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Seller Resources

Articles For Sellers

What Every Seller Needs To Know:

Real estate is unlike any other commodity in the world.  Each property is unique in some way, and the perceived value of each property will be different in the mind of each buyer or prospective buyer.  While there are likely many buyers in the market place right now looking for property similar to yours, there's no guarantee that any of these buyers will find your property and consider it along with the other available properties.  In many cases you may have to bring your home to the buyer.  Effective marketing will help ensure that your property receives maximum exposure to attract a ready, willing and able buyer.  The appearance of your property, a buyer's first impression, and other considerations can also affect the sale of your property.

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 For Sale By Owner or NOT

Many Sellers think they can save money by selling their home without a real estate agent.  While it is true that you don't have to pay a commission when you sell By Owner, in reality -- more often than not -- you will actually make less on the sale of your property in the end.  Following are just a few of the reasons why it is usually best to list with a real estate professional rather try it alone.
  • Most out of area buyers work through a real estate agent because they are not familiar with the area.
  • Listing with a real estate agent will give you more exposure on the Internet.  Your agent can submit your listing to:, Trulia, Zillow,, and many other websites including the IDX websites of real estate agents, franchises, and offices nation-wide.
  • You can only get your property on the multiple listing service (MLS) by listing with a real estate agent.
  • The more exposure you get, the more likely your home is to sell (and at a higher price).
  • Your real estate agent can prequalify and prescreen buyers so you don't waste time on non qualified buyers.
  • Agents are trained and experienced in helping buyers make buying decisions.
  • Your agent will usually be able to negotiate better with buyers than you can helping you get a better price and terms.
  • When people know you are selling FSBO, they know you're not paying a commission, so they will usually offer you less anyway.
  • Listing with a Realtor give you maximum exposure, excellent representation, it takes a burden of work, paperwork, stress, hassle off of you, and it puts a team and MLS network of real estate professionals to work for you to help bring the buyers that are ready willing and able to buy your property.

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 5 Mistakes To Avoid

There are several pitfalls and common mistakes that sellers sometimes make.  Here are the top five:
  • Not Listing With A Real Estate Agent - This is covered above, but it's still on the list because it is a common mistake that many sellers make.  An agent will help you reach maximum exposure of your property, they will provide you with many valuable services, save you a lot of stress and hassel, and they will work hard to find ready able and willing buyers that are interested in your home.
  • Pricing Your Property To High - It's important to refer to comparative market reports when pricing your property.  Examples of such reports include the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), and Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR). When your home is overpriced you help your competition. A technique sometimes used by real estate agents is to first show an overpriced home, then show a similar market priced home. This technique helps sell the market priced home since it is the better buy. An overpriced home is often avoided altogether. By showing overpriced homes, an agent can jeopardize their relationship with the buyer. The buyer may think it's a waste of time, or wonder if the agent has their best interests at heart. An overpriced home can remain on the market, become "shop-worn" and even harder to sell. The longer a home remains on the market, the harder it is to generate interest in it, and the eventual selling price can be less than market value. By listing your home at market value, you can generate the greatest number of interested buyers - which will lead to more offers and a better price in the end.
  • Not Taking The First Offer - Often times, sellers are worried if an offer comes in shortly after the home is listed, and start to wonder if maybe they have priced the home too low.  The best time to attract buyers is within the first 30 days after listing the home.  Assuming you have priced your home competitively, be prepared to accept any offer that is close to your asking price as long as the buyer is prequalified to buy your home.
  • Accepting An Offer Without Prequalifying The Buyer - Nothing is worse than accepting an offer and taking it off the market for 30-60 days only to find out that the buyer has changed his mind or is unable to get financing.  You should always make sure you receive a solid confirmation from a trusted lender that the buyer is at least pre-qualified if not qualified to buy your home.  You may want to ask the buyer to meet with a lender you trust to be pre-qualified before accepting an offer.  You can also accept an offer with a 72 hour clause which gives you the right to continue to show the property and to accept other offers subject to the buyers right to remove all conditions within 72 hours of notice if you find another buyer that wants your home.
  • Not Properly Preparing the Home To Show - Most buyers make buying decisions based on emotions and feelings.  If the home is messy, cluttered, has any wierd smells or odors, or has broken or unrepaired items, the buyer will not be as likely to choose your home as one they are interested in.  See the tips below for preparing your home for showing.
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 Preparing Your Home To Show

