When you bought your house, you probably felt a lot of excitement and some anxiety as well. That feeling probably faded once you felt at home and started making it your own. Whether you’ve lived in your home for several years or need to sell your home sooner than expected, you may experience similar emotions during the sales process. Let’s take a look at 10 simple steps you can take to make the process easier.
1. Pronounce it
Selling your house is no small task. It is recommended that you talk to your family to decide if selling your home is the right move. Maybe you want something with less space, or at the other end of the spectrum you have outgrown your current home. Make sure you and everyone else involved in the process are on the same page. You should also discuss where you want to move to after the sale of your home. Depending on where you live, the market may move a little more slowly, but in most areas homes don’t stay on the market for long once they’re listed. This means you need to have a plan for what you will do after selling your home when you list it.
2. Find a reputable broker
Probably the most valuable tip to take with you when selling your home is finding a real estate agent who will walk you through the process. A good real estate agent can make informed decisions about the price you want to sell your home at, advise you on any repairs that will increase the value of your home, and provide tips for decorating your home. For those who want to try the for sale by owner route, it is important to remember that even the person who founded forsalebyowner.com used a real estate agent. A great agent will make you more money even if you pay a commission.
The main goal here is to make you as much money as possible for the sale of your home and get it sold quickly. So how do we determine how much you should list your home for? Your broker conducts a so-called comparative market analysis, or CMA, which compares your home to similar properties in the area that have recently sold. Their analysis uses information such as the home’s age, size, any updates that were made, and the overall condition of the home to estimate the home’s list price. Your broker should have a good understanding of what the market is doing in your area. If necessary, take the time to talk to multiple agents as this is someone you will spend a significant amount of time with.
3. Take a look at your finances
Once you’re confident in the decision to list your home for sale, the next step is to review your finances to make sure you’re in the right place to do so. The goal is to be able to afford to pay all the costs necessary to list your home, while also earning enough proceeds to turn a profit. View the current estimated value of your home and see how much more of your mortgage needs to be paid off. Your real estate agent can give you an idea of your home’s appraised value, as well as inform you about the real estate agent’s commissions, fees, and taxes to look out for.
If you want to buy a new house after selling your house, see how much money you need to sell your house to buy a new one.
4. Get Known Repairs
It is a very tempting thought to leave repairs to the new owner of your home. While you have the right to sell your home as is, a large number of repairs that need to be done can be off-putting for potential buyers and can sometimes extend the closing process. Here are some examples of some simple repairs and updates you can do yourself:
Update or replace outdated devices if necessary
Make sure all fire and carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order
Repairing loose hinges on cabinets
Inspect drawers to make sure they open and close smoothly
Replace any floors that are not in good condition
Fix leaking or slow faucets
Replace shower heads that no longer flow properly
Unblocking and cleaning drains in the bathroom and kitchen sinks
Replace your water heaters when they stop working
Have your HVAC system replaced when needed
Patch any nail holes in the walls
If you’re not sure what items in your home need repair, it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection ahead of time.
5. Increase the attractiveness of your home
Easy said, curb appeal is the attractiveness of the house from the outside. The first thing that draws a potential buyer to your home is the overall look of the exterior. Doing the work yourself can often increase the appeal of your home in one weekend. For larger projects, you can consult professionals to lend their services. Some of the tasks that you can do yourself include the following:
Make sure your lawn is cared for. Mow as needed, trim shrubs and trees, and keep potted plants healthy and neatly arranged.
Clean your front and back porches. They must be free of dirt, leaves and dust. Make sure any furniture you have is also organized and clean.
Repaint your exterior if there are areas that are peeling
Paint your front door in an attractive color
Replace old and outdated lighting
Make sure your driveway is clean
While these may not seem like very important steps to take, curbing the appeal is very important when it comes to selling your home. It’s what draws a buyer in. If they don’t find the outside appealing, chances are they won’t look further into the inside of your house.
