How to sell your home quickly and for top dollar

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- If you've got a house to sell, it may be the little things that the potential buyers are going to catch.

It could turn them off to wanting to buy your house.  Be sure to remove clutter and clean, which surprisingly, not everyone does.

"I also like having the sellers paint the front door just a nice clean color, and touch up the beds around the front door.  It just kind of shows pride of ownership," said Drew Schroeder of EXP Realty.

Also from EXP realty, Daniel Leeper.  He says you'd be surprised how fast a potential buyer can check out after walking into your home if it's not in good shape.

"In my experience with buyers, it only takes about 10 seconds when they walk in.  They know they are not going to buy your house.  It comes down to the smell of the house, the cleanliness of the house, the carpet, the paint on the wall and stuff like that," said Leeper.

Those are things that can make the difference, especially if the home isn't in great shape.  If your home is in good condition your home could be on their buy list in just a few minutes.  If there are problems with your home, not all fixes are inexpensive--like a roof or a new fence.  But for one Indianapolis homeowner, a new fence surrounding his pool area turned it into a fantastic space.

"The old fence was just fine for me.  It was still standing up, but it was definitely rotting in several areas. It was something that I didn't necessarily think about, but it was something that an experienced realtor like Drew told me about, so that helped," said home seller Bart Early.

What can also help is if you have a bunch of stuff in your home and you haven't moved out.  Consider getting a storage unit or putting the items with family so they can store it for you for the couple months you're going to show your house.  Also, make it easier for a potential realtor.  Write out any improvements you have made to your home, such as AC, kitchen and flooring.  That information can be used by the realtors in marketing your home.

"I think you need a professional photographer for the listing.  I have a three dimensional tour on every listing.  So, for example, if the husband is out of town and the wife physically goes and sees the property, she can say, 'Honey I think I found the one, just go online and look at it,'" said Schroeder.

Finally, if you are using a realtor, you may want to use their vendors for painting, and home fix-ups, if you don't do those fix-ups yourself.

"One of the things that's great about using experienced realtors is that they have vendors they have on call from over the years that do a great job and seem to have the best prices, but I still did my own checking of their vendors.  I found out 9 out of 10 were the ones I would have picked too," said Early.

If you are buying a home, minimize contingencies  The fewer conditions you add to your offer, the more appealing it will be to the seller. If you love the house but hate the carpet, for example, consider a renovation loan instead of requesting the seller install new flooring.

Also, if you must, pick and choose your contingencies carefully.  Be flexible because most buyers have a very specific time frame they're hoping to move during that lines up neatly with the end of their current lease or sale of their current home.  If you can create some flexibility on when you need to close to better accommodate the sellers, it could give you a serious advantage.

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