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The video above shows Heidi Fore, a realtor, helping a couple put their house on the market. 

Get A Guide to Selling a Home in the Ohio Valley Area

Selling a house is a full time job, which is why people hire realtors to do the work for them. Realtors study applicable laws and can perform a price analysis every 30 days to make sure the property is in the "selling-zone". They also invest in advertising the property to thousands of other realtors who represent buyers and market the home to thousands of trying to find homes for sale on the internet by uploading photos and text to hundreds of different websites. 

If you want a smooth transaction then you need a real estate professional to determine the right asking price, negotiate the terms of the contract, get you through the home inspections, coordinate the appraisal, help the buyer with the loan process, and work on getting everyone to the closing table. The experience of selling your home should be a pleasant experience, and with the right real estate agent, it will be. Feel free to ask us for advice with no obligation or pressure to buy or sell. To get a FREE market analysis for selling your home, click here.

Like many other home sellers you may be wondering, “How long will our house be on the market?” Word to the wise: don’t read the next section unless you want to hear the cold, hard, brutal, honest truth.

In our experience selling hundreds and hundreds of houses, we have learned that the number of days your home is on the market is affected by four factors: Promotion, Condition, Price and Competition.

1. Promotion

Marketing plan – Your real estate agent’s marketing plan should include marketing in neighborhood, marketing to other real estate agents, advertising to home buyers in the general public using the newest technology to encourage more showings. The River Valley Group uses virtual tours, Voice Pad, 300 websites, Trulia, Zillow,, social networking, text messaging, wide angle cameras, reflective signs, full color laser printed brochures, Market Leader marketing materials, Adobe Creative Suite tools, Showing Suite and many many more. We spend a lot of time and effort in advertising houses so that our home sellers get a better price. All of these tech tools are used to encourage more showings and get a quicker sale for more money for you. Internet advertising is key! Since 90% of home buyers start their search on the internet, top placement on search engines is essential. When we advertise your house, you are at the top of the search engines on the internet including top placement on Google, MSNBC, Yahoo, HGTV and other websites. This will increase the number of potential buyers who view information about your home. There are thousands of houses out there in your market for sale now. Your house needs to stand out.

2. Condition

No, buyers won’t want to fix it themselves. Since people are looking at homes for sale around three to four times a day, they need to walk into your house and say, “WOW! Now this one is really nice, it’s the same price as the other houses we saw today AND it’s totally move in ready. We don’t need to paint, or de-wallpaper, or update the light fixtures, and all our furniture would fit. Let’s write an offer!”  How do you elicit this response? Staging a room with furniture helps buyers visualize how they would use the space. To make sure the buyers are focused on the space and not your stuff in the house, go ahead and box up all your nick-knacks and personal photos. The only things out should be furniture, a few decorative, strategically placed items, and lots of lights.

Updating your house for a quicker sale: painting/new door knobs/new fixtures - with over 5,500 houses for sale in Louisville right now, a buyer can be picky and buy one that is move in ready, with no painting to do, no carpet to replace, and no updating. If the house down the street has new bathroom sinks, lights, and kitchen appliances, and the bedrooms have new carpet and fresh paint with no nicks on the walls, compared to a house that looks "lived in" and needs cosmetic help, guess which one the buyers will buy?

Being on your toes for a quick showing - Sometimes an agent will be showing the house down the street and the buyers will say "Let's see that one!" meaning yours. Be ready to show it quickly to get the most showings possible.

Fixing items before they are issues - if you know the back door doesn't shut properly. If you know there is a roof leak or a wet basement. Fix it now. Better to put on the disclosures how you fixed a problem rather than have a showing where the buyer sees the problems as problems that they will have to fix.

3. Pricing

If it is priced right from the beginning, you’ll get more for it. When a house sits on the market for a long time, people ask me what’s wrong with it. Knowing the truly comparable properties will make all the difference. Get an honest realtor who will tell you what your house really is worth, instead of telling you what you want to hear just so you'll pick them. Even if the truth hurts, look at the facts of what other similar houses sold for recently and make an intelligent, informed decision. Otherwise your house will just sit on the market for months and you'll end up reducing the price anyway. The whole time your house is on the market you are making your neighbor’s house for sale look like a good deal!

4. Competition

What is on the market now – the next house to sell in the neighborhood will either be cheapest house, or the house that’s priced the same as the others and it looks better – if your house isn't (A) the best price or (B) in the best condition, you'll have to wait until the other houses in the neighborhood are chosen over yours. Then when your house is the one left, and a buyer wants to be in that area, they'll pick yours.

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