If you’re planning on selling your home next year, now’s the time to start preparing. Selling your home can be a stressful process, but with a little foresight, some smart organizational moves, and the right resources, you’ll be well on your way to a successful home sale. Use this simple checklist to stay on track and get the best deal possible.
Do Your Research
Timing is everything when it comes to buying or selling a home. The national housing market has been steadily recovering, but can vary vastly from city to city. Talk to real estate professionals like Claire and Polly that you trust to get their advice and expertise to find the ideal time to start the selling process. They’ll be able to lend insight into where the market is headed and how it may impact your home sale.
Organize and Declutter
When it comes to selling your home, sometimes it’s not about what you don’t have—it’s about having too much! Clearing out closets, paring down on piles, and tossing trash are some of the most cost effective ways to get top dollar for your home. Start these tasks early and take them on little by little to keep from feeling overwhelmed. The goal is to create a home that is open and bright. Consider a storage unit to help get larger items that you’re not ready to part with out of the way.
Make Minor Repairs and Upgrades
The smallest repairs can sometimes make the biggest impact on your home sale. Visit a local open house or two in your local area. Take note of the little eyesores that you notice, then turn the critical eye on your own home. Does your house need a new coat of paint? Are your bathroom fixtures outdated? These small, budget-friendly fixes can make a big difference when it comes to getting a great offer.
Hire a Experienced, Credentialed, Full Time REALTOR
The right real estate professionals can ease the stress of a home sale. Look for an agent who demonstrates expertise in your neighborhood, is full time, credentialed and is a REALTOR and/or BROKER. An experienced real estate agent can help you through the details of the home sale process and can help set realistic expectations for how much your home is really worth.
Consider Having a Pre-Listing Inspection
A pre-listing inspection will cost you a couple hundred dollars up front, but can save you money in the long run. The inspection will alert you to any issues ahead of time—which can be particularly valuable if you have an older home. You’ll be able to fix any minor issues ahead of time or allow a credit for the issue in the home price.
Set a Realistic Price
Many sellers have an emotional attachment to their home—as they should—but at times this can lead to unrealistic expectations for the market value of the home. Your REALTOR is your team leader in the pricing game. They’ll be able to walk you through what comparable properties in your neighborhood sell for and can help you settle on a realistic asking price. You should also be open to course-correcting your asking price if the market necessitates it. Evidence for the need for a price correction is best indicated according to the number of showings and buyer feedback.
Help by Listing Your Homes Best Features
Your real estate professional will help you create a strong sell sheet, but sometimes you know the best features about your home and neighborhood. Help your REALTOR out by sending them a quick note highlighting your favorite things about your neighborhood and community. The little details may be just the thing needed to get a buyer to pounce.
Prepare for Your Open Houses
Now’s the time to clean, clean, clean. Buyers will want to explore the nooks and crannies of your home and notice every detail. Keep pets out of sight, eliminate any strong odors, and open the drapes. You’ll also want to depersonalize the space so that buyers can picture themselves in your home. Remove an excessive number of photos of your friends and family or any strong indicators of your specific interests and hobbies.
While Showing Your Home
During the period where you are actively showing your home, you will want to be open house ready at all times. Best to leave all lights on and window coverings open to let as much light in as possible. Soft semi-classical music sets the mood. You never know when the best buyers will want to see your home. Even on non-open house dates, it’s smart to keep your home clean, the lawn and garden maintained, and any pocketable valuables and personal drug prescriptions out of sight.
Negotiate and Close the Deal
Once you get an offer, finalize negotiations, and get into contract, the hard work is almost over. However, deals can sometimes go south at the final moments. Cooperate with your home’s buyer, appraiser, inspectors, contractors, escrow providers and your local authorities to get your home sale transaction closed smoothly. Your REALTOR is the key to keep you on course.
Thanks for reading.