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Selling Your Home: Price it Right!

Inevitably, whenever the subject of selling your home comes up, the question arises: "How much?" Is your home worth more or less than what you paid for it? Like most families, your home may be your largest single asset. How can you maximize your return on that investment?

Ask any potential seller. Price is a sensitive subject. Nevertheless, the flip side of holding out for a predetermined number is that you run the risk of losing big time while you pay all of the expenses incurred holding onto a property that won't sell.

Some real estate agents will promise you that they can get a certain amount for your home, but homebuyers are savvy and will know if you overprice your home. This will mean missing out on the serious homebuyers; they will seek properties that are more reasonably priced.

In short, you want to find that perfect balance between aggressive pricing and good common sense. In this edition we will address some of the techniques that the experts use to prices homes that 1) get them noticed, 2) get them sold and 3) do it without leaving money on the table.

Let's first talk about getting noticed. The appeal of your property is only as strong as the demand you can create. There is usually a steady supply (some greater than others) but you want to grab as much attention to your home as you can with whatever market there happens to be at the time. It all starts with the real estate between your ears.

Try this: Put yourself in the shoes of a potential home buyer. What would you think as you pull in front of your house for the first time? Is it inviting? Can you imagine your family residing there with you? Can you envision it as your own? If that is not easy to do, you may need to provide a better first impression by making a few minor changes.

The following is a list from for creating better curb appeal without sinking a lot of money into the project:

  1. Front Lawn–Mowed, Edged & Well Watered

  2. Trees–Accentuating House/not Blocking View

  3. Bushes–Trimmed

  4. Front Entrance-Mulch, Pull Weeds & Plant–Colorful Flowers in full view

  5. Front Door-Paint w/Gloss Enamel & Polish or replace Door Handle

  6. Walks and Walls-Power Wash Clean

  7. Garage Door–Keep Closed

  8. Mailbox–Clean, Paint, or Replace

  9. House Number–Make Highly Visible

  10. Garbage Cans-Store out of Sight

These are a few things that you can do to "put your best foot forward" without spending an arm & a leg on unnecessary improvements. Over the years I have seen too many homeowners shove money into a property that is impossible to recoup.

In another edition we will explore pricing techniques as well as some simple tips on staging your home before selling. Those new yellow curtains may be to your liking, but the majority of your market may hate them. The choices you make long before listing are the ones you usually have to deal with once on the market.

Pricing can be a touchy subject but, if you plan ahead long before listing you property for sale, you can optimize your return on your family's greatest investment; your home. Stay tuned for more tips on selling your home in future installments.

C.J. Lauria is a Real Estate Investor since 1988. He is also a Realtor, Author, Speaker, Educator and Director of Invesdoor® Real Estate in El Dorado Hills, CA.

Article was first published in Mountain Democrat

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