Don't rely on a friend's referral.
I am not an agent. I am helping my mother to sell her home. We made a major mistake going with a friend's recommendation for a real estate agent. The local agency has cut corners on advertising themselves, never mind having them peddle a proper pitch about our property. They expect us to bring in buyers for them to take over. If we knew that from the start, I would be shouting, "If I'm to do that work, what do I need you for?" So, please, take time and pick someone who actually has recently sold homes in your area. Someone who works hard even after you sign on the line to contract for their help.
Prepare for a long ordeal.
At present, we are nearing the end of a 6-month contract, and will be taking the house off the market for a small breather. I'm disabled. My mother is a senior citizen. Living here, trying to sell in this economy and with this weak agency, makes for a hard, tense time. Every weekend, we have been spruced up and preened. Sometimes we have had a weekday phone call for a visitor-- with only a two-hour window to prepare. Some folks can do Open Houses. We have a dog and no way to make that work. But through all these months, I'm so drained and a bit miffed. Don't let your battery run low on you. Money is the matter....doesn't it matter how much surely should be parked in your pocket?
Draft a rough write-up for your home before you sign.
You're the seller. This is a good organizational step. Hash out with your agent just what top points will be the selling points to go with. Ours...somehow got lost! The agency/agent we have had, has not been selling our place accurately or properly. It is advertised as horse property because it is land that legally can be used for a someone owning a horse. That's nuts! We don't and have never had a horse. We don't even have a stable! We have a little over an acre, most of which is wild. There is a lot of room for someone to build, even another home if they chosee.Mom purchased this place twenty-years ago as woods---in every way there has seemed to have been no horses roaming here. So why would anyone primarily advertise a single-home as such?
Someone said put your self in the eyes of a buyer. Yes! This place would be perfect for a young family looking to buy affordable property, and yet also looking to the future to expand. But what average buyer looking for a home would be jazzed about land that might be pestered with manure and flies?
Consider a Home Inspection before you sell.
We fixed, had fixed, and surveyed for anything we thought might be a problem. The house is 19 years old. We heard about WIN Home Inspectors who are used during the closing process, and paid (as sellers) for our home to be inspected now. We weren't looking to save the buyer the expense or step. We wanted to know if any hidden issue existed that we might need to fix, now, before a buyer came to look. Why have the buyer's inspector find a potential deal-buster at closing? He said that we had three things. We fixed those three things. The inspector was here almost four hours. It is not a light scan that they do. He did termite inspection. He crawled into the attic spaces. He was on the roof, in the basement, in the cupboards, closets, nooks and crannies. For real, he found a tiny leak under one of the sinks that none of us would have found on our own. It was well worth the four-five hundred dollars. And after those repairs, after that inspection; we knew we were ready to roll. But we went with the wrong agency. In future, we will go with one that can proof selling prowis and buyer appeal.
Good luck to you. Hope this helps. At this point, I'm doing my best to rack up a few brownie points with God. The house will sell, the house will sell, Life is Change, Sometimes change gets to work for you, the house will sell.