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Six tips that give you the advantage when selling your home

Ever notice how many different kinds of cereal are in the cereal aisle in your local grocery store? The real estate market is a lot like that, and your home is just one box of cereal in that appealing wall of colorful boxes. If you want to sell your home, how can you rise above the fray, make it stand out, and sell it quickly and for a good price? Here are six tips that can help:

Price it right

This is undoubtedly the single most important factor in selling a house. Find out what homes in your area have recently sold for, and price your home 5 to 10 percent below that. The comparatively "low price" will attract more buyers - to be sure, they'll check to see what the house is actually worth - and with so much interest, multiple bids are likely. As a result of the buyers bidding against each other, you may actually end up getting more than the asking price.

Make some upgrades

The "trick" is to make smart upgrades which will maximize your investment. Don't do a complete renovation - you'll never even get your money back - but relatively inexpensive upgrades such as new faucets, kitchen hardware, light fixtures, a fresh coat of paint, or replacing an old water heater,  can put some real polish on your home. Of course, major repairs - like replacing an old leaky roof - should be done before the home is listed as well. These items are VERY noticeable to Buyers in any kind of real estate market.

Light it up

A dark home is completely unappealing. Make use of natural and artificial light to enhance your home's interior and make your home warm and inviting. Clean windows, replace lampshades, and use the maximum wattage bulbs allowed in your light fixtures. When showing your home, turn ALL the lights on, open the curtains and blinds, and let it shine. A light color paint on the walls will also add to the brightness of the home as well.

Get a Realtor involved early

Most sellers make the mistake of contacting a Realtor only when they're ready to list their property. However, your Realtor is an expert in the preparation and staging process. Get him/her involved early-when you are first thinking of selling your home-- and put their experience and expertise to work for you. You'll be very happy you did as your home will be in its optimum showing condition by the time you list it.

Post lots of pictures

It's been proven that listings with more photos sell faster. Most buyers start their search online, and 10-20 good quality photos can show off your home in the best light. Be sure to stage the pictures properly for maximum appeal. If you're not terribly handy with a camera, consider hiring a professional or turn to your Realtor for advice.

De-personalize the house

The more family photos, souvenirs and knick-knacks you have around, the more difficult it will be for potential buyers to visualize it as their home. You don't have to remove everything and make your home sterile, but getting rid of clutter and keeping your personal things to a minimum will make your home more appealing to buyers.

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