10 Steps to Selling Your Home in a Scary Market

Realtor offers his advice to consumers looking to sell real estate in today’s downtrodden market

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In a blog post over at Trulia, Realtor Mark Chesnick offers his advice to homeowners looking to sell in today’s scary real estate market.

From Trulia:

Above everything else, please remember, there is no magic wand to sell your home in a day. It is going to take time, effort and perseverance by you and your Realtor®. The real key question is, how is your house going to stand out compared to all of the others in the same price range and location? Here are 10 steps to help you find a buyer for your home and potentially sell it for the most money possible.

•1) First and foremost, make sure your home has curb appeal. That first impression, when a potential buyer pulls up to your home for the first time is huge. I kind of compare it to going on a first date. Does that person you are meeting look clean and groomed? Are they wearing old, torn cloths? Do they smell good? Can you see yourself going on a second date? You get the picture. You never get a second chance of impressing an individual. It has to be the same way with your home. Once you get that look going with the mowed lawn and the trimmed hedges, please keep it that way. All too often, after a month, the seller will get complacent and start slacking off. Remember, first impressions are forever.

2) Next, walk into your home with the eyes of a first time home buyer. What do you see? Is there clutter? Do the rooms look inviting or cramped? Is it easy to move from one room to the next? Are the carpets or floors dirty? Will the colors on the walls accommodate some one else's furniture? How does it smell when you walk in? When it comes to smells, clean always wins over candles and aroma scented sprays. Think clean, bright and welcoming as you go.

•3) Get rid of any toys or personal things that clutter shelves, walls desks and floors. Always keep in the back of your mind as you do this, the people looking at your home want to imagine their stuff there. The more you have of yours, the less likely they will be able to see theirs. It is not a bad idea to rent a storage unit to start this process. Out of sight with these items is always best in the long run. Do this in every room.

•4) Next, strange as it sounds, replace the toilet seats. It does make a difference.

•5) Ok, the house is clean, neat and smelling great. Congrats! Now is the time to go back outside and start looking for things that are broken or missing on the house. Start in the front and move to the back, then work your way through the interior of the house. By doing this, you overcome potential objections from a potential buyer well before they come up in the negotiations. Read the rest of the list here.

Read the rest of the tips here.

Disclosure: U.S. News & World Report has a business partnership with Trulia.