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Excellence in Real Estate

Get everything in writing.

This is especially important during any kind of contract negotiation. Verbal commitments are hard to prove after the fact, so make sure that all the small details are added to the purchase contract. If the seller says you can have the curtains, make sure the contract says so!

Make high-return improvements to your home before you sell.

There are a number of improvements that you can make to your house that will provide a greater-than-100% return on your initial investment. Chief among these is having your house painted, but you should also consider kitchen and bathroom renovations, adding fireplaces and skylights, and attic or basement conversions. Contrary to popular belief, building a swimming pool is not a good capital investment, and will usually only add 33% of its cost to your home's final sale price.

Let your agent know what you expect.

It's up to you to tell your agent what you want and how you want to be involved in the home search process. Some buyers prefer their agents to handpick properties for their consideration; others want to receive the hotsheets on a daily basis so they can comb through the new listings themselves. You should listen to your Realtor's advice, but always remember that you're the boss. And speaking of bosses, it's a good idea for ALL decision-makers to visit the properties your Realtor shows you.