The real estate market is now in transition, and gone are the days of quick sales and bidding wars. Cooling sales are a problem for any homeowner looking to sell his or her home. Homes are not selling as quickly as in recent years, which is good news for buyers but bad news for sellers. We’re also seeing recent sharp increases in values leveling off, but not falling, which is good for real estate buyers and sellers. These changes, however, mean that sellers will have to work harder and compete more to get the best price and a quick sale. Here are several ways you can get a leg up on the competition.

1. Dump the junk

Less clutter in your home makes it look bigger, roomier and cleaner. Go through your home and make piles of items, such as “garbage” & “charity.” Throw away anything useless and give away anything that may still have useful life.

2. Price it right

A home that is priced well above the local market or above similar homes will not sell quickly, or possibly at all. Work with your agent to price your home correctly the first time. If the market will not support the price you need, consider renting out your home for a year and check the market again. North Pacific Properties can manage your property as a rental generating income until you are ready to sell.

3. Find the best Listing Agent

Having a good real estate agent or broker can make all the difference in the world when the market becomes more competitive. An agent who knows how to market and advertise your property, and who has good experience and connections, will be an invaluable asset. Search through our team of agents right now to begin working with one of the finest real estate experts Seattle and the Surrounding areas have to offer.

4. Staging

Staging has become an integral part of selling a home. It has been proven to reduce days on market (DOM) and demand higher prices than with empty or cluttered homes. If you have the resources, tastefully stage the home so people can get a better idea of its use.

5. Change the deal

If your home isn’t selling within a decent time period, consider changing the deal instead of lowering the price. For example, instead of lowering your asking price from $500,000 to $480,000, keep the $500,000 but offer a 2 percent “seller contribution” to help pay for closing costs. This saves you money (you pay $10,000 in closing costs rather than a $20,000 price reduction) and is very appealing to many buyers.

6. Paint Colors (Depersonalize and neutralize)

Paint colors are a key factor to the successful sale of your home. Be sure that a majority of your walls are neutral tones. Neutral tones will attract the largest audience. Even though walls can be easily by painted by buyers, shoppers have a hard time seeing through funky colors. The simple error of having a “personal” color palate on the walls can cost you a sale. Detach yourself from the property as soon as you make the decision to sell it. Turn your property into a basic canvas from which anyone coming through can build to suit.

7. Fix it

Buyers will ask for a home inspection. You’ll save time by getting a preliminary home inspection yourself and making repairs before putting the house on the market. However, if a repair is requested from a potential buyer, it may be cheaper than finding a new buyer.

8. Ask for feedback

Find out what potential buyers thought after a showing or open house. Take negative comments as constructive criticism, which you can use to make the next showing or open house better. Your agent can help you with this by contacting agents that have viewed your home.

9. Beware of the take back

Watch out for buyers who want you to take back financing. When loans are available everywhere for little or nothing down, don’t go into the banking business when there is less risk to you with an outright sale.

10. Ignore inconvenience

If a potential buyer wants to see the house at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, so be it. This is a time where you have to be flexible. It is better to show flexibility and have the house seen than to turn away potential buyers.

11.Curb Appeal

You have one chance to make a first impression. Make sure your property looks the best it can from the curb. Hire a professional landscaper to clean up the leaves, plant some flowers, trim the bushes and trees, and really manicure your lawn.

12. New Carpet or Refinished Floors

Keeping your floors spotless won’t help if they’re dated, worn or impossibly stained. You needn’t spend a fortune installing hardwood or tile since you are unlikely to recoup the cost. However, carpets should be steam-cleaned to see if they’re salvageable and floors polished or refinished.