You may wonder what will happen when you're selling one home and buying another – how will all the details work out? This is a common situation and REALTORS®, lawyers, and title and escrow companies have plenty of experience in arranging contracts and loans so that the two transactions dovetail smoothly.
Use a professional cleaning service every few weeks while the house is on the market.
Remove the less frequently used, and even daily-used items from kitchen counters, closets, basement and attic to make these areas more inviting.
Make sure that table tops, dressers and closets are free of clutter.Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms: they should look as modern, bright and fresh as possible. It is essential for them to be clean and odor free.
Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.
Buy showy new towels for the bathroom, and put them out only for showings.Spruce up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by installing new curtains and cabinet knobs, or applying a fresh coat of neutral paint.
Clean walls and doors of smudges and scuff marks.
If necessary, repaint dingy, soiled or strongly-colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
Check for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement, and fix any problem areas.
Seal basement walls if there are any signs of dampness or leakage.Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint and tiles.
Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings and other woodwork.
Inspect and repair the plumbing, heating, cooling and alarm systems.
TIP: If you do order a market value appraisal, make it clear you don't need an elaborate, or full narrative report, i.e., the kind that's complete with photos of the house and neighborhood. Floor plans and a site map is sufficient in most cases.
If You Price High, Set a Schedule for Lowering the Price.
Some sellers list at the rock-bottom price they'd really take, because they hate bargaining. Others add on thousands to the estimated market value "just to see what happens." If you want to try that, and if you have the luxury of enough time to feel out the market, sit down with your REALTOR® and work out an advance schedule for lowering the price if need be.
If there haven't been many prospects viewing your home after three weeks, you may need to lower your list price. If that doesn't bring any prospective buyers, you may need to lower your list price again. Plan on doing that regularly until you find a level that attracts buyers. Make a written schedule in advance, before emotion takes over and you're tempted to dig your heels in.