22 Secrets Your Real Estate Agent Isn’t Telling You

From hosting an open house to getting an estimate of your property's value, these real estate tips from the experts ought to help in today's tough market.

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Your open house helps me more than it helps you. 

goodluz/ShutterstockThe majority of visitors aren’t buyers—they’re nosy neighbors—and that gives me an opportunity to hand out my card and possibly gain new clients. Try out these genius tips for taking the best photos of your home to get it ready to sell.

Scents matter

viennetta/ShutterstockPlug-in air fresheners are a turnoff to a lot of people.  If you want your house to smell good, bake cookies right before a showing. Don't have cookie mix on hand? You can also try out these simple deodorizer ideas to make your home smell fresh.

 Don't turn people away because of a mess

Monika-Wisniewska/ShutterstockIf you get a call saying that some buyers want to see your house in 15 minutes, let them in even if it’s a bit messy. Those last-minute types typically make impulsive decisions, and they just might decide to buy a house that day. Try out these 12 storage hacks to banish clutter.

 Don't push away a low offer

goodluz/ShutterstockIn this kind of market, don’t be offended by a low-ball offer. You have a better chance of getting that person to pay than finding someone new. Finally sold the house? Here are some tips for packing that will make your life much easier.

 Ask to get what you paid for

Solis-Images/ShutterstockIf I’m hugely successful, you may not get the benefit of my experience. A well-known agent may pass you off to a junior agent after you sign the contract. Ask me exactly who will be handling your phone calls, marketing your house, and taking you to look at homes before you sign to ensure you get exactly what you’re paying for. Watch out for these 15 ways that moving companies scam you.

 Read before you sign

Valeri-Potapova/ShutterstockMake sure you read my listing or buyer’s contract carefully before signing it. There may be an extra “administrative fee” ranging from $250 to $1,500 on top of my standard commission, intended to cover my brokerage’s administrative costs. Similar to my commission, this fee is negotiable.

 Don’t skip the final walk-through

wavebreakmedia/ShutterstockIt’s your last chance to make sure that repairs were done properly, that the owner’s personal items have been removed, and that the items you agreed should stay are still there. I’ve seen stoves, washers and dryers, and beautiful chandeliers walk right out the door.

 Beware of seller’s agents who overestimate your house’s selling price.

Andy-Dean-Photography/ShutterstockThey’re hoping you’ll choose them over other agents who will price it more realistically. We call that “buying your listing,” and it guarantees your house will sit on the market for a very long time.

 Houses without furniture don’t look larger.

Monkey-Business-Images/ShutterstockEmpty rooms may actually appear smaller because the buyers can’t get a sense of how much furniture will fit. These are the personal details that your home can reveal about you.

 Clear the counters

Breadmaker/ShutterstockMy No. 1 selling tip: Clear off counter tops in the bathrooms and kitchen.  Americans love that wide-open counter space. Here are some other simple upgrades that add value to your home.

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