Suze Orman Tells You How To Sell Your House

Dated: 08/08/2013

Views: 5122

by T.J. Anderson

Since we already shared with you Dave Ramsey's tips on how to sell a house, we have to give the stage now to the other personal financial guru/motivational speaker/bestselling author--the great Suzy Orman. Orman's no-nosense advice has struck many Americans to the core; here's what she has to say about how to sell your house:
1. Set your price based on the market, not your original purchase price.
Orman says that knowing how to price your home is an emotional challenge. "What you want to get for the house isn't to come into play," she says. "You need to work with a real estate agent to get a sense of your particular market's pulse, and base your price on what the market is telling you, not what your heart wants." Orman warns that the longer your home stays on the market, the harder it will be to get top dollar. Pricing your home correctly from the beginning will help it to sell quickly.
2. Don't go it alone.
Don't try to sell your home without a real estate agent, says Orman, who explains that if you try and sell on your own, your home won't be included in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If you promise to work with an agent, however, keep the time limit on your agreement on the shorter side, say 45 to 60 days or so. If your home still hasn't sold after that time period, but you're pleased with the work you may choose to extend the agreement.

3. Go for the comps.
Look at the sales price of similar homes in your neighborhood to get the best idea of your local market. Orman recommends asking your real estate agent for at least three recent 'comps' of home sales in your neighborhood. "Knowing the trend is so important," says Orman. "If the trend over the past few months is that homes are selling faster and at higher prices, then you can be a bit more aggressive in your pricing. But if homes are staying on the market longer and the sales price is below the asking price, that's a signal not to be greedy."

4. Come clean on the blemishes.
Don't hide problems with your home from potential buyers. Not only are you required to tell your agent about any issues your home has, but your agent is required to share that info with prospective buyers. Being dishonest about something may put the sale of your home in jeopardy, as the potential buyer will wonder what else you haven't been forthcoming about. Orman states that it may be worth your while to pay a few hundred dollars to have an inspector evaluate your home. You can provide a copy of this inspection to potential buyers.
5. Do a not-so-extreme makeover.
In regards to curb appeal, Orman advises the following for making your home shine for buyers: Neutral paint on the walls, a cleaned-out garden, a garage with room for the cars, and a house that's been decluttered, even if it means renting some storage space so you can move a few pieces out of a crowded room or half of your clothes out of your closet. "One of the most common mistakes people make is to assume their taste is everyone else's taste," says Orman. "News flash: What is tasteful to you may be tasteless to someone else."
6. Set your "included" policy.
Be clear from the get-go about what comes with your house and what goes with you. "You want everyone traipsing through your home to be clear on what is included in the purchase price," says Orman. "Does the Sub-Zero stay or go? The new washer and dryer? And the to-die-for chandelier in the dining room? If there is an alarm system installed, make that known to buyers and what the monthly service fee is."
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TJ Anderson

TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....

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