Selling your home? Then get serious!

Down-to-earth advice from a buyer who has looked at many many homes for sale in the Seattle area

As Elaine Scoggins explains, you have to be a bit smarter and more determined than the other sellers competing for buyers’ business today. Yes, by all accounts, it is a lousy time to be a seller.

Well, Elaine and her husband sold their home in Tampa, Florida amidst its dismal market, so they have been there and done that. Now they are looking for a home in the Seattle area. I have pulled some ideas from Elaine’s article in the Seattle Times to share with you…

It’s like a full-time job

Elaine suggests that a seller should adopt the attitude that selling your home is the equivalent of a new full-time job. If you don’t occasionally feel exhausted, discouraged and frustrated, you probably aren’t giving it your total effort.

Elaine encourages sellers to visit other open houses. As she explains, everyone else sees the other homes out there, and you should also.

“In Tampa, I learned a valuable lesson after walking down our street to an open house. The house had the same floor plan as ours and had been built at the same time. But the owners had furnished it in a way that made it appear more spacious and inviting. After I went home and moved some furniture around, the difference was immediately apparent.”

Be truthful about what in your home needs work… and then do it

Find someone who will give you an honest analysis of your home’s sale-ability. Ask your real-estate agent to help you identify things that need attention… they do it for a living and know what sellers look for in a home. And, with the downturn in the economy many contractors/handymen are looking for work.

Elaine: “My husband and I have been astonished at some of the signs of neglect we have seen as we visited places for sale. Do the sellers think we don’t notice?

If you want to gain our confidence, don’t give us reasons to wonder what else you’re hoping we won’t pay attention to. With so many homes to look at, it’s easy to move on to the next one.” 


Elaine suggests that sellers need to be smart, not greedy. She says: “The most successful sellers are willing to accept this piece of reality: At any given moment, your home is worth what a buyer will pay for it, and no more.”

Check out the entire article for additional ideas from Elaine, including suggestions to help you get the best service from your real estate agent.

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