It's a challenge to keep your home in tip-top, showing condition at all times. Children, pets, and personal living habits tend to add some "clutter." Also, the Realtor's call informing you that he's coming by with a potential buyer often comes as a surprise. Here is a list of last-minute items to attend to between the Realtor's call and his arrival to show your home.
  • Box up and remove an extra clutter, toys, etc. from the home.  Put what you can in storage, and do all you can to make the home, the garage, and the storage areas as open, clean, and clutter free as possible.
  • Repair and replace anything that is broker, worn, or unsightly.  This includes painting the soffit and fascia, cleaning the porch and entry way, spraying and cleaning windows, etc.  Make sure the door knobs, faucets, and handles all work properly.  You may even consider new carpet and interior paint -- as it may be an investment that will bring give you a much greater return in the end.
  • Clean and put away dirty dishes.
  • Clear tables of newspapers and clutter.
  • Send children and pets outdoors to play, or have them visit a neighbor. You should also prepare to step out for a few minutes. It is better if you are not at home while it is being shown.
  • Turn off appliances, including the television and radio.
  • Day or evening, turn on all the lights. Your home will appear brighter. Shadows will be reduced. During daytime, open the drapes. At night, turn on the porch light.
  • Close the garage door.
  • Put away children's toys.
  • Open some windows unless there are noise considerations. (Weather permitting).
  •  Remove any ashtrays and evidence of tobacco.
  •  Eliminate any bad or stale odors. Use air freshener, especially if you smoke, have pets, or the house has been sealed for some time. Gingerbread cooling in the oven is a great touch! Other good fragrances are cinnamon and spices.
  • In Winter, light a fire in the fireplace. In Summer, have the wood stacked neatly beside the fireplace.
  • Be sure your plants have been watered and look healthy.
  • It is best to leave your home whenever possible. If you can't leave, greet your guests politely and retreat to another room. By staying out of the way, your Realtor can expertly guide prospective buyers, answer their questions, and more effectively sell your home.

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 All About Internet Syndication

We don't just sit back and wait for buyers to come to us. We aggressively put your property in the places people are looking!  We not only put your listing in the local MLS, but we also syndicate each listing to the KEY popular real estate mega sites that have proven results for driving traffic and interest to our listings and our website.  Following is a list of some of the sites where your property will be displayed: Additionally, your property will be emailed directly from the MLS and exposed through all IDX websites (like this one) from all of the other agents in our association that have IDX websites.

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 Negotiating With The Buyer

Experience has proven that it is almost always better to let your real estate agent do the negotiating, so I highly recommend that you greet any prospective buyers, get a card from their real estate agent and then go for walk while they preview the home.  If they do ask any questions, simply and politely tell them if they have any questions or are interested in the property to "please contact your listing agent".

Once you receive an offer; however, you may want to negotiate through your agent with the buyers.  Here's a few tips and suggestions to help you get the best price without losing the sale:
  • If it's a good offer and the buyer is qualified for financing - ACCEPT IT (even if it's the first offer).
  • Find out as much as you can about the buyers and why they like your property.  Have your agent ask a lot of questions of the buyer's agent (what did they like about the home and area and why?)
  • Be willing to concede in some areas important to the buyer in exchange for what you are asking.
  • Be aware of the market and make sure your counter offer is in line with the current market prices.
  • Be willing and able to show the buyer reports and statistics of how your proposal is a good deal.
  • Dont be offended by anything the buyer does or says.
  • Use positive approach- (Instead of saying, "That doesn't work", say, "I think we're close".)
  • Be patient.  Don't counter too quickly.  Take the offer and ask for a day or two to think it over.
  • Know the market, know your limits, and be willing to "walk away".
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 How To Get A FREE CMA

To receive a FREE competitive market analysis (CMA) and Price Opinion of your property, just CLICK HERE to email us your request.  We will contact you to schedule a time to preview your property and show you what your home is worth and what's happening in the real estate market.  We will show you several homes that sold in your area, homes that your are currently competing with, and homes that expired because they were over priced.  By comparting these 3 market segments, you will be able to see what price range you are in.  There's no obligation and we're happy to provide this serve to you FREE of charge.

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Thanks for taking the time read this information.  If you have any questions or would like any additional information (or a FREE consultation about your real estate needs), please call us at (260) 854-2800 or drop us an e-mail!

Lake,Town & Country Realty