Selling a Home - River Realty Selling Guide

(Print the entire Selling Guide in PDF format here.)

After years of waiting, you expect this year may be the year to sell and move into a larger home. Indeed, the market appears healthier than it has been for a long time.

But don't mistake this year for 2005: selling in this rejuvenated market is still a lot harder than it was then. Prices reported are rising in large part to lower inventory, and a change in the mix of "traditional" sales to foreclosure sales. The traditional (non-bank owned) market never dropped as dramatically as the prices reported in combination with bank-owned homes. Thus the percentage of increase in your home's value is actually less than the overall (reported) increase. Still, we can all agree that prices are going up. But despite rising prices, it is unfortunately true that many homeowners have "lost" the equity needed to move on without pain. We address this problem in detail within these pages.

During the market downturn sellers had to measurably improve their homes, resulting in a higher standard that seems to be expected by buyers today. For instance, installations of new kitchens and/or baths are not uncommon these days, as sellers compete with the builder-renovated homes on the market. Nowadays you still have to be ready to go the extra mile to prepare your house for sale, to wait patiently for the market to find you, and to be flexible and non-defensive in negotiations.

Minneapolis house exteriorSo, as a prospective seller, what can you do to get a leg up?  Our advice: get smarter.  Get smarter about the value of your home, about getting it ready for sale, about being on the market, about negotiating intelligently.  We don’t mean to insult you; we just know that every homeowner could benefit from more information before selling.  Knowledge makes it possible for you to be realistic in your expectations and reasonable in your responses, giving you a critical edge in today’s market. 

In this section we want to take you on a comprehensive journey through the selling experience, from your initial contact with an agent through house preparation, pricing and listing, marketing, negotiation and closing.  Ours will be a more detailed and personal presentation than you’ll see anywhere, full of examples offering you an “on the ground” perspective with lots of selling tips and opinions.  It’s extremely long, so we’ve broken it into 5 major topic areas (in the sidebar at right).