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Moving house guide

Moving On: Powerful Tips For Selling Your Home

By W. Troy Swezey

Maybe you're moving to a larger home to accommodate a growing family, relocating for a new career opportunity, or purchasing a townhouse for retirement. Whatever the reason for the move, you'll need to take the necessary steps to sell your home for the best possible price, within a reasonable amount of time. Where do you begin?

If you're like most people, you'll start by seeking assistance from a professional. A local real estate sales associate, who knows your neighborhood, can help you determine a fair market price. The sales associate should also recommend the extent to which you should make repairs or improvements to your house.

In order to select a real estate professional who's right for you, ask family, friends and neighbors for referrals. Attend open houses and interview several sales associates to find out how professional or experienced they may be. Get a written outline of how they plan to market your property and the services they will offer you.

Once you've identified a qualified professional, the rest is chemistry.

Is the sales associate someone with whom you would like to work closely? Do you feel comfortable with the sales associate as your partner, working with you to give you advice and acting as your representative? Does he or she practice a consultative selling approach, focusing on the long-term client relationship and on the importance of exceeding client needs and expectations or is he or she caught up in the proverbial 'hard sell?'

The brokerage firm that your agent is associated with is also important. Research the firm's success rate and commitment to quality service. Does it survey existing clients in order to ensure customer satisfaction? What are the results of those surveys? How in tune are they with consumer needs? Do they offer guidance with mortgages or any discounts for other home related or moving services?

To be competitive in today's real estate market, as agents, we have to offer the buyer/seller products and services above and beyond the sale.

That's why the CENTURY 21 System has established partnerships with various companies that allow us to offer everything from mortgages to moving services. This Preferred Alliance Services Program has enabled us to satisfy a consumer need while maintaining a high-level of quality service.

Determining your home's fair market value is one of the most important decisions you'll make during the home-selling/buying process. Your sales associate can help you set a fair price based on local market conditions. For instance, she or he will provide sale prices and other statistics of homes similar to yours that have recently been sold. Prospective buyers will be comparing your home to others on the market. Therefore, setting a comprehensive price can determine if your property will or will not sell.

For the first offer made, it's rare that the prospective buyer matches the asking price.

If the offer is reasonably close to the asking price, carefully consider the offer before you consider turning it down. Curiously, it's the first offer that can often be the best offer. If the first offer is unacceptable to you, it may in your best interest to have your sales associate respond with a counter offer. Whenever considering an offer, ask yourself if you would purchase the property for the amount being offered. Always be willing to negotiate, especially if the prospective buyer is pre-qualified for a mortgage.

Once you decide what terms are acceptable, let your sales associate negotiate with the prospective buyer to work out the best agreement for you. You'll need to be patient while the buyer arranges financing and as the real estate company compiles and prepares pertinent data.

Careful planning and sound advice from a real estate professional can make selling your home a very satisfying experience.

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