Lisa Westerman - ReMax Professional Associates


As a home seller, receiving the first offer on your residence can be an exciting experience. However, the initial offer on your home may prove to be insufficient for a number of reasons, including:

1. The offer fails to meet your expectations.

Ideally, a home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to fully analyze a house before adding it to the real estate market. This will enable a home seller to establish realistic expectations for his or her house and price it accordingly.

Conducting a home appraisal offers a great starting point for a home seller to determine the true value of a residence. This appraisal ensures a home inspector will examine a residence's interior and exterior. Then, the inspector will provide a report that details a house's strengths and weaknesses.

With a home appraisal report in hand, a home seller should have no trouble establishing a "fair" price for his or her residence. And if an initial offer falls short of this price, a home seller can politely decline the proposal and wait for additional offers.

2. The homebuyer has submitted a "lowball" proposal.

In some instances, a homebuyer may submit a "lowball" offer in the hopes of acquiring a terrific house at a budget-friendly price. If a home seller cannot differentiate between a reasonable offer and a lowball proposal, he or she risks missing out on an opportunity to optimize the value of a residence.

An informed home seller should examine the prices of available houses that are similar to his or her own. By doing so, this property seller can see how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and map out the home selling journey accordingly.

Moreover, an informed home seller will mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and do whatever it takes to enhance a house's curb appeal. This home seller likely understands the importance of making a positive first impression on homebuyers, and as a result, will perform assorted home exterior improvements to help reduce the risk of receiving a lowball initial offer.

3. The offer does not correspond to the current state of the housing market.

For a home seller, it is essential to work with a real estate agent who can provide full details about the current state of the housing market.

A real estate agent can help a home seller differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market. Plus, this housing market professional can provide honest, unbiased recommendations about whether a home seller should decline an initial offer on a home.

Many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts are happy to help home sellers in any way they can. If you employ a real estate agent before you list your home, you can reap the benefits of unparalleled guidance at each stage of the home selling journey.

There is no reason to settle for a subpar initial offer on your residence. Instead, consider a first offer closely, and you can make an informed decision about whether to decline or accept it.


A home selling budget may prove to be exceedingly valuable. With this budget in hand, an individual will know approximately how much money that he or she will need to complete the home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three expenses to include in a home selling budget.

1. Home Cleaning

If you want to impress buyers, you likely will need to maintain a neat, tidy home interior. As such, you may want to account for cleaning supplies in your house selling budget.

Of course, you may choose to hire a home cleaning company. And in this scenario, you should consider how frequently you want this company to clean your house.

Regardless of whether you choose to purchase cleaning supplies so you can clean your house on your own or hire a home cleaning company, you should shop around. That way, you can evaluate the costs associated with different cleaning supplies and home cleaning companies and make the best-possible decision based on your finances.

2. Home Repairs

Repairing a home may be costly, particularly for those who failed to maintain their residences over time. Yet if you consider the home repairs you need to complete, you can incorporate the costs associated with these repairs into your house selling budget.

It may be beneficial to conduct a house inspection prior to listing your home. Once you receive a house inspection report, you can learn about any underlying home problems. You then can assess the costs to perform assorted home repairs.

For those who want to save money on home repairs, you may be able to complete simple property upgrades on your own. If you are unsure about how to perform various home improvements, however, you should hire a professional. Otherwise, if you try to complete these home improvements on your own, you risk making expensive, time-consuming and dangerous mistakes.

3. Packing and Moving

After you sell your house, you may have only a short amount of time to pack up your belongings and relocate to a new address. Meanwhile, if you account for your potential packing and moving costs, you can ensure that you will have the funds available to cover these expenses when you are ready to relocate.

In some instances, home sellers pick up packing supplies early in the property selling journey. This ensures a seller won't have to worry about rushing to purchase packing supplies as moving day approaches.

You may want to reach out to local moving companies for quotes, too. And when you finally sell your home, you can finalize plans with an affordable, convenient moving company that you have already vetted.

Lastly, selling a house can be challenging, but a real estate agent can help. If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of assistance as you craft a home selling budget. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.


Getting your home ready for sale is a long process that will require some patience and hard work on your part. However, if you’re successful, you’ll be able to market your home to the best buyers and get top offers, making the whole thing worth it.

There are potentially an endless number of things you can do to prepare your home before listing it for sale. So, in this post, I’m going to talk about some of the most important steps you should make before selling your home to get the best results from your listing.

1. Make simple fixes

Before you start thinking about making bigger renovations, take a moment to make any small fixes around the home that you’ve been putting off. That door that gets stuck in the winter time, the blinds that creak when you open them… the little things add up and can give buyers a negative impression of your home. 

2. Get a professional home inspection

Serious buyers will get the home inspected before making a purchase. However, if there are any issues with your home, you’ll want to know for yourself long before selling time. Take the time to get a home inspection by a licensed professional so that you’re aware of any big renovations you’ll have to make in the near future.

