Preparing to sell your home can be challenging. It takes a lot of work, especially when it comes to the financial considerations. Here are 5 steps to understanding the value of your home and marketing it the right way:
1. Get Your House Inspected
First of all, you’ll want to know just how prepared your home is for new ownership. Buyers will request an inspection just prior to closing a deal on your house, but you may want to consider having an inspection done before you even put your property on the market. Why? Because it allows you to pre-fix any problems that a closing inspector would find, and you’ll get to choose who makes the repairs. As a result, you may save you money up front, limit the chances of additional negotiations and keep you from showing a house with some potentially embarrassing issues. An inspection will generally run you about $300 to $400 which will probably seem high to begin with but will consequently pay off in the long run.
2. Calculate Your Home Value
Setting the right price for your home right off that bat can save you frustration and money. But it isn’t always easy. Property prices vary from state-to-state, town-to-town, and neighborhood-to-neighborhood. The best way to price your property is to stick to your own neighborhood. Find out what the average price is and start by pricing your house around that mark.
Consider hiring a realtor to help you. A realtor will have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which is a database of all the properties that have been sold or are being sold in a specific area. Buyers will often be skeptical about prices, so it’s a good idea to consider acquiring a comparable sales sheet, or “comp” sheet, that offers expert data about recently sold properties in your area. A realtor can also acquire that for you.
If you don’t choose to hire an agent, there are free websites like zillow.com, that will give you home value estimates, but be aware that they won’t be as accurate as the prices a professional can obtain and as a result you may experience some difficulty getting the best estimate.
3. Interview Realtors
Before you decide on a real estate agent, you should ask quite a few questions about who they are and how they will represent you and your home. Hiring a bad realtor can seriously hamper your chances of making a sale. You should inquire:
- How long have you been in the business?
- What is your marketing strategy?
- How many homes did you sell last year?
- What is your average number of days between listing a house and selling it?
- How will you sell my home?
- Where and how often do you advertise?
- What kind of photography do you offer?
- How will you market my property online?
- Can you provide me with at least three recent references?
- Why should I go with you and not another realtor?
- What was the average ratio between the listing price and the final selling price?
As a result of interviewing your realtor to gauge experience and getting a “feel” for how he or she works, you may find the exact person needed to fit your needs.
4. Kick Up the Curb Appeal
Buyers will be turned off by a messy home, or one in poor condition. Avoid that bad first impression by making sure your house looks great inside and out. While you don’t necessarily need to renovate, you should spend time cleaning, making minor repairs and on overall presentation. Check out our extensive overview on how to best prep your house before putting it on the market.
5. Don’t be Discouraged by the Market
You may have your heart set on a specific sale price for your home, thanks to the time you’ve spent researching and strategizing with your realtor. But you should be prepared for the possibility that you may not sell your home for that desired amount. The market could go cold at any time. If you can’t sell your house, you may have to consider lowering your price or sitting on it. It’s especially important to talk to your realtor about what is happening with the market to figure out a new course of action, whether that’s a price drop or something else that makes sense for you.
Like these 5 financial tips for selling your home this Spring and want to learn more tips on improving your house? Check out all the blogs under our Home and Family section for additional useful information!