Tips for Same Sex Couples Selling their Home

Selling your home can be complicated and stressful. Buyers are a lot more savvy today than they were in the past due to the wealth of information that is available on the Internet. Following are some tips for same sex couples selling their home.

RE101Learn Your Market

Real estate selling strategies are local and has its own customs. General rules for selling real estate will not work in every location. The best way to do this is to hire a real estate agent. See our article Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Gay Realtor for your Home Purchase. LGBT real estate agents know their local market and can offer advice on pricing, marketing and negotiation.

Open House

Holding an open house allows potential buyers an opportunity to explore your home and picture themselves living in it. In order to make a favorable impression, you should spruce up the outside of the home and the yard, and make sure the inside is clean and clutter free. The outside of the home is the first things that potential buyers see and is your first shot at making a favorable impression.

Find somewhere to go and let your real estate agent handle your open house. Buyers tend to feel uncomfortable while exploring a home with the sellers present. They also tend to give a realtor more honest feedback regarding their thoughts on the price and presentation of your home. That feedback can assist your realtor in ways to increase interest in the home. Another good reason to be absent during your open house is that both you and the buyers will form opinions about each other while you talking about the home that could interfere with a buyer making an offer or your acceptance of an offer that may otherwise be acceptable.

Offer and Acceptance

Real estate laws vary from state to state. Generally, there must be an offer and an acceptance of the offer as evidenced by the signatures of all parties involved. Making a written offer is not legally binding and the seller is free to make a counter offer or decline the offer. Once the seller accepts the offer and all parties sign the document, a ‘meeting of the minds’ takes place and the contract becomes legally binding.

Real estate contracts generally include the terms of the sale and the deadlines that must be met before the sale can be finalized. For example, a buyer has two weeks to secure financing, or the seller has one week to repair the furnace. If those deadlines are not met, the contract will be breached and can be declared invalid. Setting deadlines should be done realistically. One of your real estate agent’s responsibilities will be to assist you in setting those deadlines and monitor them to ensure that the contract does not go into default and result in the loss of the sale.

Real Estate Agent Consultation

If you are considering selling your home, you should consult with an LGBT real estate agent in your location ~ find one free at sites like He or she is in the best position to know and discuss the local market with you and guide you through the process of selling your home.

How to Hire the Best Gay / Lesbian Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Typically the reason you need to hire a real estate agent would be to facilitate the quick sale of your home, sell at a better price and prevent any miss-steps. However, to ensure a smooth process then you need to find a competent, full-time real estate agent who can sell your property professionally.

There are some things that you need to know before hiring anybody to sell your home.

1. Find a Local Agent

Hire the Best Gay / Lesbian Real Estate Agent to Sell Your HomeIt is very important to find a local gay agent who understands your area in detail. Potential home buyers in most cases ask many questions related to shopping, schools, parks, libraries, taxes, fees and the like and any other life essentials in the area. A realtor who can answer them accurately and competently will help sell your home quicker than you imagined. Ask agents simple questions, such as the number of homes they have sold in the area and whether the area is where they reside and if so, how long have they been living in the area.

2. Request References

Asking for references will help in determining how competent and professional your real estate agent is. It’s a good idea to talk to clients who recently used the services of the realtor you’re considering hiring. If the agent backdates their reference 1 year or so, then there must be something fishy going on, so watch out!

3. Monitor the capacity of their work

Find a realtor who can focus on what you want and dedicate time for it. Never forget to ask the number of clients (home listings) they have at the moment, and estimate the hourly period they spend marketing each property. Do they have systems and procedures in place? Have they provided you a step by step list of marketing activities they will provide, with dates attached?

4. What are their Time lines?

Nowadays, we’re coming into fall (a slower period to sell homes) and some markets are still clunking along, so you need to find a realtor who is actually selling 100% of the listings he/she takes. Simply inquire about the listing period that the real estate agent is going to sell your property, if you’re concerned they will abandon hope after two months after your house fails to sell, then you need to hold their feet to the fire ~ make the listing agreement for 90 days, with one 90 days extension, if you are fully satisfied with their work and communication.

5. Ask About Fees

Ensure you have a detailed description of everything the agent will charge you at closing. Some agents want “processing fees” in addition to the commission never agree to this. Other agents may ask for marketing fees up front never agree to this. The agent should only be paid a fee (commission) when they have successfully sold your home, and then it is well deserved. So before you sign the listing contract, make sure you understand it fully, and all the services and fees that will be included. (you should always be provided a net sheet at the listing appointment which will outline all of your closing costs, payoff’s and fees, with an estimated net to you at closing)

6. Is Your Realtor Part of MLS?

Agents who are listed with the Multiple List Service (MLS) which is a nationwide database of houses on the market, have a higher chance of selling your home, therefore such an agent is a must when selling a home.

