How to Get More Bang for Your Buck
To get the best value on everything from food to furniture, you need smart strategies. Real Simple’s food, fashion, beauty, and home design experts walk you through simple things you can do to save a little dough.
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- Make small fixes.Inspect your home with a buyer’s eyes, and correct the flaws that are most egregious (if affordable) or can be relatively easily fixed—from repairing cracks in the walkways to repainting dingy walls or oiling creaky hinges.
- Decide whether to work with an agent or self-sell.For a commission, an agent will take care of many details you may not want to be bothered with (placing ads, fielding calls, making signs, etc.) and bring experience to the table. To find a good one, ask friends and relatives, then interview several candidates. Have each one walk through your house to see how he or she would price it and how the two of you get along. Sign an agreement for the shortest commitment possible, usually three to six months. If you self-sell, help is available (for a fee) at forsalebyowner.com.
- Set a price.A real estate agent will give you a market analysis free of charge or commitment. Ask a few to get a broader picture of the market, then ask to see listings for properties similar to yours that have sold in the past six months. Check out comparable listings yourself in the real estate section of your newspaper or on websites. Or get an analysis from a certified appraiser (appraisalinstitute.org). Then decide whether you want a quick, easy sale or the highest possible price.