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