27 Valuable Tips You Should Know
To Get Your Home SOLD FAST and for TOP DOLLAR!


1. Understand Why You Are Selling Your Home.

Your motivation to sell is the determining factor as to how you will approach the process. It affects everything from what you set your asking price at to how much time, money and effort you're willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale. For example, if your goal is for a quick sale, this would deter mine one approach. If you want to maximize your profit, the sales process might take longer thus determining a different approach.

2. Keep the Reason(s) You are Selling to Yourself.

The reason(s) you are selling your home will affect the way you negotiate its sale. By keeping this to yourself you don't provide ammunition to your prospective buyers. For example, should they learn that you must move quickly, you could be placed at a disadvantage in the negotiation process. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason(s) you are selling is only for you to know.

3. Before Setting a Price - Do Your Homework.

When you set your price, you make buyers aware of the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. As a seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to the list price as possible. If you start out by pricing too high, you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and their agents and pricing too low can result in selling for much less than you were hoping for.

Setting Your Home's Sale Price.

If You Live in a Subdivision - If your home is comprised of similar or identical floor plans, built in the same period, simply look at recent sales in your neighborhood subdivision to give you a good idea of what your home is worth.

If You Live in An Older Neighborhood - As neighborhoods change over time each home may be different in minor or substantial ways. Because of this you will probably find that there aren't many homes truly comparable to your own. In this case you may want to consider seeking a Realtor' to help you with the pricing process.

if You Decide to Sell On four Own.- A good way to establish a value is to look at homes that have sold in your neighborhood within the past 6 months, including those now on the market. This is how prospective buyers will assess the worth of your home. For most communities, a trip to City Hall can provide you with home sale information from the public records.

4. Do Some "Home Shopping" Yourself.

The best way to learn about your competition and discover what turns buyers off is to check out other open houses. Note floor plans, condition, appearance, size of lot, location and other features. Particularly note not only the asking prices but what they are actually selling for. Remember, if you're serious about getting your home sold fast, don't price it higher than your neighbor's.

5. When Getting an Appraisal is a Benefit.

Sometimes a good appraisal can be a benefit in marketing your home. Getting an appraisal is a good way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. However, an appraisal does cost money, has a limited life, and there's no guarantee you'll like the figure you hear.

6. Tax Assessments - What They Really Mean.

Some people think that tax assessments are a way of evaluating a home, The difficulty here is that assessments are based on a number of criteria that may not be related to property values, so they may not necessarily reflect your home's true value.

7. Deciding Upon a Realtor.

According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly two thirds of the people surveyed who sell their own homes say they wouldn't do it again themselves, Primary reasons included setting a price, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints. When deciding upon a Realtor, consider two or three. Be as wary of quotes that are too low as those that are too high.

All Realtors' are not the same! A professional Realtor' knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience, qualifications, enthusiasm and personality. Be sure you choose someone that you trust. Make sure you feel confident that they will do a good job on your behalf.

If you choose to sell on your own, you can still talk to a Realtor'. Many are more than willing to help do-it-yourselfers with paperwork, contracts, etc. and should problems arise, you now have someone you can readily call upon.

8. Ensure You Have Room to Negotiate.

Before settling on your asking price make sure you leave yourself enough room in which to bargain. For example, set your lowest and highest selling price. Then check your priori ties to know if you'll price high to maximize your profit or price closer to market value if you want sell quickly.

9. Appearances Do Matter- Make them Count!

Appearance is so critical that it would be unwise to ignore this when selling your home. The look and "feel" of your home will generate a greater emotional response than any other factor.Prospective buyers react to what they see, hear, feel, and smell even though you may have priced your home to sell.

10. Invite the Honest Opinions of Others.

The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to rely solely on your own judgment. Don't be shy about seeking the honest opinions of others. You need to be objective about your home's good points as well as bad. Fortunately, your Realtor' will be unabashed about discussing what should be done to make your home more marketable.

11. Get it Spic n' Span Clean and Fix Everything, Even If It Seems Insignificant.

You'll never know what turns buyers off. So scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn't work, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal killers. Remember, you're not just competing with other resale homes but brand-new ones as well.

12. Allow Prospective Buyers to Visualize Themselves in Your Home.

The last thing you want prospective buyers to feel when viewing your home is that they may be intruding into someone's life. Avoid clutter such as too many knick-knacks, etc. Decorate in neutral colors, like white or beige and place a few carefully cho sen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are great for tips.

