Everyday Cheapskate: How to Sell Your House for the Highest Price Possible
So you're getting ready to sell your house. Just thinking about it can be an overwhelming experience.
Should you hire a real estate agent? Should you do a FSBO (for sale by owner) to keep from paying that big commission? Should you spend a lot of money to paint and re-carpet -- at least the front rooms?
Where do you start, and what can you do to make sure you attract a qualified buyer as quickly as possible?
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
A licensed real estate agent who is successfully moving properties in your neighborhood and comes with references will likely get you a better price for your home than you could get on your own. Most nonprofessionals (owner sellers) end up losing more in the transaction than the commission they would have paid a professional. You want the best and most experienced representative possible to sell your house -- not your friends' nephew who's launching a new career.
NO RADICAL CHANGES
Should you remodel the kitchen? Replace counters and fixtures in the bathrooms? Probably not, unless they are not working. Frequently, such updates and changes done to achieve a higher sales price don't pay off.
CREDIT AT CLOSING
Rather than discounting your sale price to compensate for worn carpeting, old appliances or outdated bathrooms, offer the buyer a credit at closing to pay for these items. For example, let's say your electric blue carpeting is old and tattered. Rather than replacing it or reducing the sales price by $4,000, offer the buyer a $4,000 credit upon a successful close.
Now the buyer is motivated to make the deal because he will have the money to re-carpet the house with his choice of color and style.