3. Depersonalize (pack away those family photos)

Potential buyers want to be able to imagine themselves in your home. Having all of your personal belongings laying around can make that difficult. Neutralize your home by removing things that are unique to you and your family.

While this step can be tedious, you can also look at it as a good way to reduce the amount you’ll need to pack when it comes time to move.

4. Rearrange and declutter to open up the rooms

As homeowners, we accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. All of that stuff can easily make a home feel cluttered. Before you put your home on the market, it’s a good idea think about some ways to make your home ready for photos and visitors

5. Taking the best possible photos

How well-received your real estate listing will be will rely heavily on your photos. To get the best results, choose your photos wisely.

First, start by making sure your house is impeccably clean. Then, if you plan on doing any painting, get that done first.

Next, plan your photos for a nice day and take photos of the inside and outside of your home at different times of day. Since the Sun will cast shadows on different parts of your home throughout the day, it’s best to experiment with various lighting.

Finally, don’t be afraid to take a lot of photos. The more photos you have, the better the chances are of having a few really great ones that will portray your home in the most positive light.


A home listing often introduces a homebuyer to a residence. It may include home photos, a brief home description and details about various home features and amenities. As such, an effective home listing is a must-have, particularly for a home seller who wants to stir up plenty of interest in a residence.

Ultimately, there are several best practices to consider when you create a home listing, and these include:

1. Provide Accurate Information

Learn about your home, and you can provide accurate information about your residence in your home listing.

If you're unsure about your home's condition, it often pays to complete a home appraisal. That way, a property appraiser can evaluate your residence both inside and out, identify any problem areas and offer a property valuation.

Furthermore, if you recently completed assorted home improvements, you should include information about these upgrades in your home listing.

Whether it's new windows that you installed throughout your residence or an updated home air conditioning system, including details about various home upgrades in your home listing could help your residence stand out to potential buyers.

2. Include High-Quality Photos

You don't need to be a professional photographer to capture high-quality photos of your house. In fact, many smartphones and tablets feature first-rate cameras, and you can use these mobile devices to take photos of your house's interior or exterior.

As you photograph your home, remember the homebuyer's perspective. For instance, a homebuyer likely wants to see photos of a clean, pristine kitchen and other awe-inspiring images of your house. If you clean and declutter your house before a photo shoot, you can increase the likelihood that your home photos will capture homebuyers' attention.

On the other hand, if you want professional assistance, you can always reach out to a real estate photographer as well. A real estate photographer can offer home photo recommendations and suggestions and help you capture photos that show off the true size and beauty of your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent knows what it takes to craft an effective home listing. Therefore, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble creating a home listing that hits the mark with homebuyers.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your home selling goals and plan accordingly. He or she then will use the information that you provide to develop an engaging home listing.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey too.

For instance, a real estate agent will host open houses and set up home showings to promote your residence to homebuyers. Plus, he or she will keep you up to date about any home offers and provide expert advice at each stage of the home selling journey.

Creating an effective home listing may seem difficult. Fortunately, if you use the aforementioned best practices, you can craft a home listing that can help you generate substantial interest in your residence.


Selling a home sometimes can be a hassle, particularly if a homebuyer wants to negotiate. Fortunately, expert real estate agents are happy to help you take the guesswork out of a home selling negotiation.

Ultimately, there are several reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent to handle a home selling negotiation, including:

1. A real estate agent boasts comprehensive experience with home selling negotiations.

Let's face it – a home selling negotiation can be stressful. But with a real estate agent at your disposal, you can receive plenty of guidance as you make the final push to sell your residence.

A real estate agent is a master of the art of negotiation. As such, he or she will help you seamlessly navigate a home selling negotiation.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you up to date as a home selling negotiation approaches its conclusion. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased recommendations, ensuring you can make informed decisions at each stage of a negotiation.

2. A real estate agent will ensure both you and a homebuyer get the best results possible.

As a home seller, your goal is to get the best price for your residence. Meanwhile, a homebuyer likely wants to purchase your residence at a price that suits his or her budget perfectly.

Finding common ground with a homebuyer may prove to be difficult. Lucky for you, a real estate agent will work with both a home seller and a homebuyer to guarantee both parties are satisfied with the end results of a negotiation.

A real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to understand your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly.

Furthermore, this housing market professional will serve as a liaison between you and a homebuyer. He or she will work directly with you and a homebuyer to finalize a home sale agreement that meets the needs of both property seller and buyer.

3. A real estate agent will help you overcome any challenges during a home selling negotiation.

There is no need to let challenges arise during a home selling negotiation. Conversely, a real estate agent will help you identify any potential problems and mitigate such issues before they escalate.

For example, a homebuyer may make a variety of home improvement demands after a property inspection. And if a home seller refuses to complete these property improvements, a homebuyer may walk away from a home sale.

A real estate agent will help a home seller prep his or her house for a property inspection. Plus, he or she can provide details about a homebuyer's demands after a property inspection and help a home seller determine the best way to proceed.

Ready to finalize a home sale? Collaborate with a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did. A real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you during a home selling negotiation and ensure you can optimize the value of your house.