In which we discuss how to make the most of your place, so you can move on up and out. 

01. Setting the Price. 

Accurately pricing your home is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a successful sale. Sellers often think they should determine the list- price based on how much profit they want to make. But if the price is too high, you may not get offers. A better strategy is to price for multiple offers and generate options. Pricing isn't an exact science but if you rely on an experienced agent who knows the territory you have the best chance of hitting the mark. A skilled agent can provide real 'comps,' or sale prices of truly comparable homes in your area. They can also accurately evaluate hidden variables that online estimates can’t factor: things such as upgrades, remodels and market conditions at the time of sale. Your agent can guide you, but ultimately it’s a team effort. The fact is, the market is pretty efficient, so be ready to adjust to what the market says will successfully sell your home. A fairly priced property will attract serious buyers. 

02. Staging your Digs. 

Agents make a big deal out of 'curb appeal'—the first impression a prospective buyer gets on approach to your pad. Don't ignore it. A little effort spent spiffing up the front walk or detailing the windows goes a long way toward getting buyers in the front door and reinforces the value of your home. Once inside, less is more. You'll want to present an immaculate, well-lit and uncluttered environment that buyers can easily imagine living in. Spring for new paint and remove personal items. Better yet, hire a professional staging service—it can help you sell your home faster and at a better price. I can help you in this important aspect of home preparation. 

03. Marketing your Home. 

When you work with an agent to sell your home, you'll be marketing to two audiences: homebuyers and other agents. Marketing to homebuyers includes all the preliminary efforts you see when a home is for sale: the yard sign goes up, the mailers go out and the listing goes online. But your agent is also involved in advertising to other local agents whose clients are prospective homebuyers. This often involves hosting enticing events, such as catered viewing parties, where agents can preview your home and in turn recommend it to their clients if the fit is right. Marketing to agents is how your home gets maximum visibility. An agent with good relationships to other agents in the community can be a powerful influence on their perception of your home. 

04. Negotiating the Sale. 

This is where your agent really advocates on your behalf. They determine the qualifications of the buyers, evaluate the quality of the offer and make sure no detail is overlooked. Local market conditions will inform how much leverage you have. If you're in a hot market with a nice place, buyers will make their best offers up front. If not, understanding buyer interest will help strengthen your position. Whatever the market looks like though, the goal is to reach a fair agreement where both your and the buyer's needs are met. Work with your agent to foster a cooperative relationship with the buyer. It'll help you get the best price and avoid hassles after closing. 

05. Escrow and Closing. 

Once you accept the buyer's offer, you're in contract to sell the home and the process of contingency removal begins. Expect your buyer to do a walk-through to make sure all agreed repairs are completed and the property is in the same condition as when they made their offer. When all stipulated conditions are met, escrow closes and the sale is complete. This means all funds are collected, any existing loans or liens get paid, the deed is transferred and title is clear. It also means you can probably expect a fat deposit of the sale proceeds to your bank account in a few business days. Time to celebrate.