Selling Tips

Hire a REALTOR®

Studies show that home sellers who use a REALTOR® to represent them generally get a better price than those who sell the home themselves. REALTORS® are up-to-date on critical processes and can help keep you out of trouble. They can also help you get your home sold at the best price in the right timeframe.

Equally as important, REALTORS® add objectivity to an inherently emotional transaction: the sale of your home.

To locate a Seasons Realty Sales Associate, visit the Find an Agent

Before Your Home Is Listed

It's important to have your home in good showing condition before buyers start going through it. Here are some steps to take:

• Touch up interior and exterior paint as needed.
• Install new carpeting and flooring if it appears worn or dated.
• Make sure the front is clean and spruced up – curb appeal will create a favorable first impression.
• Trim bushes and plants as needed, and make sure the lawn is kept mowed and trimmed. In autumn, rake the leaves; in winter, keep the snow shoveled.
• Keep the interior clean, and odor-free. Eliminate evidence of pets.
• Minimize personal items such as family photos. You want buyers to see them living in the home.
• Consider putting excess furniture and belongings in storage. Now's the time to clean out the garage and basement and sell, give away or throw away items you don't need any more.
• Consider having a pre-listing inspection performed. Buyers will be hiring professional inspectors; here's your chance to address problems in advance.
• Consider engaging a professional stager to give your home the right emotional appeal.

During the Listing Period

• When potential buyers visit your home, either be absent or make yourselves as inconspicuous as possible.
• Have fresh flowers in the entryway. It makes for a friendly introduction into your home.
• If offers are made that don't match your hoped-for price, don't reject them out of hand. Pay attention to your agent's advice.
• Consider DROPping the price if several months go by with few or no offers. But if you and your agent have priced your home properly from the start, this shouldn't be necessary.
• Don't get discouraged. In buyer's markets, homes take longer to sell than during boom times. Your home will eventually sell; it's a matter of your Seasons Realty agent finding the right buyer for you.

Help Your Agent

You have the best chance of selling your home if you work closely with your Seasons Realty agent. Make sure all showings are coordinated through him or her. If you have a brochure box, be sure to keep it filled.

If prospective buyers want to discuss your property or negotiate price or other terms, defer to your Seasons Realty agent. He or she is the expert and can best handle all these details without emotion.

If your loan is more than current value look for Short Sales option

This is the fastest-growing foreclosure alternative. Many banks will allow a short sale, in which the home sells for less than the amount of the loan. This is attractive for lenders because they lose less money than in a foreclosure. Also, short sales generally take less time than foreclosures, so the banks don't have to carry the properties on their books as liabilities.

And it's attractive for homeowners because the impact on their credit is far less than in a foreclosure. It stays on their credit reports for only two years, as opposed to seven years for a foreclosure, and often isn't a barrier to purchasing another home.

Short sales are paperwork-intensive, and there are many, many details involved. If you're considering this option, it's critical to work with a trained real estate agent who knows all the steps required to successfully complete a short sale.

Find a Seasons Realty agent in your area.

Keep in mind that no matter which option you choose, there may be tax and other financial consequences. You should consult with a tax advisor or legal expert.

Foreclosure (Cash for Keys)

One of the biggest problems in foreclosures is that homeowners sometimes physically damage the property, or even sell some of the fixtures, before leaving. Needless to say, this is not a good idea. It may expose the homeowners to financial and legal liability. It also makes the properties much more difficult to sell.

To prevent this, some lenders offer a program called "Cash for Keys." The homeowners receive a check for vacating the property within a certain time period and leaving it in good condition. If you have no alternative other than foreclosure, you should ask the bank about this option.