In this Washington Post piece, real estate lawyer Harvey Jacobs mentions the three phases in all home sales — presale, contract negotiation, and settlement — and goes into greater depth about the presale phase. This stage of the sale process covers the market analysis, fix-up, marketing, and showing of a home. A seller should first identify all similar homes that are on the market and their list price and terms, and then determine all comparable homes that have sold in the past six to nine months. The seller should pay close attention to their list prices, their sale prices, how long they remained on the market, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, and any special terms or conditions given to buyers. The 10 percent of homeowners who sell their homes themselves say the most difficult part is getting the price right, according to one 2011 survey of home buyers and sellers by the National Association of Realtors, which also found that the typical for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sale price was just 69.76 percent of real estate agent-assisted home sales. Real estate agents say that a home may be overpriced if it has been on the market for a few weeks and it has had few showings and no offers, and urge sellers to continually monitor the new listings, prices, and sales of all homes in the neighborhood, and to be prepared to lower the price for a quick sale if necessary. Next, the seller should scrutinize their home to find any cosmetic or major repairs that must be done, along with routine maintenance processes such as cleaning, de-cluttering, and making inexpensive upgrades such as new landscaping, painting, carpeting, and possibly even new appliances. Homeowners who really want to make an impression can hire professional designers or stagers who essentially redecorate a home using a combination of the seller’s possessions and rented decorative items. While expensive, home staging can reap significant returns on investment and can help a home sell much faster than a non-staged home, real estate experts say. Many home buyers begin their search online, so sellers should list their homes on such Web sites as and | Read More