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10 Dos and Don'ts for Home Sellers

The experts from Bought & Sold explain what to do (and what not to do) when selling a home.

5 Dos

Consult your real estate agent before prepping your home for the market. If you just start making changes, you may be focusing on things that are not as important as others.

Make sure your agent will have a strong online presence. The majority of house hunters begin their search on the Internet and then narrow down which ones to actually visit.

Be certain your agent is knowledgeable about the area. He or she should have a good understanding of the local community, schools, recreation and politics to share with potential buyers.

Feature professional color photos of your home. This is as important for the Internet listing as it is for the printed brochures. The brochure should also include a detailed floor plan.

Have a clear understanding of the selling process. Familiarize yourself with the typical marketing time in your area, what to expect with a home inspection and any hot-button items that could be of concern. Also, be familiar with the contract process, attorney review, mortgage contingency, deposit escrows and closing time frames.

5 Dont's

Don't just go with the agent who tells you your house is worth the most. Conduct some research to verify the pricing, and consider looking at the competition.

Don't just assume that the agent who sold you your house will be a good fit on the selling side. Interview more than one person to find out what each has to offer.

Don't ignore offers that don't meet your asking price. By not countering even low offers, you could easily discourage what may ultimately be a good offer.

Don't assume that your agent works full-time. Many do not, so be sure to ask.

Don't just accept everything your agent says. Get it in writing. Make sure he or she offers a written marketing plan with which you agree. Also, understand that once you sign, you are locked in to a legal contract for the term agreed upon.

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