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How to Sell Your Home or Property for Top Dollar

Getting a decent sale price for your Arizona home is not always an easy task, particularly when the Phoenix area housing market is in a slump. Some sellers get so desperate to rid themselves of a home that they don’t take the time to prepare the house for sale adequately. This shortsighted approach results in a dismal sale price and potentially thousands of dollars lost. However, even with an unfavorable housing market, sellers do not have to resign themselves to the fact that they will not receive an acceptable price for their Arizona homes. Obtaining your asking price is not as difficult as you think when you employ the right selling tactics. Read on for helpful suggestions on how to maximize your home’s sale price.

  • Hire a real estate agent. Yes, agents work on commission and that will reduce the profit you make on the sale of your home, but the benefits of an agent far outweigh the costs. In fact, Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Scottsdale homes that are sold FSBO (for sale by owner) sell for an average of 25% less than agent-assisted sales.
  • Ask your agent to do a comparative market analysis. A comparative market analysis (CMA) researches the sales of comparable homes in your area of Arizona in order to help you set the asking price for your home. The most important portion of a CMA is the sold listings section, which is what the buyer’s appraiser will use to set the value of your home.
  • Don’t overprice. Asking far more for your home than it is worth will result in one of two negative outcomes. First, your home will stay on the market for months until you are forced to reduce your sale price. Alternatively, your home will sell but for below its fair market value. Most Arizona homes that are overpriced end up selling for below their market value because the sellers get desperate.
  • Do a deep clean. Ultra-clean houses sell for $5,000-$10,000 more on average. Before you put your house on the market, give it a deep, thorough cleaning. Clean the light fixtures, the faucets, the windows, etc. Also rent or buy a powerwasher for the exterior walls, sidewalks, and driveway.
  • Use the basketball rule. Over time, homes tend to get cluttered, which drastically reduces their appeal to buyers. When selling a house, you will need to rid it of all knickknacks and other clutter. Rent a storage unit to store your things temporarily. To help you determine what should go and what should stay, use the basketball rule—remove anything smaller than a basketball from your home.
  • Neutralize your wall colors. Loud or bizarre paint colors on the walls will discourage potential buyers because they know they will have to paint over them once they move in. Take the time to paint your walls in complementary, neutral colors before you start showing the home.
  • Take an objective view. Go from room to room of your house, stand at the doorway, and look at it as if you didn’t live there. Does the room look too full? Are there too many accessories or too much furniture? A good strategy to try is to take out half of everything in all of your rooms and then reevaluate how they look. You can always put items back gradually if the room seems to empty.
  • Depersonalize. Personal photos and family heirlooms may have special meaning to you, but they will turn buyers off. Personal items distract buyers from the beauty of the home and make them curious about the kind of people the sellers are. The idea is to help the buyers imagine living in your home themselves, and they can’t do that with your photographs and personal touches everywhere.
  • Set the mood. When buyers come to view your home, make sure you take care of a few last-minute touches before you leave. Take out the trashes, put the lids down on the toilets, vacuum, and hide your laundry. Make sure your bathroom has new hand towels with coordinating colors on display. Ideally, all of the lights in the home should be left on. Finally, put on some kind of soothing music to put your buyers in a relaxed and comfortable mood. Consider putting on some soft jazz at a low volume.
  • Don’t hesitate to bring in professionals. The aforementioned tips are basically a step-by-step guide to what is called “staging” your Arizona home for buyers. To give you an idea of the efficacy of staging, staged homes sell in an average of seven days, whereas non-staged homes sell in an average of 45 days. If staging your home is consuming too much of your time, consider hiring a staging professional. Look online for staging professionals who are accredited in the state of Arizona.


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