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Find a Home in Greater Baton Rouge

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Marketing Media Your Agent Will Likely Consider

Advertising Yard signs and key boxes. Post signs within 24 hours of acquiring the listing, especially if the property is located on a street with good traffic. TIP: Use no more than five large words on a sign. You have only four to seven seconds to get your message across as drivers drive by.

5 Things to Do Before You Sell

Get estimates from a reliable repairperson on items that need to be replaced soon, a roof or worn carpeting, for example. In this way, buyers will have a better sense of how much these needed repairs will affect their costs.

Have a termite inspection to prove to buyers that the property is not infested.

Get a pre-sale home inspection so you'll be able to make repairs before buyers become concerned and cancel a contract.

Gather together warranties and guarantees on the furnace, appliances, and other items that will remain with the house.

Understanding Agency

It's important to understand what legal responsibilities your real estate salesperson has to you and to other parties in the transactions. Ask your salesperson to explain what type of agency relationship you have with him or her and with the brokerage company.

Seller's representative (also known as a listing agent or seller's agent). A seller's agent is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a listing contract.

20 Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home

  1. Trim bushes so they don't block windows and cut down on light.
  2. Buy a new doormat.
  3. Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.
  4. Put new doorknobs on your front door.
  5. Put a fresh coating on your driveway.
  6. Edge the grass around walks and trees.
  7. Keep your garden tools out of site.
  8. Be sure kids put away their toys.
  9. Buy a new mailbox.
  10. Upgrade your outside lighting.
  11. Use warm, incandescent light bulbs for a homey feel.
  12. Polish or replace your house numbers.

Tips for Pricing Your Home

Consider comparables. What have other homes in your neighborhood sold for recently? How do they compare to yours in terms of size, upkeep, and amenities?

Consider competition. How many other houses are for sale in your area? Are you competing against new homes?

Consider your contingencies. Do you have special concerns that would affect the price you'll receive? For example, do you want to be able to move in four months?

Get an appraisal. For a few hundred dollars, a qualified appraiser can give you an estimate of your home's value. Be sure to ask for a market-value appraisal.

Does Moving Up Make Sense?

The answers to these questions will help you decide:

How much equity do you have in your home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don't build up much equity in the first few years of paying a mortgage, but if you've owned your home for a number of years, you may have significant unrealized gains.

Has your income increased enough to cover the extra mortgage costs and the costs of moving?

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Sale

  1. Price it right. Set a realistic price.
  2. Begin to get your house market ready for at least two weeks before you begin showing it. Try to see it thru a buyers eye.
  3. Be flexible about showings. It's often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you'll find a seller.
  4. Be ready for the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you'll find acceptable.
  5. Don't refuse to drop the price.

Is Your Buyer 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:

7 Terms to Watch for in a Purchase Contract

The closing date. See if the date the buyer wants to take title is reasonable for you.

Date of possession. See if the date the buyer wants to move in is reasonable for you.

The earnest money. Look for the largest earnest money deposit possible; since it is forfeited if the buyer backs out, a large deposit is usually a good indication of a sincere buyer.

Fixtures and personal property. Check the list of items that the buyer expects to remain with the property and be sure it's acceptable.