Two of the most important ingredients in a successful house-marketing campaign are competitive pricing and making a great first impression on prospective buyers. Although your real estate agent can assist in achieving both of those goals, keeping your home in "show ready" condition will be up to you and your family.

When your home is actively being shown, the process is not unlike a job interview. The main similarity is that you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. Potential buyers have a mindset that's similar to that of a hiring manager: They are intensely focused on making the right decision. Since the last thing they want to do is make the wrong choice (or a less-than-optimal choice) it's up to you -- the home seller-- to present your home in its best possible light.

Other than keeping your home squeaky clean and your lawn looking as manicured as possible, it's also to your benefit to reduce clutter. A house that's filled with clutter will definitely send the wrong message to prospective buyers searching for their next home. Clutter takes many forms, so it often requires a concerted effort to identify and remedy it. Here are a few key areas to focus on:

Furniture clutter: Having too much furniture in a room or entryway can give visitors the impression that your home is cramped, too small, or disorganized. If you've had a tendency to add furniture to your home, over time -- without putting some pieces in storage -- then you may have inadvertently created a cluttered "look and feel" to your living space

Surface clutter: Have you ever noticed how things that belong in drawers, cabinets, and recycling bins often end up on tables, counter tops, and bookshelves? If that's taking place in your home, rest assured you're not alone! However, if you're preparing to put your home on the market, you'll make a much better impression on potential buyers if you remove as much surface clutter as possible.

Storage-area clutter: Although there's a lot of truth to the saying "Out of sight, out of mind," that usually doesn't apply to preparing your home for the real estate market! Serious house hunters are pretty thorough, and are generally going to glance in closets, basements, attics, and garages. So if you simply move your clutter to another part of the house, it will still be noticed! Granted, your clutter will be less prominent in storage areas, but it will still have a detracting effect on the overall impression your home makes. The solution involves a combination of strategies, including selling or donating unwanted belongings. In some cases, you might even consider renting a dumpster or calling a reasonably priced junk-hauling service to get rid of things you don't want and can't donate, sell, or give away.

It's not always easy to be objective when staging your home or evaluating its marketability, so an experienced real estate agent can provide you with invaluable guidance, advice, negotiating help, and marketing assistance


How a home seller engages buyers is key. If a seller allocates the necessary time and resources to connect with buyers, he or she can boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you engage buyers and speed up the house selling journey.

1. Create an Effective Home Listing

An effective home listing can make a world of difference for any seller, at any time. Because if you can provide buyers with plenty of details about your home in your listing, you could make it easy for buyers to understand your house's full potential.

Typically, it is a good idea to write a clear, concise and simple-to-understand home listing. You should include accurate information about your home in your listing, and you should avoid stretching the truth.

You also may want to incorporate high-resolution images of your home into your listing. That way, homebuyers will know what to expect when they view your house in-person.

2. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal

If your house boasts amazing curb appeal, buyers may be instantly attracted to your residence. And as a result, you may receive many buyer requests to view your house as soon as your residence becomes available.

To improve your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks. In addition, you should fix any cracked or chipped home siding.

You may want to hire lawn care and home improvement professionals, too. With these professionals at your side, you can quickly bolster your house's curb appeal.

3. Remover Clutter

If your home is filled with antiques, paintings and various knick-knacks, you may want to remove these items for the time being. In fact, if you have a clutter-free residence, buyers may fall in love with your house as soon as they walk through the front door.

Oftentimes, it helps to rent a storage unit before you list your home. If you have a storage unit, you can keep assorted personal belongings safe while you try to sell your house.

For those who want to eliminate excess items, you can list these items online or host a yard sale. You may want to consider donating any unwanted items to a charity or giving them to family members or friends as well.

Lastly, as you get set to add your house to the real estate market, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional knows what it takes to engage buyers. Thus, if you are searching for help as you craft a home listing, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. On the other hand, if you have any concerns or questions as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent can instantly respond to them.

Engage buyers throughout the home selling journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.


As a home seller, receiving the first offer on your residence can be an exciting experience. However, the initial offer on your home may prove to be insufficient for a number of reasons, including:

1. The offer fails to meet your expectations.

Ideally, a home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to fully analyze a house before adding it to the real estate market. This will enable a home seller to establish realistic expectations for his or her house and price it accordingly.

Conducting a home appraisal offers a great starting point for a home seller to determine the true value of a residence. This appraisal ensures a home inspector will examine a residence's interior and exterior. Then, the inspector will provide a report that details a house's strengths and weaknesses.

With a home appraisal report in hand, a home seller should have no trouble establishing a "fair" price for his or her residence. And if an initial offer falls short of this price, a home seller can politely decline the proposal and wait for additional offers.

2. The homebuyer has submitted a "lowball" proposal.

In some instances, a homebuyer may submit a "lowball" offer in the hopes of acquiring a terrific house at a budget-friendly price. If a home seller cannot differentiate between a reasonable offer and a lowball proposal, he or she risks missing out on an opportunity to optimize the value of a residence.

