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October 26, 2004   Email to Friend 

Preparation Pays Dividends When Selling A Home
Special to Friends & Family

Some 5 million existing homes are sold each year, and while each transaction is different every owner wants the same thing--the best possible deal with the least amount of hassle and aggravation.

Unfortunately, home selling has become a more complex business than it used to be. New seller disclosure statements, longer and more mysterious form agreements and a range of environmental concerns have all emerged in the past decade.

Alfa Realty Agent and Broker Norman Schlemmer said sellers can avoid many of the headaches associated with selling a home by consulting a Realtor.

"While almost 100,000 existing homes are sold each week, the process is not as easy for sellers as it was five or 10 years ago," Schlemmer said. "Surviving in today's real estate world requires experience and training in such fields as real estate marketing, financing, negotiation and closing--the very expertise available from local Realtors.

Schlemmer added that a little planning and preparation can pay big dividends when selling a home.

"It's necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out," he said. "Ask yourself: If you were buying this home what would you want to see? The goal is to show a home which looks good, maximizes space and attracts as many buyers as possible."

Schlemmer said the general rule in real estate is buyers seek the best value in a home in the best neighborhood they can afford. In terms of improvements, this means buyers want a home that fits in the neighborhood. For example, if most homes in a neighborhood have three bedrooms, two baths and 2,500 square feet of finished space, a property with five bedrooms, more baths and far more space would likely be priced much higher and likely be more difficult to sell.

Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, is consistent with the neighborhood and does not involve capital investments, the cost of which cannot be recovered from the sale.

Cosmetic improvements--paint, wallpaper and landscaping--help a home "show" better and often are good investments, Schlemmer said. Mechanical repairs--to ensure that all systems and appliances are in good working condition--are required to get a top price.

For free information on this topic and more, call Alfa Realty in Montgomery (334) 213-ALFA, Wetumpka (334) 567-6800 or Prattville (334) 365-ALFA.

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