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.

How Long Will It Take to Sell My Home?

You’re probably looking to accomplish two main things with the sale of your home:

  1. Get the most amount of money
  2. Complete the process in the least amount of time

In our experience, achieving both is a careful balancing act.  You can sell your home in a heartbeat with a price low enough and, contrary to this, it will last an eternity on the market if it’s overpriced.

You can estimate how long your home will be on the market by taking into consideration your needs and evaluating how other homes in your area are performing.

Baseline Days on the Market

We’ll begin by determining the average amount of time it takes for a home with similar features and amenities to sell in your neighborhood.  This will establish a baseline that we can use to gauge how both under and overpricing your home affects it’s days-on-market.

Once we’ve established a baseline, we can then consider your timing and financial needs in regards to pricing.  We’ll refer to this statistic as “baseline” later in this article.


You have three choices when it comes to pricing your home: below, at, and above market.  Each comes with its pros and cons, and choosing one will be based on your financial needs and time frame.

Below Market

When you are below market price, you can expect your home to sell faster than your baseline.  The reasons are fairly obvious– you’ve intentionally listed your home at a below-market price with the intention of attracting the most number of buyers in the least amount of time.  Buyers will include both those who plan to live in the home themselves and investors.

The hidden gem with this pricing method is that you can proactively solicit multiple offers and possibly drive up the price of your home.  This simply cannot be done if you are not attracting multiple buyers, and this pricing method almost ensures this to happen.

The biggest concern with pricing under market is that you’re leaving money on the table.  While this is also our concern, we’ll coach you on how much under market you should price to ensure you’re getting more offers, while minimizing the risk of losing money.

At Market

Pricing your home at it’s market price, or the price we determine your home is actually worth based on it’s features, amenities, and condition, ensures that it will be sold in your baseline timeframe.  A seller who isn’t in a desperate need to sell quickly could consider this option.  While you may not get as many buyers as the under-priced method, you will still receive the average amount of interest as other homes for sale in your market.

Buyers with this pricing method will usually include those who plan to live in the home themselves.


Each pricing method has it’s benefits, and the overpriced method is reserved for those homes that could be considered “benchmark” or in a better condition with more features than other homes in their market. 

Overpriced homes should expect to stay on the market the longest, as they’re targeting a very specific niche buyer who values the reasons justifying the increase in list price.


As you can see, the amount of time your home spends on the market is in direct relation to how it’s priced in relation to the baseline. 

Contact one of the professionals today to discuss your needs and the real estate market to determine which pricing method is best for you.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of offering Free Instant Access to Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast.

Should we Remodel our Home or Sell “As Is”?

This question is a common headache for many homeowners visiting Gay Real Estate when considering 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.

Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of ~ Instant Free Access to the Nation’s Top Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast-to-Coast.

Should the Realtor we hire to sell our home be from a big national company?

Although there may be advantages if a Realtor works for a big national company, the most important factor is that the Realtor is ethical, has a track record of success and genuinely has the skills, tools and expertise to sell your home.

Working for a big national company used to help with national or international exposure, but because of the multiple listing service and seamless web access, all Realtors have the same information when it comes to assisting you in selling your home. The multiple listing service (MLS) offers all Realtors computer access to listings, as long as the Realtor subscribes to this service. Because of this, it does not matter if the Realtor works for a big national company or not.

The Realtor you choose to help sell your home should be knowledgeable in all areas of real estate, including the contract, being a good communicator and excellent negotiator.

The Realtor should also have a pulse on the neighborhood in which you live and should be able to give you a list of comparable listed properties (your competition) and sales so that you know where to price your home. The price you choose should be based on your specific area or neighborhood and will help determine how quickly you will sell your home.

Are there similar homes to yours for sale, or is your home unique? Your Realtor can assist in determining the exact value your property, if you have doubts get a second or third opinion but never go with the “highest estimate”, it’s often a ploy to just get the listing ~ the numbers are clear and you’ll easily be able to determine the value… in this market, nothing is more critical than the price!

The Realtor you choose to help sell your home should also be able to give you tips on what will help make your home more attractive to buyers, thus placing your home in a bracket that is more likely to sell. Does your home need painting? Does the landscaping need work? Do any of your rooms need updating? Do any of your appliances need replacing?

Your home will more than likely have to pass an inspection, so it is in your best behalf to have a home that will not raise red flags. If anything such as a roof, plumbing or electrical work may not pass an inspection, it would be best to have those repaired or replaced before placing your home on the market.

The Realtor you choose to sell your home should be someone you feel comfortable with, someone you trust and someone whose track record you can verify. The Realtor should have a detailed marketing plan in writing, and show a willingness to do whatever it takes to sell your home. To sell your home, it needs exposure. How does the Realtor plan to get the real estate community to participate in showing your home to other buyers?

A big national company cannot guarantee your home will sell ~ follow your instincts.

Author Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of offering Free Instant Access to Gay, Lesbian and Gay Friendly Realtors Coast to Coast ~ has independent agents and real estate agents from the nation’s largest companies, visit the site today to choose your perfect agent.