Your home has just one chance to make a great first impression. The following “tricks of the trade” will help you keep track of what needs to be done. The whole idea is to present a clean, spacious clutter-free home — the kind of place you’d like to buy. Give your home the appearance of a “model home”. Accomplish a little every day, and before long your home will be ready to make the impression that can make the sale.

Selling Preparations

Making basic preparations when selling will typically help you get a better sale.  The below items can all bring 90% or more return on investment according to



For sellers, I will prepare a comparative market analysis in helping determine the listing price of your home.  Beyond that,  I recommend sellers do an equal amount of research into their home's likely sale price as their buyers.  This will allow you to make the most effective sale in the least amount of time.  What a house is priced for may not be what it sells for.  So while your neighbor's house may be for sale at a certain price, the actual sale price has yet to be determined.

It's not uncommon for sellers to have a higher estimation of their home's value than it is likely to sell for.  By the time a buyer has come into your home, they have already seen many similar homes and are often better equipped to estimate a home's price than the seller.

Studies show that homes that are overpriced tend to sit on the market longer, and in the end obtain a lower selling price than those that are accurately priced.

While sellers often say, "I want to get $X out of my house", the market may not bear this price right now.  In that case, you may want to wait until the market can bear your price, or consider re-visiting your preferred financial numbers.

Radon Testing

Starting in 2014, the state of Minnesota requires a radon disclosure to be included with all purchase agreements. While it does not mandate radon testing, it will make it more likely in real estate sales.  The buyer will pay for their own radon testing, and the results will return in 5-10 days.  As a seller, be prepared to be asked by your buyers to install a radon mitigation system in your home if radon is found.  This will cost approximately $1500.


According to Minnesota state law, buyers have up to 2 years to take a seller to court for problems arising from undisclosed information.  Sometimes buyers find out about undisclosed information from the neighbors or repairmen. The best protection for you as a seller is to disclose everything you know. You can also consider giving a home warranty to the buyer. 

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