13. Deal Killer Odors - Must Go!

You may not realize this but odd smells like traces of food, pets and smoking odors can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know you have a dog or that you smoke, they'll start being aware of odors and seeing stains that may not even exist. Don't leave any clues.

 14Be a Smart Seller- Disclose Everything.

Smart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce liability and prevent lawsuits later on.

15. It's Better With More Prospects.

When you maximize your home's marketability, you will most likely attract more than one prospective buyer. It is much better to have several buyers because they will compete with each other; a single buyer will end up competing with you.

16. Keep Emotions in Check During Negotiations.

Let go of the emotions you've invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You'll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.

17. Learn Why Your Buyer is Motivated.

The better you know your buyers, the better you can use the negotiation process to your advantage. This allows you to control the pace and duration of the process.

As a rule, buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for the least amount of money. Knowing what motivates them enables you to negotiate more effectively. For example, does your buyer need to move quickly? Armed with this information you are in a better position to bargain.

18. What the Buyer Can Really Pay.

As soon as possible, try to learn the amount of mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much his/her down payment is. If their offer is low, ask their Realtor' about the buyer's ability to pay what your home is worth.

19. When the Buyer Would Like to Close.

Quite often, when buyers would "like" to close is when they need to close. Knowledge of their deadlines for completing negotiations again creates a negotiating advantage for you.

20. Never Sign a Deal on Your Next Home Until You Sell Your Current Home

Beware of closing on your new home while you're still making mortgage payments on the old one or you might end up becoming a seller who is eager (even desperate) for the first deal that comes along.

21. Moving Out Before You Sell Can Put You at a Disadvantage.

It has been proven that it's more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it becomes forlorn and looking forgotten, no longer an appealing sight. Buyers start getting the message that you have another home and are probably motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of dollars.

22. Deadlines Create A Serious Disadvantage.

Don't try to sell by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in negotiations.

23. A Low Offer- Don't Take It Personally.

Invariably the initial offer is below what both you and the buyer knows he'll pay for your property. Don't be upset, evaluate the offer objectively. Ensure it spells out the offering price, sufficient deposit, amount of down payment, mortgage amount, a closing date and any special requests. This can simply provide a starting point from which you can negotiate.

24. Turn That Low Offer Around.

You can counter a low offer or even an offer that's just under your asking price. This lets the buyer know that the first offer wasn't seen as being a serious one. Now you'll be negotiating only with buyers with serious offers.

25. Maybe the Buyer's Not Qualified.

If you feel an offer is inadequate, now is the time to make sure the buyer is quaked to carry the size of mortgage the deal requires. Inquire how they arrived at their figure and suggest they compare your price to the prices of homes for sale in your neighborhood.

26. Ensure the Contract is Complete.

To avoid problems, ensure that all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale. It should include such items as the date it was made, names of parties involved, address of property being sold, purchase price,

where deposit monies will be held, date for loan approval, date and place of closing, type of deed, including any contingencies that remain to be settled and what personal property is included (or not) in the sale.

27. Resist Deviating From the Contract.

For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. Tell them that you've been advised against it. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.
  • "Nora is a gift in the hectic world of real estate and we truly could not have navigated the home buying process without her. This is the third time we have used Nora as an agent and she has become like family. When we looked at houses she had a keen attention to detail, noticing things we would have typically overlooked! Sincerely"

    Terre Hampstead, MD

  • "Sherri just handled the sale of our long time home. She made a daunting process easier and manageable. Her calm counsel and years of experience are a wonderful combination to have in a realtor. We highly recommend Sherri to anyone looking to sell or buy their home in the area. Sincerely"

    Rick & Heather Wolfe Hampstead, MD

  • "Mercedes from day one was great! Through the whole process she explained everything and knew what needed to happen next. She is very knowledgeable in the market. I switched from another agent and it was like night and day the difference. I truly appreciate all her hard work and making this process less stressful!"

    Cody BTestimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Sherri did a super job selling our house. We took every word of advice she gave us about how to prepare and stage our home resulting in a very quick sale. Our buyers were especially impressed with the video taken of the interior of our home. She is a thorough professional who understands the local real estate market and helped us sell in record time even though we listed in the dead of winter. We highly recommend Fales Realty to all prospective clients."

    Dennis & Cathy -

  • "Sherri assisted us in selling our house after having had another agent from a different agency for a year prior who was less than satisfactory and unsuccessful in selling the house. Sherri & the Fales Realty team is great. Sherri is masterful at telling you what you need to do to sell your house and isn't afraid to address the difficult obstacles, issues and deficiencies of the property that some property owners prefer not to deal with or talk about. I've been involved in several home sales over the years and Sherri is one of the best agents I've worked with. I would highly recommend her to any seller."

