You’re ready to sell your home, but before you nail a “For Sale” sign on your front door, there’s just one little detail you need to iron out: what’s your asking price? You need to get a fair, realistic and accurate estimate of the value of your property, hopefully making a tidy a little profit without scaring away the buyers.Start by looking at the Internet. Scope out the real estate prices in your area, and zero in on the homes that are similar to yours in size and number of rooms. Then grab your car keys and pretend you’re a buyer (sneaky, huh?). This will let you fine tune your estimate depending on the “little extras” that people are willing to pay extra for. For example, what’s the condition of their home? How’s the location? What’s the neighborhood like? Does it have a garden? And ultimately, does your house fare better (or worse), and how should you adjust your asking price accordingly?
Of course you can always hire a professional home appraiser and a professional home inspector (you can find them in the phone directory or the Internet). You’ll need an inspector anyway if you have structural problems, like a leaky roof or faulty plumbing, and they’ll assess how much it’ll cost to repair it. At least if buyers bring in their own experts, you can compare their reports with the one you received—you don’t want them pulling one over you.
Which brings us to another important factor in setting the price: the additional costs you’ll incur while selling the home. This includes paying for all the appraisals, your real estate agent’s commission (if you’re getting one), paperwork and legal processing. To protect yourself, your Real Estate Sales Agreement can stipulate a maximum amount you’ll pay for closing fees.