An informed home seller should examine the prices of available houses that are similar to his or her own. By doing so, this property seller can see how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and map out the home selling journey accordingly.

Moreover, an informed home seller will mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and do whatever it takes to enhance a house's curb appeal. This home seller likely understands the importance of making a positive first impression on homebuyers, and as a result, will perform assorted home exterior improvements to help reduce the risk of receiving a lowball initial offer.

3. The offer does not correspond to the current state of the housing market.

For a home seller, it is essential to work with a real estate agent who can provide full details about the current state of the housing market.

A real estate agent can help a home seller differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market. Plus, this housing market professional can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about whether a home seller should decline an initial offer on a home.

Many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts are happy to help home sellers in any way they can. If you employ a real estate agent before you list your home, you can reap the benefits of unparalleled guidance at each stage of the home selling journey.

There is no reason to settle for a subpar initial offer on your residence. Instead, consider a first offer closely, and you can make an informed decision about whether to decline or accept it.


After you accept an offer on a home, you likely will only have a few weeks to pack up your belongings and vacate the premises. As such, there are many questions that home sellers need to consider at this point, including:

1. Where am I going to live?

If you haven't figured out where you're going to live after your home closing, there is no need to panic. Consider all of your potential living options now, and you can plan accordingly.

Oftentimes, friends and family members may be willing to provide you with a temporary place to live. These loved ones may enable you to stay in their houses until you buy a new residence. Or, in some instances, you may be able to permanently move in with friends and family members.

On the other hand, if you enjoy being a homeowner, you may want to kick off a home search right away. This will enable you to find a new place to live in the city or town of your choice. Also, if you work quickly, you may be able to finalize your home purchase around the same time that you sell your current house.

2. What is the homebuyer's next step?

In most cases, a homebuyer will have a set amount of time to schedule a home inspection after you accept his or her offer. Once the home inspection is complete, the buyer will receive a report that provides insights into the condition of your house.

For home sellers, a home inspection can be stressful. If a property inspector discovers problems with a residence, a buyer may choose to walk away from a home purchase or ask a seller to complete various home renovations.

When it comes to selling a house, it pays to be honest. If you provide honest responses to a homebuyer's questions about your residence, you can help the buyer make an informed purchase decision. Plus, with this approach, you can minimize the risk that a home inspection may lead a buyer to rescind his or her offer.

3. What will I need to do to finalize the home sale?

The time between accepting a home offer and reaching the closing date may seem endless. However, a patient home seller will be able to stay calm, cool and collected, even if challenges arise along the way.

As a home seller, you should try to do everything you can to reach the finish line of a property sale. If you maintain consistent communication with a real estate agent, you can seamlessly navigate all stages of the home selling cycle.

A real estate agent works on a home seller's behalf and will do everything possible to minimize potential pitfalls. Thus, this housing market professional is happy to respond to a home seller's questions to ensure this individual is fully supported in the weeks and days leading up to a home closing.

Collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can receive plenty of support throughout the home selling journey.


If you want to achieve the best-possible results during the home selling journey, you should be open to negotiating with a homebuyer. Because if you communicate with a property buyer, you may increase your chances of enjoying a quick, successful home selling experience.

There is no need to stress about a home negotiation. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you handle a negotiation with a homebuyer.

1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective

Both a home seller and homebuyer share a common goal: to reach an agreement on a house sale. If you analyze both sides of a home negotiation, you may be better equipped than ever before to come to terms with a buyer.

Ultimately, it may be beneficial to make small sacrifices to ensure you and a buyer can find common ground during a negotiation. If you are willing to work with a buyer, you may find that a buyer will work with you too. And as a result, you and a buyer could reach an agreement that satisfies the needs of both parties.

2. Evaluate Your Options

A home negotiation can be stressful, but there is no need to let stress get the best of you. Instead, you should try to stay calm and consider your options as you navigate a negotiation. That way, you can make informed home selling decisions.

Oftentimes, it is helpful to review housing market data as you negotiate with a homebuyer. Information about the prices of recently sold houses in your area that are similar to your own, for example, may help you explain why you want a certain price for your residence.

You also should be unafraid to walk away from a home negotiation. If you feel you cannot find common ground with a buyer, you can continue to promote your residence to prospective buyers until you receive an offer to purchase that matches your expectations.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to enter a home negotiation on your own. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can negotiate with a buyer on your behalf.

During a home negotiation, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you achieve the optimal results. He or she will keep you up to date throughout a home negotiation. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to provide recommendations about whether to accept, reject or counter a buyer's offer to purchase your house.

Let's not forget about the assistance a real estate agent provides after you accept an offer to purchase, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you prepare for a home closing. He or she will respond to any of your home closing concerns or questions as well.

Be ready to negotiate with a homebuyer – use the aforementioned tips, and you can prepare for a home negotiation and boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your residence.




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