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September 24th, 2008
So, you want to sell your house …

President’s Column, Texas Association of REALTORS®

So, you want to sell your house … Despite what you may have heard or read in the media, people are still buying and selling houses. Is it a good time to sell your house? The answer to that question doesn’t depend on what the media says. It depends on how prepared you are for the transaction.

Regardless of your motivation for selling – relocation for work, marriage, children, divorce – you need to know your local market conditions, how to make your house appealing to buyers and how to manage the transaction.

Dollars and sense

Buyers can often get past certain limitations of a house. A kitchen can be updated, and an exterior can be painted. But an asking price out of line with your home’s worth will stop most consumers from looking seriously at your property.

The best way to price your home is to find out what recently sold similar homes in your neighborhood are going for. One way to access that information is to ask a Texas Realtor, who can provide you with “comps,” or what comparable properties are selling for.

To each his own

People like to walk into a place and envision themselves living there. Look at the personal touches you’ve added to the home over the years. Have you made some design choices that might prevent a buyer from making that jump?

When this topic is raised to homeowners, they often think of odd color choices or bizarre uses for rooms. While those are both causes for concern, they aren’t the only types of distractions that you should remove. A large piece of art in your living room can take the focus away from a permanent feature of the room like an ornate fireplace. Collages of family photographs may cause buyers to wonder about seller’s family rather than picturing their own in the house.

A Texas Realtor can provide an objective opinion as to what changes will help buyers see your home as a blank canvass.

Get out

Another way to help buyers see the home as their own is for you to leave. I don’t mean move out, but you should be somewhere else whenever buyers are viewing your house. Potential buyers may refrain from talking openly about the house with you around. They’ll also feel pressure to leave, which could result in them not taking a good look around.

Have a place you can go on short notice when an agent wants to show your house. Make an arrangement with your neighbor, do errands or go for a walk. Whatever you do, have somewhere else to go for 30-45 minutes on short notice.

That’s right, you need to be willing to leave on short notice. And your home also needs to be ready to show at a moment’s notice. Of course, you can make certain times or days off-limits, but any restrictions could hurt your chances of a sale. Talk to your Texas Realtor to formulate a showing strategy that fits your schedule while maximizing your home’s exposure.

Seek professional help

These tips are only a few basics to get you started. A real estate transaction contains many moving parts that are best managed with the help of an experienced real estate professional. A Texas Realtor can help you avoid many transaction pitfalls like working with unqualified buyers or mishandling the negotiation, both of which could cost you time and money. For more information, I invite you to visit

Submitted by Amy DuBose
Association Executive – San Marcos Area Board of REALTORS®

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