Dialing It In For Dollars

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This Week: Exercising Your Options

Not every Seller gets to decide when they’re going to put their house on the market.  Life occasionally intervenes and makes the decision for them.  Unexpected events conspire to push their timing forward or backward without consulting them first.

 But there are Sellers who do enjoy the good fortune and luxury of being able to choose exactly when they want their Realtor to put the sign up, the lockbox on and start all the buzz on the internet about their home.

 Looking back over the last three decades,  the big mystery to me is why so many Sellers choose their listing dates so poorly.  And why so many others with good intentions and the right listing dates in mind, end up missing the mark (and the market) due to their own conspicuous lack of proper prior planning.

 If you are one of those people who’s thinking about putting their house on the market in 2017 and is lucky enough to actually be able to choose when they want to do it, here are a few suggestions about what to do and when to do it:

~ If you think you want to sell your house in 2017, start preparing now.  It’s not too early.  Doing it right takes longer than you think.  When you give yourself time, you make better decisions.

~This is your home and largest asset. The money that comes out of it is crucial to the transition you are about to make into the future. The process of selling it deserves your full attention and entire commitment.

~ Selling a home can be stressful. Why add to the stress by putting things off? Give yourself at least four months to prepare.

~ You can still enjoy the holidays, but some things should be done now to make it easier to hit the ground running right after the first of the year.

~ Don’t wait to interview Agents until after the house is ready to sell.  Enlist them now. There are strategic decisions they can help you with. If they aren’t happy to help, then they aren’t the right Agent.

~ Dealing with “stuff” in your garage, attic, closets and drawers will be the hardest part of selling your home. Purging now will  discourage you from buying even more “stuff” during the holidays.

~ There is a right time to put your house on the market and a wrong time:  March 1st to the 15th is the right window. April or May is already too late. Despite prevailing myths about how great the summer is, June and July are even worse.

~ Weather is not a factor in the sale of your home.  Whether the flowers are blooming doesn’t matter. (I’ll discuss why in future columns.) Waiting for better weather is an excuse people use to procrastinate – as way too many late-comers to the marketplace found out in 2016.

~  Sellers always want the best outcomes. The most money. The fastest escrows. The longest rent backs. But they aren’t always prepared to do the things that will give their Agents and their listings the best chances to succeed. If you want top dollar, you have to do everything right.

Next week we’ll talk more about dialing in the listing process so your future results can come close to the expectations you already have.

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