House for Sale

The housing market has slowed, but you don't have to wait to sell. Here's what you can do to ensure your property is snapped up!

long time ago,” says Pat Massenberg, a professional real estate investor and agent in West Orange, New Jersey. Massenberg, who owns the real estate development company TYSYD with her husband, Derek, says that pricing your home properly and marketing it as widely as possible are key to selling successfully.

“If I were selling my house, I would have it appraised by a bank, and I would have two or three real estate professionals come in and give me an analysis of what my house is worth based on sales of comparable homes,” says Massenberg. (Most lenders charge an up — front appraisal fee, which averages around $300, according to a survey by HSH Associates Financial Publishers. Real estate agents do not charge to do a home analysis.) “Real estate professionals know the true value of a house, versus the sentimental value that the homeowner places on the home,” she adds.

To get the best price for your home, marketing is also critical, Massenberg says. Sellers who sell their own homes often underprice them; others, after not getting much response on their own, ultimately wind up listing with a broker, she says. Brokers frequently can give a house greater market exposure through the Internet, newspaper and magazine ads, and open houses; and by including the property in the Multiple Listing Service, the database agents use to both share and retrieve information about homes for sale. You can also market your home on sites like craigslist. In addition, list your property with multiple real estate agents and have an open house. It’s a great way to gain a lot of interest from serious buyers.

If your home is priced right and you attract potential buyers, one of the surest ways to grab their attention is to make a financial offer. Experts say that sellers can offer a credit for a fixed dollar amount, such as $2,500 (or as much as $10,000) at the closing. Or you can offer to pay related expenses such as the buyer’s inspections, appraisals, or even all the closing costs. Closing costs typically add up to 3% of a loan’s value, so on a $300,000 mortgage, you’d be saving the buyer about $9,000 — a significant incentive.

LET A PRO TAKE CENTER STAGE
Let’s say you’ve used every tip you can think of to sell your home fast, but nothing’s worked. Perhaps it’s time you hired a professional like Connie Brown, owner of Simply Divine Spaces in Silver Spring, Maryland. She’s part of a growing field of real estate “stagers” or “re — designers” who come into your home stagers like brown can bring your home to life and get your home sold — quickly.and get it in tip — top shape for a speedy sale. Brown encourages homeowners to work with what they have, strategically placing an end table here or a beautiful lamp there.

Beyond working with her clients, Brown feels that her role is “to educate [real estate agents] that they need staging now more than ever. Confident [agents] believe that they can sell a

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