Seven Strategies for Selling Your Home Faster…For More Money!
by Gerri Detweiler
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As a mortgage broker, I've seen many buyers successfully sell their own homes and save lots of money. But I've also seen them lose money because of common mistakes that are easily avoidable if you know what to do.
Here are seven strategies for selling your home faster for more money:
- Let your buyers know about financing options. A Gallup poll found that location, design and financing options are the three most important considerations for both buyers and sellers. If you've ever shopped for a car, you know car dealers always advertise autos based on a monthly payment, not the total price. Yet, when it comes to a home, ads usually list the total price, giving the borrower no clue what the monthly payment may be. Because there are so many more options these days than the traditional 30- or 15-year home, you may be missing borrowers who think your home is too expensive. Ask a loan officer to calculate scenarios for some of the more creative options to show your borrower how affordable your home can be!
- Offer to help with closing costs or a down payment. Many buyers today don't have 20% saved for a down payment. You can often sell your home close to, or at the asking price, by offering to help with a down payment or closing costs. This doesn't have to take a lot of money out of your pocket, but it can make or break a deal. Just be careful. Lenders are strict about how much you can contribute and may reject the deal if you don't write your contract according to the rules. Usually you can contribute up to 3-6% of certain closing costs.
- Invest in a home warranty. Homes with a warranty sell up to 60% faster and closer to their asking price. The $300 to $500 you spend on one is usually well worth it.
- Make sure you have a good contract. You can get a contract from an office supply store, but do you know what contingencies to include? Do you know how long to allow the buyer to obtain a financing commitment? Or how long loans are taking to close these days? More importantly, if your contract doesn't meet certain guidelines, the lender may kick it back, leaving you and your borrower to start over.
- Use a guest book. Many sellers overlook this simple tool, but it's a mistake for two reasons. First of all, for safety's sake, you'll want to ask for identification from a visitor before you let them into your home, and you'll want to record their information in case there is a problem later. Secondly, if something does change in your offer (you drop the price, or purchase a home warranty, for example), you'll have a way to follow up with those visitors. Otherwise, they are gone for good!
- Don't tie up your home with unqualified buyers. It happens all the time. A buyer comes in, excited to purchase your home, and you sign a contract. When others call wanting to look at your home, you tell them it's been sold. Then two or three weeks later you find out your buyers can't get the loan. Don't waste your time accepting offers from buyers who haven't been pre-qualified for a loan! If they are serious about buying, they should be more than willing to get pre-qualified.
- Get free advice. Free advice is usually worth what you pay for it, not much. But that's not necessarily true if you enlist a mortgage broker to help you sell your home faster. A mortgage professional can help you with referrals to good resources, including home warranty companies, real estate attorneys, appraisers, and title companies. They won't charge you anything for it. They just hope to get the loan for your buyer or other home shoppers. Think about it this way. You've taken on the job of selling your home and doing the work a real estate professional usually does. You've got a lot to do! Why not get free qualified help if you can? The sooner you talk with a mortgage professional about your home sale, the more information you'll have to be successful.
Gerri Detweiler is an author, speaker, consultant and national mortgage broker based in Sarasota Florida. She is author of Invest In Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life and has been featured in numerous radio and television talk shows including "The Today Show" and "USA Today". She is president of Ultimate Credit Solutions, Inc. You can contact her at 1-888-836-8133 or email@example.com.
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