Buying and selling houses
I find that most sellers cart around long laundry lists of things to do before closing the sale of a home, and it's common for them to feel overwhelmed and stressed. From scheduling movers, enrolling children in new schools, packing valuables and transferring mail, to saying goodbye to neighbours and friends, often their minds are preoccupied as they look forward to a new life elsewhere.
When people are stressed, sometimes they forget minute details that can affect the entire transaction. But one of the most important aspects of getting to the closing table is passing the house inspection and taking time to think about what needs to be done before the inspector gets there. The house still need to look pristine for the inspector and, yes, that means putting down the lid on the toilet.
When the average seller sits down to interview real estate agents, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement over choosing a sales price. More money means more financial opportunities for the houseowner. Perhaps it means the seller can afford to buy a more expensive home, help pay for her child's college education or take that greatly overdue vacation.
Unfortunately, uninformed sellers often choose the listing agent who suggests the highest list price, which is the worst mistake a seller can make.
The truth is it doesn't really matter how much money you think your house is worth. Nor does it matter what your agent thinks or ten other agents just like her. The person whose opinion matters is the buyer who makes an offer. Pricing homes is part art and part science. It involves comparing similar properties, making adjustments for the differences among them, tracking market movements and taking stock of present inventory, all in an attempt to come up with a range of value, an educated opinion.
This method is the same way an appraiser evaluates a home. And no two appraisals are ever exactly the same; however, they are generally close to each other. In other words, there is no hard and fast price tag to slap on your house. It's only an educated guess and the market will dictate the price.
Houses sell at a price a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept. If a home is priced too low, priced under the competition, the seller should receive multiple offers to drive up the price to market value. So there is little danger in pricing a house too low. The danger lies in pricing it too high and selecting your agent solely on opinion of value.
The latest real estate trend is to buy a house online. No matter what part of the country you live in, or what type of home you are buying, the internet can help you quickly narrow your search and focus your times on the properties that are best suited to your lifestyle and budget. The internet allows you to browse for hours at your leisure, and then print a list of prime properties to investigate either on your own or with the help of your real estate professional.
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