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GETTING YOUR HOME SOLD IN A TOUGH REAL ESTATE MARKET
Although the Real Estate market is improving in 2012, it is still a buyers' market. However, there are steps a seller can take that will assure them of getting their home sold quickly and getting a fair price.
According to the MLS of Catawba Valley, homes in Hickory, NC are selling for 90% of list price with an average marketing time of 183 days. Keep in mind, this 90% does not include any closing costs the seller may pay for the buyer or the seller's own closing cost, but on a positive note, if the average is 90%, then that means there are homes selling for 93 -- 95% of list price.
Here are some steps a seller can take:
1. GET YOUR HOME READY TO SELL
In preparing your home for the market, spend as little money as possible. Concentrate on making minor and inexpensive touchups to your home, rather than extensive and costly renovations. While prospective buyers may be impressed by a brand new roof or a modern kitchen, they aren't likely to give you enough extra money to pay for the renovations. Putting new knobs on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room are more practical and less expensive updates.
2. MAXIMIZE THE EXTERIOR AND CURB APPEAL OF YOUR HOME
Sellers should take the time to maximize the exterior and curb appeal of their home before putting it on the market. This can be done by:
• Keeping the lawn edged, cut, and watered regularly
• Trimming the hedges, weeding lawns and flowerbeds, and pruning trees regularly
• Adding some fresh mulch, rock, or stone to the landscaping
• Checking the foundation, steps, walkways, walls, and patios for cracks and crumbling
• Inspecting doors and windows for peeling paint
• Cleaning and aligning gutters
• Inspecting and cleaning the chimney
• Repairing and replacing loose or damaged roof shingles
• Repairing and repainting loose siding and caulking
• Re-sealing an asphalt driveway
• Keeping your garage door closed
• Storing RVs or old and beaten-up cars elsewhere while the house is on the market
• Applying a fresh coat of paint to the front door
3. MAXIMIZE THE INTERIOR APPEAL OF YOUR HOME
• A seller should take the time to give each room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all the clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. You may give some thought to renting a storage unit and storing some of your furniture or collectables.
• Remove the less frequently used items from kitchen counters, closets, basement, and attics: this makes these areas much more inviting. Since you're already anticipating a move, you may want to consider holding a garage sale at this point.
• Repaint dingy or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint
• Check basement and attic for cracks, leaks, and signs of dampness.
• Repair cracks, holes, and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
• Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.
• Inspect and repair the plumbing, heating, cooling, and alarm systems.
• Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.
• Spruce up a kitchen in need of major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.
And finally, when you are ready to put the home on the market, price it to sell. Too many times a seller wants to put their home on the market at a higher price with the intentions of coming down on the price later. Please understand, when a home is on the market for a long period of time, buyers think the home has a problem and that creates low incoming offers.
Therefore, by getting the home ready to sale before marketing and initially pricing the home to sell, you can improve the odds of getting your home sold quickly and at a fair price.