7. Is your Realtor Gay/Gay Friendly

Not only is it important to support our community, it’s doubly important to ensure the agent you’ll be paying a huge commission to is not funding organizations that are in complete opposition to our LGBT Community!

Using free services like will ensure you’re hiring a full-time professional gay, lesbian or gay friendly realtor that stands in full support of you, your family and our community.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is a gay realtor and Founding CEO of ~ Offering Free Instant Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast. Free Buyers Representation ~ Free Relocation Kit to any City, USA ~ Free Sellers Market Analysis for home sellers.

Preparing your Home for Sale

Before selling a house, one has to thoroughly prepare their house for selling. By taking certain steps, the home owners can ensure great activity in terms of showings on their home and their home will get sold for the highest amount of money, with the least amount of problems, within a short span of time.

The first step that one has to take is to mentally disassociate from the house where they have lived for many years. By mentally conditioning themselves with the fact that the house is going to be sold, home owners can look at the property with the eyes of a potential buyer, not being attached to the sentimental value the home has brought.

The next thing the home owners should do is to take away much of their personal memorabilia such as photos and souvenirs, these should be largely removed from the walls and bookcases of their home. When a prospective buyer comes to see the property these personal belongings, photos, memorabilia, etc. are a mental distraction and buyers find it more difficult to “imagine” themselves as the new home owners, their interest levels will go down and eventually they go in search of another property.

You’ve heard “cleanliness is next to godliness”? Maybe it’s time for a professional cleaning and deodorizing of the home. As home owners, were generally more worried about finding our next home, packing or trying to figure out the perfect neighborhood for the relocation. It’s a great time get some professional help with de-clutter, cleaning, carpet cleaning, window washing and painting… a great source for quick reasonable help is, but always check for references and insurance.

Prospective buyers are interested in seeing behind every door, every nook and cranny including the attic, so spruce things up, make sure the lighting works. You’ll have to ensure that everything is stored properly in a neat manner.

Then one of the most important things to consider while preparing your house for sale is to set right any problems related to “deferred maintenance”. Some of the areas include maintenance to the eves, soffits and gutters, repairing or replacing cracked tiles cleaning up the grout, repairing leaky faucets and doors that don’t close properly… a fresh set of eyes by the realtor you hire from will provide a list of “must do’s”.

With respect to the paint, home owners have to ensure that requiring walls are repainted with a fresh soothing color and not the color which their family might have liked in 1982.

And of course curb appeal is THE #1 First Impression the potential buyers will have… make sure it’s the best looking lawn and landscaping on the block, even if it’s never looked that way before.


Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of ~ The Nation’s Largest Free Directory of Gay Real Estate Agents, Lesbian Realtors and Gay Friendly Real Estate Agents offering Free Buyers Representation, Free Sellers Competitive Market Analysis and Free Relocation Kits in Any City, USA.

Should I Remodel my Home or Sell it “As Is”?

This question is a common headache for many homeowners when placing their home on the market.  On one hand, a remodel could create a diamond in the rough, and possibly even encourage a faster sale.  On another, selling as-is in a competitive market could save months of listing time if priced right.

When You Should Remodel

Analyzing your competition can be a great way to gain insight into what buyers are looking for in your market.  It’s easy to assume a feature or amenity should immediately increase the value of your home.  In some cases it will, but many times a remodel will only bring your home to the market readiness of other similar homes in your neighborhood.

You should consider remodeling a room in your home if any of the following applies:

1) When analyzing sold history and currently active homes on the market, you find that this particular remodel is commonly found.

2) The room is in dire need of attention and a simple clean up won’t suffice to get it market-ready.

3) When analyzing sold history, a predominant higher price is offered for homes with this particular remodel.

You’re likely to never recoup the entire cost of a remodel, but getting your home up to par may be necessary to get your home sold in a reasonable amount of time.


When You Should Sell As-Is

If your home can be considered a “benchmark” home, or a home that is already loaded with amenities not commonly found in your market, you should consider selling as-is.  While a pricey remodel will certainly make your home shine during an open house, it usually costs more than it’s worth. 

You should consider selling your home as-is if your home meets any of the following criteria:

1) The average price per square foot in your market is deteriorating (down market).

2) Your home can be considered a “benchmark” home, or a home that has more features and amenities than the competition.

3) Your home is already on par with other active properties in the area.


The Rule of Thumb

First, ensure that your home meets the standard set by the competition currently for sale in your market.  If your home is not up to par, you should consider remodeling. 

If your home shares the same features and amenities as its competition, then you should consider selling as-is to avoid leaving any money on the table.  A remodel is always a nice selling feature, but many times it does not make financial sense and is simply a waste of time.

Take the time to get with your real estate agent to analyze your competition, and base your decision on what buyers are demanding in your particular real estate market.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of ~ Instant Free Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors, offering Free Buyers Representation and a Free Competitive Market Analysis to home sellers.