Selling your home can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it can also be a seamless and profitable process. Before you put your home on the market, there are several important factors to consider such as pricing, home repairs, and marketing strategies.
It’s also important to understand the legal and financial aspects of the transaction. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know before selling your home, from preparing your home for showings to closing the deal and everything in between.
By understanding the ins and outs of the home selling process, you can make informed decisions and increase your chances of a successful sale, which is why this article can be really helpful for you, so stick around to find out about everything you should know if you want to sell your home!
Hire an Agent Who Knows the Market
Finding the perfect real estate agent to help you sell your home has never been easier thanks to the internet.
You can easily research an agent’s sales history and professional designations to find the right fit. Look up their online profiles to see how long they’ve been in the industry, how many sales they’ve closed, and what designations they may have earned. Pay attention to how and where they market their listings.
Some homeowners might be tempted to save money by selling their home themselves (known as “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO), but it’s important to remember that experienced agents do a lot to earn their fee. They can expose your house to the widest audience and negotiate the best offers on your behalf. If you choose to go it alone, you’ll have to handle prepping your home, marketing it, reviewing buyers’ offers, and handling all the negotiations and closing details.
When working with an agent and negotiating a commission, keep in mind that real estate fees have fallen to all-time lows, so you might be able to get a better deal at the closing table.
Set a Timeline for Selling Your Home
Selling a house is a huge undertaking, it can take anywhere from two to four months or even longer depend on the local market conditions and the level of inventory available.
As soon as you make the decision to sell, start researching real estate agents to find someone who has the right experience for your situation.
Give yourself enough time, at least two or three months before you plan to list, to get a pre-sale home inspection to identify any problem areas, especially structural or mechanical issues that might need addressing to facilitate a sale. Leave enough time to schedule necessary repairs.
About a month before listing your house, start working on staging and deep cleaning in preparation for taking photos.
Here’s a checklist of things to do before listing your home:
- Research and interview real estate agents.
2. Declutter, perhaps moving excess items to a storage unit.
3. Get an optional home inspection to identify any issues.
4. Schedule repairs if needed.
5. Deep clean.
6. Stage the house.
7. Have professional photos taken
Get a Pre-Sale Home Inspection
A pre-sale home inspection is not a requirement, but it’s a smart move to make. It’s like getting a check-up before a big race, you want to know what you’re up against. A detailed inspection report can identify any structural or mechanical problems before you list your home for sale.
It might cost a few hundred dollars, but it will alert you in advance of issues that buyers will likely flag when they do their own inspection later in the process.
By being proactive, sellers can speed up the selling process by doing repairs in tandem with other home prep work. This means by the time the house hits the market, it should be ready to sell, drama-free and quickly. Like a house in tip-top shape, ready to cross the finish line.
Don’t Waste your Money on Unnecessary Upgrades
When it comes to home upgrades, it’s important to focus on projects that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Don’t waste money on upgrades that won’t bring you a high return on investment.
For example, installing new granite countertops might not be worth it if you’re only going to break even or even lose money. Plus, these improvements may not be necessary to sell your home for top dollar, especially if inventory levels are low in your area.
Your real estate agent can be a great resource when it comes to planning upgrades. They know what buyers in your area are looking for and can help guide you in the right direction. If local buyers aren’t looking for fancy skylights or steam showers, then it doesn’t make sense to add them. A fresh coat of neutral paint, a new carpet, and a well-maintained landscape are usually low-cost ways to make a great first impression.
In general, updates to the kitchen and bathrooms provide the highest return on investment. If you have old cabinetry, you might be able to simply replace the doors and hardware for an updated look. For example, you can swap out those standard kitchen cabinet doors for modern, Shaker-style doors on a weekend without breaking the bank.
Get Professional Photos
When it is about selling your home, looks are everything. You’ll want to make sure that your home is presented in the best possible light, both physically and online. That’s why it’s important to work with your real estate agent to schedule a professional photographer to capture marketing photos of your home.
High-quality photos are critical, since maximizing your home’s online appeal can make all the difference between a quick sale or a listing that languishes.
Some real estate agents include professional photography and virtual online tours as part of their services. If they don’t, you might want to seek out a photographer on your own. The fee for professional photography will vary based on the size of your home, its location, and how long it takes to shoot the property.
A professional photographer, with a strong portfolio, knows how to make rooms appear bigger, brighter, and more attractive. The same goes for your lawn and outdoor areas. Dimly lit online photos can turn off homebuyers before they even have a chance to read about the lovely bike path nearby or the new roof you just installed, so well-taken photos can really pay off.
Put Your House on the Market
Putting your house on the market to sell can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and strategy, you can make the process as smooth as possible. The first step is to find a reputable real estate agent who can guide you through the process and help you set a realistic price for your home. Your agent will also help you prepare your home for showings by suggesting ways to declutter, stage, and make necessary repairs.
One important aspect of putting your house on the market is the listing process. Your agent will work with you to create a listing that highlights the best features of your home and includes high-quality photos and a virtual tour. This listing will be distributed to various online platforms and real estate websites, making it easy for potential buyers to find and view your home.
Another crucial step in putting your house on the market is setting a realistic price. Your agent will help you determine a fair market value for your home, taking into consideration factors such as location, size, and condition. Pricing your home too high can lead to a longer selling time while pricing it too low can result in leaving money on the table.
Once your home is on the market, your agent will handle all the showings, open houses, and negotiations. They will work to get you the best price possible and help you navigate the legal and financial aspects of the transaction.
Overall, putting your house on the market to sell can be a complex process, but with the help of a professional real estate agent, you can make the experience as stress-free as possible.
Once this is done, you can now expect offers and negotiations to begin!