Nail the sale: Britt Skrivanek and Athena Gu

Employing smart listing and design strategies helped this couple sell their home - and get back together full time.

Make it look like a bargain
Make it look lived in: The sparsely furnished den was cold and uninviting. Solution: Reposition the bookcase and desk and get rid of clutter.
Make it look like a bargain
Skrivanek and Gu, like most sellers, based their asking price on what other homes in their neighborhood were listed for. Instead, they should ask their realtor for the going price on houses that are under contract or have sold in the past month or two.

"You have to look at what's actually selling, not what people are hoping to sell their homes for," says Denise Riordan, a vice president at realtor NRT. Then price the home lower than those recent sales so it looks like a great deal.

"You need a dramatic number to generate interest," says Riordan's partner, Jay Schweppe. Best-case scenario: The perception of value will attract multiple bids as buyers compete with one another, driving up the price.
The problem Better first impression Fix what's missing Make it look like a bargain Get past old expectations Generate more enthusiasm
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.