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Unless you own the nicest home in the best neighborhood, and there is a reasonable demand for what you want to offer, selling property can be a protracted and tricky business. If you are not a savvy property investor who has been involved in more than a few property sales you should probably seek help and employ the services of a real estate agent.

Making sure your property is in a condition that will encourage buyers to bid is paramount to your cause. Conduct an inspection of your property, as if you were a buyer. Try to imagine how they will see it when they come to look at it. Is the property well kept? Is the dwelling in good repair? Is the interior clean and uncluttered? These are just a few of the things to be considered from their perspective.

The next step in the process is to be certain that your property conforms to all current environmental and building codes, and that you will not be surprised by anything that you must disclose before listing it. Most often, buyers are accompanied by a local real estate agent that knows the local territory and fair market values of your properties in your area. They will know how to negotiate and close in favor of their client. Consequently, you must be fully prepared for this eventuality.  Educate yourself, get the property in the best shape you can afford to (and recoup later from the sale) and do not be unrealistic in setting your sale’s goal.

Can You Explain Why You Are Selling?

It is important to know what you are going to say to buyers before they ask any questions. One of the primary questions you will be asked is why. Why are you selling your house if it is as good a deal as you say it is? Questions like these are all a part of the negotiation. Have you out grown the home or perhaps it is too large because the kids have moved away? Does your job require that you move in order to advance your career, or do you need to be in a different climate due to health reasons? Whatever your needs are, make sure they do not come off sounding as if you are desperate to move or need quick cash. If you are using the services of an agent discuss your reasons with them and make certain you are both on the same page. You do not want to lose a good deal due to confusion or misrepresentation.

The Timing of a Sale Is Also Important

Typically, people start to prepare a home for sale in the early spring so that it will be ready to go on the market during the summer months. Despite the fact that sales are driven by supply and demand, the summer months tend to be better for a good sale and therefore your chances are enhanced. Properties that are well suited to growing families have more appeal in the summer because they afford the new owners the ability to enroll their children locally at the beginning of a school year.

Every Property Investors Goal Is to Realize as Much on a Sale as Possible

Make improvements and repairs as needed, but do not spend more than you will get back from during the sale, and thus undercut your own profit. Speak to an agent and find out which kinds of improvements suit your situation and your market. Every market has its selling points and preferences. The more you can conform without going over the top, the faster your needs will be met, and you will find a serious buyer. Mechanical considerations will bring you more of a return than cosmetic ones, because they tend to involve more time, money and aggravation to a new homeowner than a simple coat of paint. They would rather leave that to you, the seller. However, be careful not to make repairs that buyers may find superfluous or ones that they are not willing to pay for

Here Is a List of Items That Buyers Find Appealing

On the Outside:

  • A well kept lawn and shrubbery. Potted plants and flowers.

  • A fresh coat of paint.

  • No missing shingles on the roof. Gutters cleaned and in good repair.

  • Nothing stored on the property such as old appliances, vehicles or recreational equipment.

  • No garbage or rubbish containers in view.

  • Clean the pool if you have one.

  • Brickwork, footpaths and driveways that are well sealed and maintained.

  • If you have exterior lighting make sure it is functional and keep the property well lit at night.

On the Inside:

  • A well kept and clean interior, free of odor, clutter and dirt. Keep all flat surfaces free of unnecessary objects and bookcases and cabinets in order.

  • No pets bounding around.

  • Windows that are clean and curtains or blinds that are also clean and operable.

  • No toys or tools left out, no dishes in the sink or pots and pans on the stove. Remove anything that is not needed and store it where it cannot be seen.

  • If need be, and the weather demands it, keep the heat or the air conditioning adjusted relative to the season and the local. You want the place to be a cozy as possible. If you have a fireplace and it is winter, keep a fire burning, if not, be sure that it is clean and free of ash.

  • Freshly painted surfaces that would otherwise be dingy or worn.

  • Drywall, plaster, switch plates and receptacles, wall coverings, carpets and tile all need to be in good condition. Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.

  • No stained porcelain, dripping faucets, constantly running toilets or rusted showerheads.

  • Keep the refrigerator and all kitchen cabinets clean and good order.
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