Selling 101: Bestselling Books You May Want Browse

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The sheer number of books designed to help you through the difficult process of selling your first house is enough to crush you — emotionally if not physically.
There are dozens of books to help you set up your house, sell it by yourself, find the right broker or just strategize your path to world domination through real estate transactions.
Here’s a guide to which of the most popular books on

The sheer number of books designed to help you through the difficult process of selling your first house is enough to crush you — emotionally if not physically.

There are dozens of books to help you set up your house, sell it by yourself, find the right broker or just strategize your path to world domination through real estate transactions.

Here’s a guide to which of the most popular books on selling your house might be right for your situation.

GETTING YOUR HOUSE READY

Home Staging: The Winning Way to Sell Your House for More Money (Wiley, 2006)

by Barb Schwarz

Shwarz coined the term home staging. And she won’t let you forget it. Much of the book is about Schwarz’s accomplishments and credentials. But, she is a success and is very enthusiastic about staging. To her, it means much more than just making the house presentable, it means creating drama. You’ll see terms like “staging magic” and “set the stage.” There are plenty of practical tips—paint neutral colors, convert whatever extra bedroom you have into a guest bedroom. There’s even a chapter on Staging on a Dime.

Find It, Fix It, Flip It!: Make Millions in Real Estate--One House at a Time (Plume, 2006) by Michael Corbett

Corbet is the TV host of Mansions and Millionaires. Though his book is largely about the process of buying a house just to fix it up and sell it, there’s a good hunk of the book on just the fixing up part of the task. He emphasizes the “lifestyle upgrades” that will make your home most appealing to buyers. He also includes a chapter on “How to Flip the House You Live In.” He’s very down on—and funny about—the for sale by owner process.

301 Simple Things You Can Do to Sell Your Home Now and for More Money Than You Thought: How to Inexpensively Reorganize, Stage, and Prepare Your Home for Sale (Atlantic Publishing Company, 2007) by Teri B. Clark

This book has the practical kind of tips many sellers crave. She tells you to take the medicine bottles out of your bathroom because some buyers might get the willies thinking a sick person lives there. Clark balances your interests: selling the house quickly versus fixing up the house and making a big profit.

STRATEGIZING FROM THE PROS

Rich Dad's Advisors®: The ABC's of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss (Warner Business Books, 2004) by Ken McElroy

Part of the popular Rich Dad series, this book is one part inspiration, one part practical advice. The vast majority of this book is about investing “diamonds in the rough,” which can mean asking to buy properties before owners put them up for sale. The book helps you think big picture, but also gives you lots of technical minutia.

The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner: A Powerful Plan to Finish Rich in Real Estate (Broadway, 2006) by David Bach

David Bach is the financial guru best known for introducing consumers to the “latte factor,” the idea that if you forgo little everyday luxuries, you can save a lot in the long run. Another big premise is that to finish rich, you need to own a home. He has lots of practical advice for homeowners at every step of the process. And he’s good at getting you to think about your long-term goals—and how to take small steps to reach them.

Freakonomics (William Morrow, 2005) by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

This best-selling book on how economics seeps into everyday life has two interesting lessons for sellers. One is that your interests and your broker’s are not perfectly aligned. The other is that ads with wussy words like charming are fooling no one.

PRACTICAL STUFF

House Selling for Dummies (For Dummies, 2002) by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown

Eric Tyson is a prolific personal finance writer who’s penned many self-help books both within the “for Dummies” family and on his own. This is a solid guide to making your own decisions. It will help you weigh whether to get a broker and how to value your house. There are no hidden secrets here, just nuts-and-bolts advice on navigating what can be a harrowing process.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Selling your Own Home (Alpha, 2005) By Jeffrey Wuorio

Believe it or not, there’s actually a big difference in the home-selling books marketed to idiots instead of dummies. This is guide was put together with the help of forsalebyowner.com. So, while there is a discussion of giving up and getting an agent, this book is mainly about navigating the process of going it alone. If your even considering that route, this might be a good book to read, simply because it will give you an idea of all the potential obstacles you face—and how to get around them.

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