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3 Tips If You're Planning to Put Your Home on the Market

Ready to sell your home? Congrats, you've picked an incredible time to do it. You've likely heard it's a seller's market. Homes are going well over listing price in multiple offer situations. Still, sellers need a strategy to get top dollar for their home. Here are three things to consider before listing your home for sale:

1) Do the work! Yes, there's homework invovled! Even in this strong seller's market, it's crucial you show your home at its best. This means painting walls that have scuff marks, replacing worn or dirty carpet, updating light fixtures, and of course, a thorough cleaning. You want buyers to walk into your home and be wowed! Giving them a sense that the home is move-in ready and doesn't need much work will bring you high-dollar offers -- likely many of them.

A side note: Hire the pros to do the work. Many sellers initially want to take on the work themselves to save some money. I get it, but at the end of the day, professionals do a better job. Plus, many sellers underestimate the time and energy it takes to do the work. Add this to the stress of packing and moving, and they later regret taking on a task like painting the interior, which at first sounded easy.

Just hire a professional -- you'll get the money back when you sell your home for top dollar! When it comes to cleaning, I always recommend hiring a professional team to do a thorough move-out clean. When we clean our own house, we tend to miss things, like baseboards or grime in tubs and showers. But buyers notice it all, so hire a professional to clean the home prior to putting it on the market.

2) The price must be right! These days, homes should be priced at or slightly below market value. A Realtor can help you determine market value based on other recent home sales in the area. If you price too high, you risk discouraging potential buyers from even looking at the home. Why? In the current market, buyers see the list price as the minimum a seller would consider accepting, and they know there likely will be a bidding war ending in the home selling way over list price. If your home is priced high to begin with, a buyer may decide not to look at it at all, because the days of negotiating a home down in price are gone...unless it was priced too high to begin with and has gotten "stale." You don't want that for your home!

3) Stage the home. Decorating a home to sell is very different than decorating a home to live in! And it's not just luxury homes that benefit from staging. I recommend that all homes be staged, though a smaller, less expensive property can benefit greatly from light staging and doesn't necessarily need professional staging. Often, a Realtor can assist with setting up a dining area, creating beautiful bookshelves, or putting together a bedroom. Staging gives buyers an understanding of the purpose of each room and helps them visualize what it'd be like to live there.

If you're selling a single-family home, especially one that is higher priced, I recommend hiring a professional stager. While it can be costly, often several thousand dollars, staging usually results in a 5-10% higher sale price, so don't worry, you'll get your investment back and then some! Professional stagers know how to decorate a home to create an emotional response in a buyer. And that emotion makes them want to buy your home.

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