by Steven Diadoo

Selling your home is an art that combines economics, esthetics and negotiating prowess.

Here are 6 tips to that combine the three:

1) Timing it correctly: Historically, home buying has followed a seasonal trend and while that may be partially true, (Read more: interactive market data) there are other “timing” factors to consider. Thursdays are the best days to list your home and seasonality may not be as much of a hinderance as commonly believed. (Read more: 12 Reasons to List Your Property During the Holidays) Spring 2014 was a relatively slower time in the real estate market than previous years. Listings in Lakeville are down a significant percent in Nov. 2014 but prices are up – a great combination for listing.

2) Substantiating Pricing: A common method for pricing a home is to take the last 6 months of sales of homes similar to yours within a 1/2 mile radius to attain your listing price. There’s a more aggressive method and that’s to take an in-depth analysis of all listings that match the criteria. Actives, Solds, Pending and Canceled listings, should all be included in the market analysis.

3) Know Your Home: Rather than wait for unpleasant surprises to arise during the buyer’s inspection, get a home inspection before you list. The money invested on the front-end can pay big dividends both in your bottom line as well as peace of mind during negotiations.

4) Know Your Net: Comprehensive net sheets can accurately estimate what you will actually put in your pocket at closing. Be sure to include the amount you are willing to pay in closing costs. All fees, taxes, insurance, broker fees and commissions, should also be included.

5) Think Like a Buyer: 89% of buyers start their home search online. They search by price brackets. What bracket does your home belong? Should,  for example, a home that could stand to sell near $225k be listed at the top of the $200-$225k bracket? Or the bottom of the $225-$250k bracket? Your real estate agent can help you decide. And since buyers look at photos to begin their home search, make sure your agent hires a professional photographer.

6) Before You Spend Money: Contrary to popular belief, upgrading items in your home won’t necessarily help you when you go to sell. Rather, I recommend that my clients hire a professional stager versed in low-investment high-return items – I even offer to pay for the service. Often times, a deep clean and de-cluttering can make a dramatic difference in the look and feel of the home. Best part of that – it’s cheap. The Stager we employ knows the end goal is to increase the Seller’s net. Her recommendations reflect that goal.