. Or, reduce the price if selling a house.