11. Get it Spic 'N Span Clean and Fix Everything
Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the faulty light switch, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal-killers and you'll never know what turns buyers off. Remember, you're not just competing with other resale homes, but brand-new ones as well.
12. Allow Prospective Buyers to Visualize Themselves in Your Home
The last thing you want prospective buyers to feel when viewing your home is that they may be intruding into someone's life. Avoid clutter such as too many knick-knacks, etc. Decorate in neutral colours, like white or beige, and place a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are great sources for tips.
13. Deal Killer Odours - Must Go!
You may not realize but odd smells like traces of food, pets, and smoking odours can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know you have a dog, or that you smoke, they'll start being aware of odours and seeing stains that may not even exist. Remove any clues.
14. Be a Smart Seller - Disclose Everything
Smart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce liability and prevent lawsuits later on.
15. It's Better With More Prospects
When you maximize your home's marketability, you will most likely attract more than one prospective buyer. It is much better to have several buyers because they will compete with each other, whereas a single buyer will end up competing with you.
16. Keep Emotions in Check During Negotiations
Let go of the emotion you've invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You'll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.
17. Learn Why Your Buyer is Motivated
The better you know your buyers the better you can use the negotiation process to your advantage. This allows you to control the pace and duration of the process.
As a rule, buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for the least amount of money. Knowing what motivates them enables you to negotiate more effectively. For example, does your buyer need to move quickly. Armed with this information you are in a better position to bargain.
18. What the Buyer Can Really Pay
As soon as possible, try to learn the amount of mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much his/her downpayment is. If their offer is low, ask their REALTOR® about the buyer's ability to pay what your home is worth.
19. When the Buyer Would Like to Close
Quite often, when buyers would "like" to close is when they need to close. Knowledge of their deadlines for completing negotiations creates a negotiating advantage for you.
20. Sell Your Current Home Before Closing on Your Next Home
Beware of closing on your new home while you're still making mortgage payments on the old one, or you might end up becoming a seller who is eager (even desperate) for the first deal that comes along.
21. Moving Out Before You Sell Can Put You at a Disadvantage
It has been proven that it's more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it becomes forlorn looking, forgotten, no longer an appealing sight. Buyers start getting the message that you have another home and are probably motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of dollars.
22. Deadlines Create A Serious Disadvantage
Avoid selling by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in negotiations.
23. A Low Offer - Avoid Taking It Personally
Invariably the initial offer is below what both you and the buyer knows he'll pay for your property. Evaluate the offer objectively. Ensure it spells out the offering price, sufficient deposit, well-worded clauses, a closing date, and any special requests. This can simply provide a starting point from which you can negotiate.
24. Turn That Low Offer Around
You can counter a low offer, or even an offer that's just under your asking price. This lets the buyer know that the first offer is not seen as a serious one.
25. Maybe the Buyer's Not Qualified
If you feel an offer is inadequate, now is the time to make sure the buyer is qualified to carry the size of mortgage the deal requires. Inquire how they arrived at their figure, and suggest they compare your price to the prices of homes for sale in your neighbourhood.
26. Ensure the Contract is Complete
To avoid problems, ensure that all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale. It should include such items as; the date it was made, names of parties involved, address of property being sold, purchase price, where deposit monies will be held, date for loan approval, date of closing, as well as any contingencies that remain to be settled, and what personal property is included (or not) in the sale.
27. Resist Deviating From the Contract
For example... if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say "no", and that you've been advised against it. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal folding.