    Darryl -

  • Penny is Awesome. She helped us buy our first lot in 1985...WOW 35 years ago! listed and sold 3 of our homes through the years!

    Terry C. -

  • "The entire Fales Realty Team were so easy to work with when selling our Hanover, PA home. Sherri is friendly and easy to talk with. Her knowledge both as a Professional, and her experience as a buyer/seller herself, were very apparent in all my interactions with her. For me, Communication was extremely important and the Fales Team kept us completely informed, explaining each step. They truly walked along side us through the entire process. I highly recommend checking their website FalesRealty."

    Darryl testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Working with FALES REALTY was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the large realty companies. Everyone was very friendly and efficient. My inquiries were answered in a timely manner. I was kept informed of what was happening at all times and someone always seemed to be available when I needed them. Sherri Fales did an amazing job of negotiating a great deal for me even though the seller was out of the country during the process. She is exceptionally caring and knowledgeable so I always felt like I was in good hands. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend FALES REALTY to anyone looking to buy or sell a home."

    C. Dryden testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Sherri was wonderful to work with and everyone at Fales Reality was always helpful. We sold our home in less than 24 hours and Sherri was very helpful with the purchase of our new home. I would highly recommend Fales Realty!"

    Lisa testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Over the past three years, Mercedes helped me purchase two homes and sell one. Her exceptional work ethic, expertise, and business savvy continually impressed me. I can't imagine a more attentive, competent realtor. I wholeheartedly recommend Mercedes Brooks to anyone looking to buy or sell their home."

    Kelly testimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Sherri is amazing to work with! She is very knowledgeable and worked hard to get us the best deal on our dream home. She is always pleasant and a phone call or text away. I would not use a different realtor. I know many of her clients and I have always heard how wonderful of a realtor she is!"

    Brian and Jessica -

  • "We have worked with Mercedes on two different occasions. She was extremely helpful when we purchased our townhouse as a first time homeowner and we returned to her when we were ready to sell to purchase our second home. She has extensive knowledge of Carroll County, was patient, was very responsive to questions, and went above and beyond to make the experience one that was not stressful. We highly recommend Mercedes should you be looking to sell or purchase your home."

    Brad & Trish testimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Our experience with Mercedes from start to finish was wonderful. She is professional and responded immediately to questions we had about the process. We truly felt as though she was working in our best interest. Mercedes took all the thinking out of the process for us and we couldn’t be happier with the level of service she provided."

    - testimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Sherri Fales and her team were able to help us sell our home in record time. Thanks to Sherri's advice and guidance we literally had a great offer as soon as it went on the market. It was a pleasure to do business with Sherri. She is honest, straight-forward and always very responsive which is exactly what you need when you have a house to sell. I would recommend Sherri Fales and Fales Realty to anyone who is looking for a real estate professional in Carroll County."

    - testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Sherri, Bob and Carol were an outstanding real estate team for the sale of our home in Maryland. Preparation & Staging: They gave us great advice for best preparation of our home for the sale. They went beyond the 'declutter' advice, and were sensitive to our decorating instincts. Marketing: The write-up and pictures were honest and well worded. Strategy: They clearly knew the market and helped us understand the best pricing strategy in order to maximize the exposure. Integrity: I knew that they were on our side. But I also knew clearly their values included honesty and transparency. Process: They were very responsive during the process, advising us on the paperwork, and assuring us as we moved through the negotiation and inspection process. I'd hire this team in a minute."

    Del and Andee testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Sherri and her team know Hampstead, Manchester, and Carroll County in general through and through. She is a seasoned professional who goes the extra mile in doing what she can to help, coach, and walk you through the selling and buying process. Would certainly use Sherri should we ever need to move again - just hopefully not anytime soon since she helped us find our forever home!"

    Ian & Rebecca testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Sherri made honest, professional recommendations on what was needed to be done to sell my home, and her recommendations were right on target. The house sold within three days with three offers. I highly recommend her for anyone selling their house."

    Suzannetestimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Sherri made our first home buying experience amazing! She's a low-pressure, here-to-help you kind of agent which made the process so much more comfortable than we could have imagined! She knows the area very well and was extremely honest and helpful."

    Abbi testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Sherri is very honest and is very hard working at getting the best price for you on your property or home. She knows the Realtor's State Business better than anyone I have ever met. She's also very helpful with suggestions, and improving your home so you can get the best price for it as well. She sold our house in less than a month on the market. She was highly recommended to us by a friend. We have Realtors in the family, but wanted a complete stranger selling the house for us. So we now highly recommend Sherri to anyone we know, who needs or wants to sell or buy any home or property. We tell them she is the best."