6. Tidy up your house
Now that you’ve given the outside of your home a little TLC, it’s time to look at the inside! Clearing out and getting rid of everything you don’t use will make your home more organized and more attractive to buyers. Clutter distracts from the bones of your house. A buyer won’t be able to imagine entering your home if they’re too busy looking at your overstuffed closet or stacks of magazines on your coffee table. It is recommended to remove all personal items in the house and adopt a more minimalist lifestyle while listing your home. Items you use every day should be in an accessible place in your home, but not necessarily out in the open for potential buyers to see when they come for a viewing.
On the other hand, tidying up your stuff will make your life easier once you have to move. The more you lose before listing your home, the less you’ll have to move once it’s sold.
7. Consider decorating your home
Decorating your home can have a big impact on its attractiveness to buyers. Ley staging tactics might include adding pillows to your home, setting your table with dinnerware, and adding fresh flowers to side tables in your living room. Why is this recommended? Staging allows buyers to imagine themselves there. It gives them ideas on how to make it a more inviting environment once they’ve bought the house. Based on how the house is staged, they can imagine how they might arrange their furniture or what decorations would look best in the house. You want all the important areas of the house to be staged – namely the living room, kitchen, dining room and bedrooms.
8. Seek the help of professional photographers
When your home is listed, you want potential buyers to get a good idea of the home’s overall look when they look online. This means investing in everything you need to do to show your home in the best possible light. Homes with professional photos are known to sell faster and potentially for more money. A professional photographer can capture any room from the best possible angles, can provide advice on the best time of day to take the photos, as well as the know-how needed to capture the best features of your home. In today’s market, invisible offers are sometimes made, which is even more of an incentive to let professionals take pictures of your home.
In addition to taking professional photos of your home, a virtual walkthrough is also another opportunity to attract potential buyers. A virtual tour allows a buyer to explore the home from the comfort of their own computer. Not only does it allow the buyer to decide if they want to get up close and personal, but it also gives you the chance to highlight all the personal touches your home has to offer. For example, if you have a chandelier in your home that represents the sale, a virtual tour can give your buyers a history of its significance in the home.
If the house matches what a buyer sees through photos or video, they are more likely to move on to placing an offer.
9. Capable of showing requests
When you list your home, you are likely to receive a large number of viewing requests. Some of these you may know in advance, but others can be scheduled at the last minute. If your home is listed on Friday, plan to be away from home for most of the weekend. Take a day trip to the beach or for a walk, or maybe just get out and explore the city for a day with the family.
Having to leave your home for a last minute inspection can be one of the most annoying things about trying to sell your home, but you want to make sure you give as many buyers as possible the chance to see your home. Here are some everyday household tips you can take to make sure you can leave your home in the blink of an eye when a show is booked:
Check that floors are free of dust, crumbs and dirt.
All dishes are washed or put in the dishwasher
Tables are cleared and tidy
Garbage is taken out
Toiletries are put away and toilet seats down
Closet doors are closed
All beds are made
While this may seem like common sense, or may be annoying to you, a little tidiness and preparation can go a long way.
10. Respond to offers in a timely manner
Your real estate agent will pass all the offers on your home to you as soon as they are made. Most buyers expect to hear within forty-eight hours of their bid being placed. Your real estate agent has already informed you about the price to expect for your home, as well as what due diligence or honest money charges to expect based on the list price and market trends. As soon as an offer comes in that arouses your interest, inform your real estate agent so that they can inform the buyer in a timely manner. If there are any counter offers that you want to fulfill, make sure to tackle them as soon as possible as well. While it’s a good idea to get as many offers as possible, it will give a buyer time to change their mind or find something else that meets their needs if you choose to wait too long.
Final thoughts on selling your home
While there is a lot to think about when you list your home for sale, in the long run it will be worth taking the time to think about the process. Take steps to ensure it is in a list ready condition, discuss it with your family and discuss the process in depth with a local real estate agent. By following these tips, you can transfer your home to a new owner in no time.