No matter if you’ve sold ten homes or you’re going to be selling your first, these things you need to know before listing your home for sale. There are many sellers who think the home selling process is very easy and doesn’t take any preparation. This is not true, in most cases.
Any individual who says selling a home is a fun filled experience is not being honest. The truth is that selling a home is a business venture that can be an inconvenience, create stress and anxiety, and lead to thoughts of uncertainty. You can minimize these feeling with proper preparation and making good decisions and taking the required actions during the home selling process.
So before selling your home, there are several things that you need to know about, before starting the home selling process if you’re selling your first time home or seventh.
So here are those 11 items your need to know about.
- Hiring A Competent Realtor® Is Important
The most overlooked step when selling a home is the hiring a competent Realtor®. Aren’t all Realtor® the same? The answer is, NO. When selling your home, you should have high expectations of the Realtor® you hire to sell your home. Top producing Realtor® possess different qualities and have different skill sets, bottom line, so How does a seller ensure that a great Realtor® is hired when selling a home? The answer is actually quite simple. Knowing how to interview a Realtor® when selling a home will provide the greatest probability that a great Realtor® is selected. While there is no guarantee that the top producing Realtor® you hire will be the right one for you when selling a home, but asking the right questions and seeking the right answers, is important. Click here to get those questions to ask
- Gather Information, and Documents
A competent Realtor® knows what information should be included in the information of the house they’re selling. What does this have to do with gathering paperwork and documents? Having information on the major mechanics of the home and also any updates that have been done to the home will be extremely helpful for your Realtor®. A great Realtor® is not going to just place a sign in the front of your home and wait for it to sell. They should know how to write compelling information about your home to attract potential buyers in addition to creatively marketing it online and offline.
What paperwork and documents should you be gathered when selling a home? Some examples of the kinds of information and documents you should gather before selling a home.
- Roof age & any warranty paperwork, if applicable
- Furnace age & any instruction manuals
- Central Air conditioning age & any instruction manuals
- Hot water heater age & any instruction manuals
- Any included appliance ages & any instruction manuals
- Dates of any home improvement projects and costs, such as, kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, window installation, carpet installation, etc…
- Any certificate of compliance (permits) that apply, such as, deck permits, shed permits, fence permits, etc…
- Outstanding mortgage balance (if applicable) & pay-off balance
- HOA/COA documents or the website where the rules and regulations are available for review with latest addendums
- Choosing When To Sell Varies By Area
Every real estate market is different. There times that are better sell and there are times that may not be the most ideal. Generally the spring months (March, April, & May) are the months that a seller will receive top dollar for their home (unless you are in a warm climate then the time to sell could be any time). If you are under no pressure to sell your home and you discuss with a Realtor® in December about timing and they insist now is best time to sell to get you top dollar, you may want to reconsider hiring that Realtor® again unless you are in a warm climate.
Certainly selling a home in the winter is possible (unless you live in a warmer climate), but in most cases, the spring months will yield the highest offers, for many reasons.
When selling a home, it’s important to sell your home based on your situation. The spring months may not always be the best time to sell for everyone. There are several reasons why selling a home during the fall and winter months may actually be a better time to sell than waiting until spring.
It’s important that you evaluate all the pro’s and con’s of each selling time frame. A great Realtor® should be able to give you both the positives and negatives of each time frame.
- A Home Inspection Prior To Listing a Home Is Important
Before putting your home on the market, it is a good idea to have a professional home inspector perform an inspection on your home. This is one of the items that can destroy a deal. When the buyer has their inspection and finds out there are some potential issues with the home, they start to question what else is wrong and can then cancel the transaction based on the home inspection contingency.
As a home seller wouldn’t you want to know if there are any issues that could delay or void the transaction before the buyer found out what those issues are? That would give you time to correct those issue prior to any other home inspection and keep the agreed to offer on solid ground heading to a successful closing.
It’s preferred that the inspector you hire to perform the inspection is a member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or NIBI(National Institute of Building Inspectors). If a buyer is purchasing their first home or their next home, it’s likely they will make their offer contingent on an acceptable home inspection. A home inspector should find at least some issues with the home they are inspecting, even in new construction. If they don’t find at least some small issues, they maybe inexperienced or not a very reputable home inspector.
By completing this pre-listing inspection, you can address the issues that the home inspector may note during his inspection. Make sure that the home inspector who does the pre-listing inspection will provide you with a detailed report and also pictures relating to anything they note in their report.
There are other inspections to consider before selling a home as well. Here are several other inspections that a buyer could possibly make their offer contingent upon and to consider performing prior to selling a home.
