Advice for Sellers

Pricing is more of an art than a science

Pricing your property for sale is more of an art than a science. I can help you by preparing a Free Market Analysis. When you decide to sell, there are important things you can do to increase your chances for a quick sale at the highest possible price. I’ve included suggestions here. As to the bottom line, when you sell your property there are expenses to plan for—an estimate of closing costs is provided.

Comparative Market Analysis

A comparative market analysis (CMA) will provide you with information about current market conditions, and will help you determine what is a realistic listing price is for your property.

The CMA will detail properties that have “Recently Sold”. This information reveals what buyers have actually paid for properties similar to yours. “Active Listings” will comprise competing properties vying for the attention of buyers. Properties that “Did Not Sell” demonstrate what buyers have not been willing to pay for similar properties.

When setting a price, why not ask for the moon? Make no mistake; I want you to get the highest and best possible price for your property. However, when a property is priced too high for the market it implies you aren’t motivated to sell; it helps the competition look better; it attracts lookers, not legitimate buyers; if it doesn’t appraise at the high price, a buyer may not be able to secure a loan; the property languishes on the market and you lose momentum and valuable time. In the end you may ultimately have to drop your price below the market in order to sell.

Prepare your home for sale.

First impressions count. A small investment in time and money will give your house an edge when the time comes to show it to a prospective buyer.

When you decide to sell your home, the most important thing to remember is that you are selling a product — your house. You need to look at your home with buyer’s eyes.

Think of your home as a theater, a stage set. The scenery must be right, the lighting perfect, and the audience comfortable. The goal is to make is easy for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living happily in your home. This visualization should happen quickly. Research shows that buyers make the real decision about a house purchase in the first 15 seconds of seeing it!

My goal is to obtain the highest possible price for your home in the shortest possible time — hassle free. Decades of combined real estate experience have shown that a few simple steps will help to achieve these goals. Here are some low cost, high return upgrades to improve the perceived value of your home.

Eliminate Clutter Inside and Out

Clutter makes rooms and the entire house feel smaller. Who wants to buy smaller? Uncluttering makes every room look and feel more spacious. Go through every room, closet and drawer. Don’t forget the garage, yard and garden shed. When in doubt throw it out, sell it, store it or give it away.

Increase Buyer Comfort

Eliminate strong personal statements. Your master suite and kitchen should look like a model home.


A clean house sells more quickly and for more money that a dirty one. Get every surface, nook and cranny deep down squeaky clean. If you do nothing else, do this!


The house should appear to be well cared for and in excellent condition. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms — these rooms are always at the top of a buyer’s list.


A motivated buyer will bring in a professional home inspector. Deferred maintenance often leads to price negotiation after the fact, or worse, withdrawal from the deal.

Decorating and accessorizing

A fresh coat of paint doesn’t cost very much but will add a lot of impact. Fresh flowers on the kitchen windowsill, pretty accessories like a charming area rug, new shower curtain and towels, a new comforter on the bed will pack a punch without breaking the wallet.

Use Light to Your Advantage

Wash all the windows inside and out, and let in as much natural light as possible.

Create a Welcoming Aroma

Eliminate offensive odors from pets, smoking or cooking. Lemon scented cleaning products leave a fresh, lingering aroma. And don’t forget fresh air and sunlight.

Selling expenses to plan for, your bottom line.

  • It is standard practice in Michigan for the Seller to pay title insurance (your guarantee that you will convey clear title to the Buyer). Title Insurance premiums are based upon the purchase price.
  • There is a State and County tax on the transfer of property, based on the purchase price.
  • Property taxes are prorated as of the closing date. County, Township, and School taxes are prorated on a calendar year basis as if paid in arrears, i.e., the Seller is responsible for 01/01 to closing; the Buyer is responsible from closing to 12/31. Village/City taxes are prorated on a due date basis as if paid in advance, i.e., the Seller is responsible for 07/01 to closing; the Buyer is responsible from closing to 6/30.
  • The real estate commission, compensation for professional services rendered, is typically based upon the purchase price.
  • There are other minor recording and settlement fees associated with the closing of the sale.
Estimate of closing costs

The following summary is an estimate of closing costs based on a home sale price of $200,000, with no mortgage, and a June 30th closing date.

Mortgage Payoff $0
Title Insurance Premium $1077 (Owner’s Policy
Transfer Tax $1,720 ($8.60/thousand of sale price)
Property Tax $ 932 (Homestead millage for ½ year)
Commission $12,000
Settlement and Deep Preparation $200
Sellers Estimated Net $184,071