If the time has come for you to start thinking about selling your home, do so in an informed manner. Here are some things to know or consider:
- Tell the truth. Fail to do so and you run the risk of lawsuits and massive headaches down the road. The buyers need honest information about the property they're buying.
- Boost your curb appeal. If your home isn't appealing from the outside, fewer potential buyers will bother to look inside. Once inside, they should see clean and clutter-free spaces. These will help them imagine themselves living in the home.
- Think twice before selling the home on your own (a la "For Sale by Owner," or "FSBO"). True, you may save a chunk of change by bypassing the agent's fee -- but that agent, because of more expertise and experience, might net you a higher sale price.
- If you want a broker, get a good one. Ask around, and look for those who sell a lot in your neighborhood. Make sure you're comfortable with the person -- and don't be afraid to negotiate the fee. The 6% standard fee isn't so standard anymore. Get assessments of your home's value from more than one source.
- Consider getting your own inspector. As Dennis Hevesi noted in The New York Times, "Most sellers leave it to the buyer to hire an inspector to find defects.... [Some experts suggest] that the seller hire an inspector and then eliminate defects before going on the market. 'The more items you correct, the fewer the buyer's inspector will find,' Mr. [Colin] Albert [president of Aces Home Inspection Services] said. 'You may have an old boiler. So when a buyer's inspector comes and questions the boiler's life expectancy, you can show a document that you had it checked and it doesn't have to be replaced right now.' Once the seller has the house inspected, the price can take into account the cost of repairs."
Get more tips and guidance on buying, selling, and maintaining a home in our Home Center, which also features special mortgage rates. Also, visit our Buying or Selling a Home and Building/Maintaining a Home discussion boards, to get some great insights and tips from fellow Fools.
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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.