Real estate expert offers tips for selling your home

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PHOENIX -- Dale Meeks loves his new Phoenix home, but he says moving into it never would have happened unless he sold his old one first.

"We were just afraid it wasn't going to sell and we wanted out," he said.

So Meeks prepared himself for the uphill battle of selling his house.

"We knew from the beginning we weren't going to get the kind of money we wanted," he said.

But Meeks said he just didn't know what to expect.

"We didn't realize the economy was taking as bad of a hit as it was," he said.

That's when Meeks turned to Dean Wegner, a Valley mortgage broker and realty expert, to get his home sold.

Wegner says to sell, the first thing you have to do is price it right.

"You have to be priced correctly," he said. "That's everything right now because home prices are still going down."

And you can forget about pricing your house for what it could have sold for two or three years ago. That won't happen. You have to sell it for what it's worth today.

How do you know the right price?

"The main indicator for price is if you're getting two showings a week, you're priced OK," Wegner said.

Right along that same line, Wegner says open houses are critical.

"Open houses work," he said. "It gets traffic through the door, it gets the neighbors involved, it creates a sense of community and lets people know this house is on the market."

Next, get rid of all the clutter. Your house will look better.

"The house has to show immaculate," he advised. "It has to be a model home. You have to get rid of clutter. Take down personal things off the wall, the shelves. The closets have to look great."

Wegner said you also have to offer the buyers "freebies" -- something, anything to make your home stick out.

"What it is it's an offering, it's a freebie, it's just like the home builders," Wegner said. "They're professional at selling houses and right now pretty much 3 percent of your sales price toward the buyer's closing costs or you pay one year of their HOA, one year of taxes."

Finally, Wegner said your home has to be on the Internet.

"You want at least 25 photos of your home in MLS," he said. "If you're using a realtor, you get upgraded on realtor.com for free. Second is YouTube. You can do a quick and easy video and it doesn't cost anything."

Meeks said after using a lot of these tips he finally received the call from his realtor he had been waiting to get.

"Finally, he said, 'Everything's finalized, it's going to happen,' and that's when we just went crazy," Meeks said.

And now in his new home, Meeks says all he feels is one thing!

"Happy! I love it here!"