AND YOUR REAL ESTATE BROKER
you've decided to let a reputable real estate broker help you sell
your home. Congratulations. You've made a very wise decision. People
who try to sell their homes without the aid of a real estate broker
usually sell themselves short. While the commission savings seems
like a good way to make a larger profit, it seldom works out that
way. Instead of saving, they wind up spending - time and money.
Real estate is a field where it pays
to use the services of professionals. Brokers can save you time
by selling faster and helping you get the most money for your property.
They also can help with details you probably wouldn't consider.
It's their profession. They do it every day.
best you can only guess what your house is worth.
If you guess too high, you'll discourage
many prospective buyers who will consider the property out of their
reach. When you begin reducing the price, buyers may wonder what's
On the other hand, if you guess too
low, you'll sacrifice money you should have had. And a "bargain"
price may even seem suspicious to cautious prospects.
Real estate brokers have up-to-the-minute
information about the market. They know what properties like yours
are selling for. They also can point out other features that add
value to your property, such as favorable location, convenient transportation
or popular architectural design. They can help you to quickly arrive
at your best asking price.
more to finding buyers than putting a "For Sale" sign
on your lawn. And a "For Sale by Owner" sign has serious
drawbacks. Prospects and curiosity seekers alike can ring your doorbell
at all hours without regard to your convenience. And they'll expect
you to answer difficult questions about financing, settlement, etc.
Real estate brokers screen prospects
in advance and show your home only to those who have the interest
and ability to buy. They won't waste your time with someone who's
not a serious prospect. Many brokers already have a list of buyers
who are looking for properties like yours. And real estate brokers
can continue with the selling job even if you're out of town for
If you decide to advertise, brokers
know where to place ads for best results, how often to run ads and
how to word them for maximum effectiveness.
buyer usually offers less than you're asking. At this stage of the
sale, your broker knows how to bargain easily and effectively, and
is experienced at making counter offers and discussing price, amount
of cash, date of delivery of the deed, amount of mortgage and other
important business matters.
Simply stated, real estate brokers
make sure the sale proceeds smoothly and quickly, at the best price.
How you can
help your broker
a real estate broker can provide invaluable services to you in selling
your home, it's up to you to cooperate with your broker's sales
effort by making sure your house looks its best.
First impressions are probably more
important in selling your house than almost any other factor except
the price. So when you put your house on the market, it will pay
to get it in tiptop shape.
at your property as if you were a prospective buyer. Pretend you're
seeing it for the first time and try to notice its highlights and
drawbacks. Then start sprucing it up in order to emphasize and add
to the good points.
That's often easier said than done,
however. It's easy to overlook something unless you spruce up systematically.
We have included the following checklist that can help virtually any
property look its best.
Proceed critically down the list.
Check off the items that apply to your house. If an item calls for
an expenditure, your broker can help you decide whether it's worth
the investment. For a printable version of this list, please click here.
____ Trim shrubs
____ Mow lawn
____ Weed flower beds
____ Edge lawn
____ Repair walk, driveway
____ Repair porch, steps
____ Clean porch light, lamppost
____ Shovel walk, driveway in winter
____ Clean siding
____ Paint trim, front of house
____ Paint sides, back of house
____ Repair roof, gutters, downspouts
____ Paint front door, mailbox
____ Repair/replace storm door
____ Clean/repair screens, storm windows
____ Clean/paint/repair garage - dispose of what you don't intend
____ Paint where necessary
____ Clean/fix windows
____ Replace burned out light bulbs and brighten lighting with more
____ Make sure doors, windows are operating freely - lubricate with
wax if necessary
____ Fix squeaking floors
____ Fix light switches
____ Repair/repaint cracked walls, ceilings
____ Fix faucet drips
____ Clear clogged drains
____ Clean fireplace, lay logs for fire
____ Straighten all closets
____ Use room deodorants to remove mustiness
____ Vacuum/shampoo rugs
____ Clean/polish heating elements - furnace, boiler, etc.
____ Neaten up, throw away what you're not going to move
____ Clean/paint cabinets
____ Use bright curtains
____ Clean ventilating hood, fan
____ Repair/clean/wax floor
____ Clear off counter tops to make kitchen look spacious and neat
____ Make sure drawers slide smoothly
____ Put appliances out of sight, stack items neatly in cabinets
____ Clean/polish appliances - inside and out
____ Put out fresh towels
____ Clean fixtures, tub, toilets
____ Replace toilet seat
____ Clean shower curtain
____ Make beds
____ Use most attractive bedspread, curtains
____ Plump up cushions
____ Stack newspapers, magazines
____ Clean television screen
____ Polish table, buffet, etc.
____ Clean glass in china cabinet
____ Make sure chair seats are in good shape
____ Remove hanging clothes
____ Put away powders, sprays, etc.
____ Clean/polish washer, dryer, tub
Then, let broker sell
you and your family are at home when the broker brings in a prospect,
relax and let the expert show and tell. Don't tag along. Answer
questions carefully when they're asked, but don't offer answers
to unasked questions.
If you've looked at your house like
a buyer and attended to the items on our list that apply to it,
your house will sell itself - with the expert help from your broker,
you're selling one home, chances are you're buying another. If so,
your real estate broker will probably recommend title insurance.
Title insurance protects your ownership against financial loss.
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