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Selling Your Home? How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

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Selling your home can be stressful, and the emotions that come with it due to sentimental value can contribute to mistakes that ultimately cost money. No one wants to get ripped off, but without knowing what to look for, it can easily happen, especially if you’re a first-time seller.

It is possible to sell your house within a reasonable time frame and avoid getting ripped off with a little know-how. 

Think Like a Businessperson

When it’s time to say goodbye to your home, the many memories that were created, not to mention the time and effort that went into saving up for that down payment, decorating, and filling it with furniture, can make it difficult to keep emotions in check. 

It’s easy to get emotional when selling, especially if it’s your first house or when it’s due to death or divorce. But that makes a homeowner a lot more vulnerable to getting ripped off. To avoid that, think of yourself as a business person and not just a homeowner, looking at it from a financial perspective instead.  That makes it easier to distance yourself from the emotional aspects so that you can keep more money in your pocket.

Know What Your Home is Worth

One of the first questions you should ask yourself when selling is, “What is my home worth?” There are online calculators that can give you an estimate. Deciding whether it’s a good time to sell depends heavily on your home’s value. You want to make sure you can sell at a price that will not only pay your full loan balance and the costs of selling, such as commission fees but make a profit. 

If your home isn’t worth what you hoped, it may be worth making some updates that bring the highest return on investment (ROI) to increase the value and maximize profits.

Hire a Good Realtor

While hiring a real estate agent means paying commission fees, trying to sell your home on your own is usually not the best idea. Most of the time, the higher offers you get will offset the cost while avoiding the potential to get ripped off. A reputable, experienced agent will have your best interests at heart, helping you set a competitive selling price for your home that increases the chances of a quick sale. 

Having a realtor at your side also helps to limit wasting time with people who just want to have a look at your home but have no intention of putting in an offer. The agent can help tone down the emotional part of the process, and as they have experience negotiating, they’ll know how to get you the most money for your home. Finally, real estate professionals understand the pitfalls of these transactions and are familiar with the paperwork to ensure everything goes smoothly, without glitches or delays.

Require Potential Buyers to Have a Preapproval Letter

Nearly all experts advise entertaining only buyers with pre-approval letters from a lender or proof of funds for cash purchases that show they have the ability to purchase. Failing to do this can cost you a lot of time, and time is money. 

It’s also important to be aware that if you sign a contract with a buyer contingent on the sale of their home, it could put you in a major bind if you have to close by a certain date.

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