Today’s buyer-take-all bonanza is a bon for fence-sitters and buys with great credit and deep pockets. But sellers are steeling themselves to new realities that include paying (rather than making) money at the closing table, providing extras to sweeten the deal, and spending more time and cash making the home camera-ready.

For first-time sellers who have never been through the process, its a different world. One where the value of the house isn’t measured in the profit made on the sale, but by the enjoyment the owners had from living in the home.

Here are three things experienced sellers would tell you, if they could.

Price it Realistically

Your largest number of showings will occur in the first two to three weeks. The multiple listing service systems and the Internet tend to drive the majority of showings. Many buyers are plugged in electronically, so the minute something new pops up that meets their criteria, they want to see it. Take advantage of that sweet spot by pricing the house competitively right out of the gate.

Be Prepared to Lose Some Money

Want to sit with a house that won’t move? Be the first-time seller who insists you can get the appraised value, the tax assessor’s estimate or whatever you paid a few years ago. “it seems like there’s no relationship between your assessed value, taxable value and the actual market value of your house,” says Pat Vredevoogd Combs, past president of the National Association of REALTORS. The truth is that your house is worth what buyers are willing to pay.

Promotion, Promotion, Promotion

One question to ask yourself and pose as you interview agents: How will you reach the home’s target market? You have to consider who your most likely buyers are for what you’re selling and cater to that group of people.

Real Estate Magazine – July 2011