Highlands County Homes — The rebound in the U.S. home values over the past couple of years has helped many homeowners be able to sell their home for a profit. But still, getting a home sold can be very challenging, even in markets where inventory is low like in Highlands County Florida where there is a lot of demand because of the beautiful lakefronts and waterfront or canal front homes and all the great fishing, but very little inventory. Anything under %100,000 goes very fast and everything over needs to be priced very carefully to sell fast and at the best price. Here are five tips on how to get your home sold for the best price:
1. Search on Trulia to see how your home compares
Most homeowners hire the services of a real estate agent to market their home and perform a variety of tasks, including reaching out to a network of buyers' agents, preparing the home for viewing and dealing directly with prospective buyers as well as advertise you home.
That shouldn't preclude sellers from being knowledgeable about the process, however.
"The most important thing in pricing and getting your house sold fast is to do your homework," said Cheryl Oxsalida, a real estate agent with Heartland Real Estate in Sebring Florida. Getting information from
Trulia and other online real estate sites, such as Redfin.com and Zillow.com gives you searchable maps and home sales data so you can get an idea of where your home might sit.
Look up what similar homes have sold for in your zip code in the last 30 to 60, 90 days and how long they've been on the market. You can also see whether those homes sold for less or more than their initial asking price.
2. Be smart about your selling price
Some sellers may be tempted to press their agent to list their home well above comparable sales. Or you may want to briefly test the market with a high price only to realize no one is making offers. I have seen some sellers actually get an appraisal and list the home slightly above the appraised price. The appraised value is what the banks will loan money on, nothing higher. "Ideally your goal is to price it perfectly so that it sells immediately," Oxsalida said. "The longer a property stays on the market, the more it becomes stale, and it's very hard to get momentum after the property has not received any offers over a long period of time."
3. Create fast sales momentum
One strategy that can help create competing bids among potential buyers is to require that any offers be made within the first week or two that the home is on the market. The approach, coupled with hosting an open house as soon as the home goes on sale, works best on homes that are priced competitively. That's a strategy where you can certainly try to get as many offers as quickly as possible.
4. Stick with local agents
When it comes to selling your home, the ideal agent should be an expert on your neighborhood. They will be in position to know even which transactions might be in the works but not yet available on public records — key to gauging how to price your home.
When evaluating prospective agents, find out how they will advertise your home. You want to get their track record, how many homes have they sold, how many buyers are contacting them to see a home? You want to understand their philosophy and what that listing agent has done in the past and what method do they use to determine the price your house should sell for.
Ask how they would handle being approached by an independent buyer looking for the agent to represent them in their bid to buy your home.
Taking on a so-called unrepresented buyer can earn the agent a higher commission, but it's nearly impossible for them to only consider your best interests and not those of the other party even though it is done and most agents in that situation work towards getting a deal done that meets both parties satisfaction.
Several real estate websites, including RatedAgent.com, Zillow and Trulia have sections for finding an agent by location. They also feature reviews from past clients and other attributes to help narrow your search.
5. Weigh commission options
Traditionally, listing agents will charge sellers a 6 percent commission on the sale price of the home. This commission is typically split equally between the selling agent and the buyer's agent, although many listing agents often split their own share with their brokerage. Some listing agents will lower the commission for the buyer’s agent to reduce the overall commission.
Sellers can negotiate for a lower commission, but it could make their home less of a priority for the agents than the other properties they may be working to sell.
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