- Well Water
- Wind Mitigation
- Preparation of Your Home Prior To Putting The For Sale Sign Up Is Crucial
Selling a home is not as simple as picking up the telephone, calling your local real estate office to speak with a Realtor®, and it will be ready for the market. Unfortunately there are several things that should be examined before selling a home. A competent Realtor® should be able to point out during a walk-through of your home items that should be corrected or repaired. Items such as: painting, cleaning, and de-cluttering are just some the low cost preparations that can be made, prior to selling a home. You must do a curb to backyard preparation to help in the home selling process. Remember it is a business selling your home, would you as a seller buy anything that is not presented in its best possible light.
The first impression is crucial when selling a home (You don’t get a second chance at a first impression). By not preparing your home for sale, this can often lead to a poor first impression and also can cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. Take the extra time and effort to prepare your home, so the buyer see’s it in the best possible way. Remember you will be competing with the other homes that are for sale.
- Correct Pricing Of The Home Right At The Beginning Is Very Important
The most important factor to whether a home sells or doesn’t, relates to pricing as well as location. If you price your home too high from the start, it can actually cost you money in the future. The price a home enters the market at will do the majority of the marketing of the home. It’s important to understand today’s buyers are very educated and have a large amount of information available for them to use. Buyer’s often will know when a home is overpriced and may choose not to look at it.
Sellers make pricing mistakes, over and over again, and it’s important that you know what homes are selling for before you price your home. Mistakes such as hiring a Realtor® because they suggest the highest price or because they offer the lowest commission can be a huge mistake, so it’s important to educate yourself and avoid common real estate pricing mistakes. The Realtor® should have an analysis for your home in how they determined the price they suggest. This analysis should take into account the present market the home is situated in and be using those properties that are the closest in distance possible and of comparable size and style and using sold properties that are preferably in the 2-6 month range. This isn’t always possible so then a determination needs to be made on what action needs to be taken to determine the market price. Sometimes it is very wise to pay for an appraisal by a certified appraiser to determine that current market price, especially if there are not enough properties to use to determine the present market price.
- Do You Offer Or Not To Offer A Home Warranty
Home warranties should be considered when selling a home, for some buyers it will make no difference for other buyers it may help them look favorably on the home your selling. Sellers commonly ask and wonder if offering a home warranty to a buyer is worth it.
In most cases, home warranties are a nice bonus to offer to a potential buyer and also a nice marketing tool for a Realtor® to use when selling a home, assuming they know how to use the “tool.” Before selling your home, decide whether or not you will offer a home warranty or not. Once you hire your Realtor®, ask them their opinion as to whether they feel the cost of the warranty is worth it or not.
- Staging A Home Is Helpful But Not The Only Reason It Sells
Any Realtor® who tells you that the staging of your home will sell it, is not being totally truthful. Staging a home is not the only reason a home sells. There are many Realtors® who say their listings sell faster and for more money because they stage them but fail to mention the fact that price, location, condition, and several other things play apart in the sale.
Staged homes will normally show better, which can lead to a quicker sale. There are staging tips that are helpful to get a home sold quicker. Many of the tips do not require a Realtor® with a certification for staging, so do not hire a Realtor® solely because they have the certification. An experienced Realtor®, with or without a certification, can suggest many staging tips that will help your home show better and sell faster.
- Preparation Of Your Home For Showings
When selling a home, you want to make your home appealing for potential buyers. What do you think a potential buyer who walks through a home that has piles of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor or dirty pots and pans in the sink would think? Most buyers would be either distracted or disgusted, possibly leading to them not being interest in that home.
Preparing your home for showings can be a job in itself and an inconvenience. Making sure the clutter is minimized, pet odors are eliminated and that the curb appeal is attractive are just a few tips that can help prepare your home for showings. It’s possible that a home that is well prepared for showings will sell before an unprepared home, yes, just because the image that it portrays to potential buyers walking through the door.
- Open House Yes Or No That Is The Question
This is a very controversial topic in the real estate industry. Some real estate agents will swear that open houses are worth it and others will swear they are a huge waste of time. Ultimately, the decision whether they are worth it or not is the home owners.
The fact of the matter is that there are potentially some major drawbacks of open houses. While there is a very small possibility that a home will sell as a result from an open house, you should determine whether you would like your home to be open, before selling it. Ask the Realtor® who will be selling your home what their thoughts on open houses are. They should provide both pro’s and con’s about open houses. Click Here to see Pro’s and Cons
The above 10 things must be known before selling. Selling a home can bring added stress, anxiety, and unwanted uncertainty. These feelings can be greatly reduced with proper preparation before listing your home for sale. Understanding the importance of these and how to make the proper decisions can make the difference of your home selling experience being a disaster or a success.
- Reasons For NOT Taking Your Listing Or Cancelling Your Existing Listing