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How to Sell a Home Yourself

Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012

If you've lived in a home for some length of time, you have grown accustom to the various features of the home both good and not-so-good. You know the upstairs bathroom door squeaks and that a pipe in the basement moans at odd times. You know the nooks and crannies that give character to the house.

When it comes time to sell your home, a huge benefit of taking on the process yourself is that no one can know the ins-and-outs of the home like you do. Your enthusiasm and knowledge of the home goes a long way in convincing a potential buyer that this house may be just the right "fit."

However, selling a home takes more than enthusiasm. It also takes knowledge, time and effort. Ask yourself if you have the time needed to sell the home. If you do, then you need to do some background work. This includes checking out the going prices of comparable homes in your area, on your street and next door. Find out about the housing market in your area and the typical length of time it takes for a home, comparable to yours, to sell.

You think, "How can a realtor who doesn't know my home, sell my house?" The realtor is knowledgeable. You need to be, too. The more knowledge you bring to the table, the better deal you can make for both you and the buyer. A house priced too high will not sell, but if the house is priced too low, you leave yourself no room for negotiation.

When considering how to "sell my house," think in terms of how others see your home. That stain down the wall in the living room may remind you of a time when you and your wife celebrated your 30th anniversary and punch got spilled. The crack in the porch railing may be a reminder of when your black lab protected your oldest child from a potentially dangerous fall. To a potential buyer these are imperfections that will take time and money to repair.

Buyers want a house that will take the least amount of money possible to fix up for the amount they lay down. You can encourage the buyer by putting the house in order. Paint walls, repair floors, railing and that pipe that moans in the basement. Make sure the front steps and railings are solid. Go to the street and look at the house from the viewpoint of a buyer. Make that first appearance as inviting and welcoming as possible.