After much consideration, it is time to sell your home. As a first-time home seller, you may be as nervous as to your next steps. Here are a few steps to help with the process.
Research Estimated Value
Understand the estimated value of your home and the homes in your neighborhood. This will give you an idea as to the market and what is the selling price in your area. You can check your county appraiser’s website or search the following websites for free information:
• Chase Mortgage Services
• Real Estate ABC
• Trulia (requires inquiry contact for information)
Determine The Selling Method
You can either sell it yourself or hire a real estate agent. For a first-time seller, to sell by owner will require dedicated research, a commitment to understanding the legal requirements and allocated time to fulfill necessary duties. While this may be economical than hiring an agent, it may lead to costly mistakes due to lack of experience.
When you hire a real estate agent, you are paying for their expertise in the home selling process. As the go-to person for potential buyers, hiring an agent allows you time to attend to family-oriented tasks.
Having trust in the real estate agent is the most important part of the relationship. Carefully choose an agent. Asking specific questions during the interview process will help you find an agent you can trust.
1. Check their license
2. Ask how long they have been in business
3. Find out how familiar they are with the area
4. Ask them if they have sold homes like yours
5. Find out how many listings they did last year and how many sold
6. Check to see if they have references from previous sellers
7. Discuss how they plan to market your home
After finding the real estate agent you can trust, get assistance with determining possible expenses. Some expenses will add to the marketability of your home while other costs will incur with the home selling process.
• Repairs – You may have some idea of needed repairs. Walking through the home with your agent will help you determine definite projects.
• Depersonalizing – Turn your personal space into a showroom. Keep in mind all types of potential buyers may come through your home. Decor and accessories should present a general picture. Painting walls white and replacing funny pictures with photos of flowers will make your home welcoming.
• Staging – The placement of furniture is important when selling a home. You want to make sure the rooms look roomy with furniture. Home Staging professionals will make your home look show ready.
• Landscaping – First impressions are most important. When a potential buyer drives up to your home, the first impression starts at the curb. Landscaping will add to the appeal of your home.
• Photographer – The first-place potential buyers look for homes is online. You want to make sure each image of your home is present to entice a viewer to physically visit the location. Specific photographic techniques help capture create an open and airy image. A professional photographer will know how to get the best angles.
• Pet Care – Having pets is wonderful. However, potential buyers do not need to see them. You may need a pet daycare as an option for placing your pets during a showing.
• Taxes/Neighborhood Fees – Prorated taxes, home association and other fees
• Closing costs – There’s a list of closing costs that include paying off mortgage or other loans on the property, sales commission, title insurance, transfer taxes, etc. Your real estate agent can give you an idea of what to expect.
The To-Do List
You have a satisfactory idea of your expenses. It’s time to get to work and create a plan of action. During your walk through with the agent, have them point out the good and the bad. List tasks in the order you intend to complete them. Advise your agent of a date for completion.
Set the Price
You’ve completed all tasks. Your home looks amazing. Now, it’s time to set a price. Compare similar listings and sales of the homes in your neighborhood. Look at the homes with similar square footage and the age of your home. Along with your real estate agent, determine the best price for your home.
Maintain a “Show Ready” Home
A potential buyer may request to see your home at any time. Keep your home ready to show at a moment’s notice. If you are living in the home, maintain a neat appearance so that small clean-ups can be quick.
Your home and your efforts have attracted several potential buyers. Interested buyers will submit a written purchase offer to buy your home. This document should contain every detail of the sale. The real estate agent will assist you in understanding the offers. A timely response to the potential buyers is important. Your response will be one of three options:
• accept the offer with no changes
• counter the offer
• reject the offer
Remember, there is room for negotiation.
Several laws, regulations and requirements exist in the selling process. Resources are available. Educate yourself on the processes. Find a real estate agent you can trust. The effort you take in selling your home are rewarding.