You’re Ready To Sell Your Home

This is part 1 of a series of 6 articles that guide homeowners through the home selling process. These articles provide insight and suggestions to help homeowners sell their homes.

Step 2: How To Price Your Home To Sell
Step 3: The Property Disclosure Statement Explained
Step 4: What To Do With Your First Offer
Step 5: How And When To Accept An Offer
Step 6: What To Expect When You’re Closing

You may be considering selling your home for a variety of reasons: You landed a new job, your growing family needs more space, you’re getting a divorce, or you just want a change of neighborhood. Regardless of your reason, once  you are in the market to sell your home, you want the best return on your investment. Getting prepared for the real estate market is the best way to start and this article will give you some helpful tips on how to do just that.

Your home is one of your most expensive possessions, if not your most expensive, by a large margin. Educating yourself on the home-selling process and your role in it is crucial to the successful sale of your investment.

Tip 1: Are you absolutely sure you want to sell your home?

Make sure no one on your end is going to have a change of heart. It’s better to have the hard conversations now than when a deal is in action.

The best advice we can give you is not to let your emotional attachment to your home stop you from being brutally honest about its condition and value. The second best advice we can give you is to hire a real estate agent that specializes in your area. Selling property is a complex and detailed process. And it’s legally binding. It helps immensely to have a trained professional who is familiar with your neighborhood and home style walk you through it. Once you’ve made the final decision to sell, there are two steps that will help you do so in a timely and lucrative manner.

Tip 2: Stage your home

Before putting your home on the market, it’s interior and exterior must be polished. This will help prospective home buyers imagine themselves living in your home. Any signs of wear or aging should be addressed.

Reseed any wilted areas of your lawn. Trim hedges and trees in front of your home. Nothing drastic is necessary–just make sure your front yard is groomed and that your home is visible from the street. Rent a power washer for any stains or dirt buildup on any of the cement on the property.  Your home’s curb appeal is a prospective buyer’s first impression, and if it’s less than pleasant, there might not be an opportunity for a second.

Quick refreshers for any home are a new coat of paint and a window wash. Repaint the garage and front door to give your home a facelift. It doesn’t hurt to repaint the entire house, but it may not be necessary. To add a crucial finishing touch to your home, make sure every window is clean. This will add a sparkle to the outside and brighten the inside of your home.

And that brings us through the front door. Once inside, walk through every room and ask yourself, “Is this home cluttered?” (Remember: brutal honesty.) Clutter can come in many forms: excess furniture, walls full of art, boxes, exercise equipment, clothes, toys, etc.

The most valuable selling feature of the home is its space. Whether your home is small or large, advertise every square inch of the floor and walls by minimizing furniture and wall decorations. A few well chosen pieces will make your home attractive without cluttering it. You may need to put some of your furniture and decorations in storage while your home is on the market.

Also, paint the walls a bright neutral color to instantly make your home look larger and more inviting.

As with the outside of the home, make sure the interior is spotless. That means more than just scrubbing. Paint chips, leaky faucets, dirty grout, and stains on the carpet must all be fixed. Make sure you take note of each problem as you walk through your house so you don’t forget anything. Then, fix and patch everything.

Once your home is ready, potential buyers will be able to walk through and see bright, open rooms.

Tip 3: Research and analyze the market and comparable homes

You will not be selling your home in a vacuum so it’s time to do some research. First, get to know your local real estate market. Your First Team agent is trained and experienced in doing market research; have your agent help you understand your market and what that means for you.  But you are not without tools to do the initial research on your own.

Knowing the market you are entering into is even more important than knowing your home’s value. The market’s state directly influences that value. Market Trends℠ is a great place to start. With this tool, you can narrow your search to just your town and homes in the same category as yours.

Once you’re familiar with the condition of the real estate market in your area, look specifically for other homes sold or for sale that are similar to yours in size and amenities. Limit the search to homes within a one mile radius maximum–the closer the better–and those sold within the past six months–the more recent the better. The real estate market can change drastically and rapidly. A home that sold just six months ago will no longer be applicable to your research for comparable estimates.

For homes that have already sold, figure out what they sold for, what the asking price was, and how long they sat on the market. The asking price of a house yet to be sold can be misleading. What if it sells for much more? Or much less? However, it is a good idea to get to know the selling prices of homes in your area. They will be your direct competition when you list your home; make sure your home can compete. Your First Team real estate agent will, again, be an efficient asset here.

Make sure you keep track of your research so you’ll be able to refer to it when deciding on your home’s asking price.

Once your home looks like a model home and you know where you stand in the current market, you’re ready to list your home. Check back next week for How To Price Your Home To Sell. That’s when the real fun begins…