    Larry and Frantestimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Sherri is the ultimate agent! While being completely professional and knowledgeable, she is also very warm and caring and really works hard for you to get the best price and conditions for an effortless sale. Our home was a unique older home that needed a few things for the sale to go through, and Sherri had a lot of resources of companies to get the work done at a great price. We would totally recommend Sherri to sell your home. She’s the best in the business! Thank you Sherri for seeing us through this sometimes stressful time!"

    Betty & Rick testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "We worked with Mercedes to sell our townhouse and buy our forever home. She was amazing every step of the way. She is very knowledgeable, always easy to get in touch with, always on top of everything, very efficient, she has great attention to detail and was extremely professional as well as friendly. We worked so closely with her it seems as if she's a part of the family now!"

    Larry and Frantestimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Mercedes is the hardest-working realtor I've ever met. She is extremely knowledgeable during all parts of selling and buying a home. I am very grateful to have had her assistance and guidance."

    - testimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Sherri was very professional and extremely helpful in getting my dad's property on the market. This was our first time selling a home and my wife and I chose Fales Realty because of their knowledge of the local area and the positive feedback we received from others that had previously dealt with Fales. Sherri took the stress out of a very stressful situation. Sherri encouraged us to have the house ready by early March when buyers start looking for homes. A week prior to the house going on the market, Sherri put a "coming soon" picture in our local free paper and because of that the house sold in one day. We were very impressed with the quality of the pictures taken of the house. My wife and I plan on using Fales Realty again in the future. My wife and I highly recommend Sherri and her team at Fales Realty."

    Ed & Brendatestimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Buying and selling at the same time can be hectic, but Sherri helped make this process as smooth and transparent as possible. She facilitated the process from start to finish and was happy to answer all of our questions. There is no one more responsive and knowledgeable! We truly appreciated her open and honest approach in both selling are current home and helping us find a new one. We would recommend her to anyone who is even thinking about buying or selling their home. "

    Dave & Chrissy testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "Mercedes is excellent to work with. I recently purchased my first home with her and I'm so glad I did. She really understood my needs and preferences in a home. She was always on time, ready and prepared to answer any question I had about the property, community, AND county. Mercedes made sure that I understood each step of the home buying process, she always had an open line of communication with me. When it came down to submitting an offer, she worked quickly and diligently to ensure I had a fighting chance... and I did! My offer was accepted the first round! I would absolutely refer anyone and everyone to work with Mercedes. She's warm and friendly and a true professional; she'll take care of you like family."

    Julie testimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Working through the sale process with Mercedes was a delight. She is well versed in all the aspects of listing/selling a home, to include staging the home to show its best attributes. She was always sensitive to our time and worked efficiently to coordinate the required inspections and maintenance items. She kept our best interests in mind through the entire sales cycle and her integrity and honesty were never in question. I will be recommending her without hesitation to any friend or acquaintance in need of a realtor. "

    Dennis and Myrna testimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Mercedes is the hardest-working realtor I've ever met. She is extremely knowledgeable during all parts of selling and buying a home. I am very grateful to have had her assistance and guidance."

    Bryan & Denise testimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Sherri met with us 6-Months before we listed the house with her and she suggested things we could do to make our home more appealing to potential buyers. When we were presented a contract from an inexperienced agent, Sherri worked with her through the entire approval and sales process right up to closing. If I were selling property in the area, I would not hesitate to list it with Sherri Fales."

    Ray testimony for Sherri Fales

  • "The most outstanding realtor I have ever had the pleasure to work with! I would highly recommend Mercedes to anyone looking for a great home buying experience! I would give her 10 ?? If I could!"

    Debbie H.testimony for Mercedes Brooks

  • "Penny Wilson was a pleasure to have as my real estate agent. I recently sold my condominium, and Penny was quick to respond to any questions, and kept me well informed throughout the sales process. She is a dedicated professional, pays attention to detail, and has a deep understanding of the market. If you're looking for a real estate agent, I recommend contacting Penny Wilson to discuss your options."

    Michael K. testimony for Penny Wilson

  • "We have nothing but great things to say about Ms. Penny Wilson! She is a top notch realtor, who always shows up on time, prepared and goes the extra mile to make sure things go smoothly. We have used her on several occasions and will continue to employ her services in our future real estate endeavors. Highly recommend!"

    Michael and Deborah S. testimony for Penny Wilson

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