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Top mistakes that Texas homesellers make
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 • Posted January 15, 2008 10:00 PM

If you are considering selling your home, it’s critical that you know how to do it successfully in today’s market. New neighborhoods and communities are springing up all over the place, creating an extremely competitive housing market. Homeowners looking to sell their property need to know what it takes to beat out the competition. Getting a fair price in an appropriate amount of time is not magic, but it does require a basic understanding of effective marketing and knowledge of the most common mistakes sellers make.

Pricing it wrong

Setting the price of your home above market value could cause your home to sit on the market for too long, forcing you to eventually reduce the price. Overpriced properties can be discouraging to potential buyers, who may not even view the property if they think they can’t afford it. Now this doesn’t mean that you should undercut the value of your home. But it does mean that you should put some thought into pricing your home to sell.

When setting an asking price, it’s important to do your homework. I suggest conducting market research and asking your Realtor for a comparative market analysis (CMA). As a homeowner, try to stay on top of market conditions. Is real estate in your neighborhood relatively hot? Visit some open houses and see what others are doing. What terms and conditions are other sellers offering buyers?

A CMA provides you with information on comparable homes in your neighborhood that sold, are still on the market, or failed to sell. Many Realtors prepare a CMA at no cost, so what do you have to lose? Understanding the state of the current housing market and knowing what is happening in your neck of the woods will help you set an appropriate asking price.

Forgoing the curb appeal

While it may be an old cliché, it holds true: You only get one chance to make a first impression, so don’t blow it! Curb appeal is an essential component to selling your home in a timely fashion and for the desired price. As a matter of fact, it’s so important that Home & Garden Television (HGTV) dedicates a weekly program to teaching sellers how to achieve optimal exterior charm. Many buyers won’t even view the interior of a home if the exterior is unkempt and unattractive.

There are a variety of things you do to increase your home’s curb appeal. Below are some inexpensive solutions:

• Mow the yard and trim the hedges.

• Pressure wash your home’s siding and walkways or apply a fresh coat of paint. You may even be able to get by with just painting the front door.

• Clean windows and gutters.

• Put out a welcome mat and potted plants on the porch.

• Buy some window boxes. They are inexpensive and add a nice touch.

Failing to remove the clutter

So, you’ve hooked potential buyers with a bit of outdoor sprucing? Now it’s time to keep their interest piqued with an inviting interior. A cluttered house leaves no room for buyers to imagine what their belongings will look like inside. While your home is on the market, keep it neat and tidy. Here are some simple tips for maximizing your home’s interior appeal:

• Clean everything – from the stove to the garage.

• Neutralize any off-the-wall colors – this includes removing busy wallpaper. Remember that your goal is to appeal to the masses.

• Update light fixtures and doorknobs.

• Eliminate any unpleasant odors. If you smoke or have pets, do your best to eradicate the smells. Living with unpleasant odors can also make you a bit immune, so ask a friend or neighbor to take a whiff, and don’t be angry if they can “scent” something.

Hanging around

If you have buyers coming to view your home, get out. Don’t stick around. Your presence may make them uncomfortable and unable to relax enough to truly take note of the property’s potential. With the owners at home, some buyers may be wary about checking in closets or opening pantries. Take this as an opportunity to do something fun – go to a coffee shop, catch a movie, or take the family to the park. Give buyers ample time to decide if your house is right for them.

It’s simple to list your home, but selling it requires a bit more work. Before putting your house on the market, call an expert. Your Texas Realtor will help you maximize profits by designing a marketing strategy that works. For more tips on selling your home, I invite you to visit TexasRealestate.com.

For more information, visit TexasRealEstate.com. For professional services, contact RE/MAX Genesis at 830-833-2000 or lightfoot@moment.net.

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