Selling your home is a huge step, but one you’ve chosen to take. Your future awaits, but not until you’ve sealed the deal on finding a new happy owner for your house. There are things you can do to prep and step up your game when selling your house. Here are six steps to guide you on your home selling journey.
1. Contact Your Real Estate Agent
The moment you decide to put your home on the market, or even as early as when you start thinking about it, call your real estate agent. Your agent can help you price your house effectively, stage your home promisingly, market your home efficiently, and guide you through the contracts legally. It’s worth every penny to have a professional at your side from start to finish whose sole job is to protect your interests while helping you get the most return on your investment.
2. Price Your Home Properly
No matter how many years you’ve lived in that house, how many children were raised in it, how many holidays were celebrated in it, all the memories contained within it, there is no sentimental value on a property. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Those memories and experiences are priceless to you, as they should be! But they do not add financial value to the worth of your property. Detach from sentiment. Real estate is also one of those tricky arenas where “market value” seems to live in its own world of wonder. Your house may be worth far less than you paid, or, far more! The only way to determine fair market value for your house in the here and now is with a comprehensive market analysis, which will be provided by your real estate agent. Your agent will show you recently hold houses in your area that are similar to yours in size or style, so you can see what buyers are actually willing to pay. Don’t confuse asking price with selling price. One is a hope, the other is a fact.
3. Stage, Stage, Stage, and Stage some more
Staging your property means cleaning spic and span from top to bottom, inside and out. If walls are dingy, paint them. If carpets are tattered and torn, replace them. The more clean, fresh, and new your property appears, the more value is perceived by potential buyers. Once the house is cleaned, make sure all of the major systems and appliances are functioning properly. If it’s broken, fix it. Remove clutter. Anything you’re not going to use between now and the time you move, pack it up. Arrange furniture away from walls into conversational areas. Remove any personal items such as photographs, political paraphernalia, or any items that may cause a potential buyer to think twice about whether or not your home is appropriate for them to buy. Pay attention to closets, under sinks to make sure they’re dry and free of leaks or mold, and keep counter-tops clean and free of debris. Give it to them. Don’t forget the outside. Stage your yard as well.
4. Get Out.
Seriously. When the agent is ready to show your home, find somewhere to go. It can be uncomfortable for you to hear the opinions of potential buyers as they criticize your environment. If you have pets, take them with you. Allergies or curious animals could be a turn off for potential buyers. And be security conscious – remove any valuables or weapons from the home.
5. Inspections, Appraisals, Title Checks, Oh, My!
Remember when we suggested you fix what’s broken? Here’s why. The bank of the buyer is going to request an appraisal to verify the home is worth what your’e asking, and a home inspection to make sure the home is in good, working condition. If there’s a problem, they’ll find it, and your deal could be negotiated or dropped all together. Better safe than sorry. In addition to the appraisal and inspection, your title is investigated to make sure it’s free of liens or tax holds.
6. Closing Day
This is when you turn over your keys and relinquish the property to the new owner. It’s also when you get paid! Congratulations! You sold your house and can ride off into the sunset to pursue your future!
Want to know more about the home selling process? Give Team Douglas a call today at 951-529-9159.