Selling your home is a big decision and finding the right agent can be the key to your success. Here are a few helpful tips in preparing your home for market.

1. Find the Right Agent

Interview several agents before you decide who will help you sell your home. Pick an agent who knows your area, has a firm grasp on the market, has proven marketing strategies and someone who you trust. Your agent is going to help you price your house in the current market, so their knowledge and research of the area and sales is crucial. The goal is for buyers to find your property so your agent should be actively marketing their listings via web, print and social networking.  You should also hire an agent that you feel comfortable with and can communicate with. Please read my client testimonials to read what others thought about working with me to sell their properties.

2. Prepare Your Home for Market

Your agent may be able to suggest specific repairs that you should make before you put your house on the market. Some other things that can be helpful are; repainting, touch up work, deep cleaning of carpets and floors, washing your windows, attending to your yard work and overall tidying up.

3. Make the Most of the First Impression

You only get one chance to make a first impression... make it count. When you have a showing prepare your home for those potential new owners of your home. The first thing to be mindful of is what does your house look like from the outside? If your yard is in disarray, your grass needs mowed and you have stuff laying around then buyers will believe that the inside will be much of the same. De-clutter your home, make sure it is clean and tidy and be mindful of your pets. Odors can also be a major sticking point with buyers. If you smoke, I suggest doing so outside. If you have a cat, make sure the litter box is clean. I have had buyers walk away from a home they really loved because of offensive odors. Consider baking cookies to give your house a cozy and homey feeling.

4. Be Patient

Don't be discouraged if you don't have waves and waves of buyers through your property in the first day or even the first few weeks. Just like you, buyers have busy schedules and have to make time to look at property.

5. Get Ready to Negotiate

In today's market, buyers will expect you to negotiate. When pricing your home, make sure you leave a bit of room for negotiation. If you get an offer that you think is too low or insulting, try and take the emotion out of it and understand that this is part of selling. You have someone who likes your property enough to make an offer, now is your chance to work with them and see if there is a price that everyone can be happy with. As the seller you are trying to get the most money possible out of your house and the buyer is trying to spend the least amount of money on your house. The goal is that you and the buyer can find some middle ground on the terms and amount of the offer.

6. Contract Period

It may seem that once you are under contract with a buyer that not much is going on. I can understand how it might appear that way to a seller. However, the buyer is very busy. The contract period is the buyers' due diligence period and their opportunity to determine that your property is the right one for them. Some seller's find the inspection period particularly stressful as it can be a renegotiation process in the contract. The buyer will most likely hire a professional home inspector to inspect all elements of the home. Your buyer then may decide to object to the condition of some of those items. Say for instance the water heater needs to be replaced and the buyer asks that this is done before closing. As the seller your three options are to say yes, to say no or to give some sort of compromise. You are not required to fix any of the items the buyer requests, however, the buyer also doesn't have to purchase the house if you say no to their requests. This is the most common time for a contract to fall apart. However, if the buyer wants to buy and the seller want to sell the parties will most likely find common ground solution.

7. Ask Questions

Your agent is there to assist you through the selling process. Call them anytime if you are unsure about things or have any questions. You are not expected to be a real estate expert, so speak up if you don't understand the process.