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Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

Our economic climate, low interest rates and of course my great service has really helped many families get into their first home.

It is a true pleasure to help thousands go from renters to wealth builders with one investment. In addition to the first time buyers, I’ve helped second (or vacation) homeowners, investment property purchasers and growing families moving up to bigger and better properties.

This week’s article will focus on the latter: the families that want to sell their current home and move into one more luxurious. We will discuss how to invest the equity of the sale and tax advantages at a later time. For now let’s draw our attention on how to put on your sales cap and sling that old house.

Marketing a house to sell quickly can make the difference between attracting serious buyers and those “just looking.” Making your home more visually appealing and making the economic factors of buying your house more favorable than others are two ways your home can become more attractive to potential homebuyers.

Physical Appearance

Homebuyers usually decide within two minutes whether they like your home or not. They often start forming their opinion before they even walk in the door! A good first step to making your house more visually appealing is inspecting the outside of the house.

An appealing yard will attract more prospective buyers and conveys the message that the owner has maintained high standards for the home’s interior as well. This is known as curb appeal. Simple maintenance projects to make the house’s exterior more appealing to buyers include trimming hedges or overgrown shrubbery, and mowing lawns. Fresh landscaping, bark or mulch under plants may also help make the home more attractive to buyers.

In addition, inspect gutters and replace missing shingles on the roof. Painting the outside of your home, if necessary, can do more for sales appeal than any other factor. If you don’t want to paint your entire home, at least make the entry attractive by painting the front door and mailbox, and touching up any front shutters and window frames.

The interior of your home also demands close attention. Replace all burned out light bulbs, fix broken tiles, chipped sinks and tubs, and peeling wallpaper. Clean clutter, inside and out, especially closets, kitchen countertops and rooms that look crowded. Hanging fresh towels or displaying fresh cut flowers once the maintenance is complete are also likely to improve your buyer’s first reaction. Finally, use air fresheners to eliminate animal or musty odors.

Economic Factors

Once the house is physically appealing, sellers will want to consider current market conditions. Potential buyers naturally want the best interest rate possible. Some lenders, like Countrywide Home Loans (my weekly plug in), offer rate protection programs that allow sellers to lock in a low rate for qualified borrowers for a specific period.

If interest rates go up during that time, the buyer will still get the lower, protected rate. If rates are lower at the time your buyer applies (within five days of signing the purchase agreement), the buyer will get the lower rate. After you decide to put your home on the market, work with your real estate agent to determine what changes you should make so your home looks its best.

Most homebuyers want a home that is ready to move into with minimal work. Make your home the one they want to buy with just a few quick fixes.

So there you have it. Follow these simple steps and you should be on your way to selling the home you started with and moving into that beautiful dream house you’ve always wanted.

As one of the founding members of the Fair Housing Home Buyer Coalition, I have the pleasure of conducting a free Home Buying Seminar with business colleagues and community leaders every month at the Riverside Fair Housing Office.

It’s a two-hour class (usually from 10am to 12pm) that teaches families everything they need to know about a home purchase. The Director of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County is Rose Mayes. She has been extremely instrumental in improving Riverside County by leaps and bounds.

Herlinda Gonzales and Lydia Salazar are the Directors of this project and have dedicated their lives to helping families reach their dreams. At the seminars, I usually teach about pre-qualification and how to secure financing for a home loan (naturally), Lydia Salazar has been the facilitator of the class for the past year and Catherine Nava is present for all your Realtor needs.

Guest speakers include credit management counselors, escrow companies, title companies, and government funded Community Programs such as Down Payment Assistants, where the city will give you $40,000 to purchase a home (yes I said, “give” – meaning: you don’t have to pay it back).

For more details call me at 909.248.4830 ext 228. Our next class is Saturday April 12th. Come join us.

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