Selling Your Home

The decision to sell may include a number of considerations, from current size to location, to when and where to make the change. But all selling decisions include the question of how much the Seller will get.

Hiring an Agent – CMA

A real estate agent values a home by what it will potentially sell for in the current real estate market. Unlike the appraiser method or the computer model method, an agent takes into account competitive factors, such as how many homes will be in direct competition with their listing and how fast the inventory be absorbed.

To this end, an agent will prepare a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). An agent can also help a homeowner with questions about what should be done to prepare the home for being on the market, and can prepare a net sheet showing what the seller will actually walk away with after all expenses.

Anyone considering a sale should get this information from an agent prior to selling to an investor, or even trying to sell the home themselves.

Selling to an Investor

One possibility is to wholesale your home by entertaining an offer from an investor, bearing in mind that any investor offer is based on that investors expectation of making a profit that otherwise be earned by the homeowner. This margin: the difference between what the home could sell for and the amount offered by an investor, can be substantial. Benefits offered in mitigation of this lost revenue include: immediate sale and surety of closing. Any seller considering this option should get an independent valuation, preferably by an agent.

Sell it Yourself (FSBO)

Some owners prefer to try the, for sale by owner process. The primary reason for most sellers doing this, is to save paying a commission to a real estate agent. Any seller considering this should understand that they are taking responsibility for the legality and legitimacy of all paperwork. They will be negotiating directly with a buyer or buyer’s agent, not only in making a deal or contract, but also through the escrow process which includes the buyer’s due diligence or inspection period, repairs or items disapproved, the buyer’s financing process, the appraisal, final walk through, signing at the title company and the giving of possession.

If all that does not defer the FSBO route, consider that most buyers expect a discount for buying direct. In other words, they want the commission being saved by the seller, and most buyers have an agent who wants to receive a commission (which they would otherwise receive from a seller’s side) from the FSBO for bringing that buyer to the transaction.

It is not surprising that 97% of sales are handled by a listing agent but if you are of stout heart and independent nature, by all means, you should try to sell it yourself.

Prepping Your Home

Whatever method or path you take to selling your home you will need to consider preparing it to bring maximum value. A homeowner who chooses to do nothing must realize that inaction has a financial cost as much as making an effort can result in additional money.


Nothing sells like clean and tidy. If you do nothing else, at least wash the windows. The cleanliness impression serves to reinforce a buyers’ impression of past care. Realize that on the day you give away the keys, the home must be empty and acceptable to the buyer.

Given that all of this must be addressed anyway, you might as well do as much as possible to empty the home or personal items other than furniture, before going on the market. You are moving anyway, so just call it prepacking.


Ideally a homeowner should stay current on their home’s maintenance but any deferred maintenance items should be addressed prior to sale to maximize value. Obvious issues such as dripping faucets or a damaged wall will catch a buyer’s eye and be hard to overcome. Roof repairs can be done less expensively prior to a buyer’s inspector calling out the issue, which often inspires requests for a new roof. Again, the advice of a REALTOR brought in early can save doing unnecessary fixes and guide a seller to small items that can make a difference.


The home we live in and the home we sell are often not the same. If a seller just thinks about those pretty model homes attached to a builder sales office, they will have a picture of what staging can do to add value. A professional stager walks through a home with a buyer’s eye. They ask themselves at every turn, “What is the buyer seeing?” Answering this question and adjusting for the best buyer impression can often add thousands to a home’s price.

Pre Home Inspection

For sellers unsure or unaware of their home’s current condition, a pre home inspection may be helpful.

Pre Appraisal

In those situations where agents disagree on value, an appraisal might be helpful. Bear in mind that an appraisal completed without the existence of a contract may tend to be more conservative.

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