After working in real estate for five years, I've heard a lot of strange ideas on how to sell a home. Some of those ideas work out great. For example, a former client once marketed his home as haunted. It sold in less than 30 days for his full asking price. But other ideas rarely end up in quick sales and they can even cost the homeowner money in the long run. Here are three of the worst.
For Sale by Owner
Over the years I worked in a real estate office, homeowners would come in at least once a week after trying to sell their house themselves. It seems like a great deal at first, you're in total control of the sale and you can skip the hassle of working with a real estate agent. Unfortunately, real estate agents exist for a reason. They're good at pricing houses, marketing and bringing in buyers. When you sell your house yourself, you won't have access to as many resources and won't meet as many potential buyers.
I used to work with a real estate agent who would suggest that homeowner's sell their home in as-is condition. While this is one way to get it sold quickly, it won't get you the best price. Most homes have a few things that could use some minor updating or repairs. For example, shampooing stains out of the carpet, repainting the kitchen, and putting new tile in the bathroom. Even small jobs can raise the value (and the selling price) of your home.
In my experience, the best thing you can do to increase value is make as many small and inexpensive repairs as possible, then add some curb appeal in the front and back yards. You'll bring in more potential buyers and receive higher offers.
Rent to Own
Rent to own homes exist because sellers are impatient to sell and not all buyers have the credit or money they need to buy a home. That doesn't necessarily make them a good deal, especially from the seller's perspective. When you lease your home as rent to own, the tenant has the full term of the lease to decide whether or not to buy the house. I've seen many cases where the tenant waited until the last month and decided not to buy the house, leaving the buyer scrambling for another tenant and another lengthy wait.
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