Whether you've sold a home ten times or if you're just gearing up to sell your first home, there are a few things you must know before you list your home for a sale. Several sellers think that the home selling process is easy and doesn't require preparation. In most cases, however, this isn't true.
Any family member, friend, realtor or colleague who tells you that selling a home is easy isn't being truthful. It's an experience full of stress, anxiety and inconvenience. However, knowing a few things beforehand can help you take the right steps.
Here are some of the most important things you should know before you sell a house.
1. Set a Realistic Selling Price
Some real estate companies are saying that pricing your home the right way from the start is vital. Try not to make any emotional decisions and avoid anchoring towards your home's previous value. If you're trying to sell a home in a hot market, there may be more buyers than sellers in the market, and they are driving up the demand, which is, in turn, increasing your home's price. You can also price your home aggressively, given that you stick to a realistic price.
However, buyers tend to be increasingly selective in a cold market since there are several options and no fierce competition. In this case, you may have to sell your house at a price lower than the market value.
2. Make Essential Repairs
Now is the time to fix all those nagging problems you've lived with. Look for things like cracked windows, squeaky doors, missed tiles, stained ceilings, or other signs of neglect. Look for missing or broken shingles, cracked patios, and tuckpointing outside. Check the floor for cracks and loose railings if your house has a deck.
Make a list of all the repairs you see, and then plan the repairs you intend to do. A real estate agent can help you determine what needs to be done and what should be ignored.
3. De-clutter the Living Areas
Less is more when you're prepping your home for sale. Do a clean sweep of the windowsills, tables, counters and every visible area. Next, check areas behind closed doors like cupboards, closets, and drawers since nothing should be off-limits for an inquisitive buyer. If your house is overflowing with objects, a potential buyer may worry that the house won't have enough space for their possessions. These people won't sign up to pay the house's mortgage if they think they'll have to rent another place just for storage.
Take the excess objects and pack them up or donate them. If you plan to keep them, try to store them off-site. Not only will clearing up stuff help you de-clutter the house, but it will also make your house look more appealing. This will also help you when you've accepted an offer and plan to move to your new home. Since most of your stuff will be packed already, you'll have a lot less hassle to deal with!
4. Decide Whether You Want to Offer a Home Warranty
Home warranties can be great for some people buying a home, while it may not make any difference to other people. Sellers usually ask if offering a home warranty is worth it, so should you? Well, in most cases, adding a home warranty to the mix can be a bonus for the potential buyer, and it's also a marketing tool your realtor can use.
That said, the realtor you're dealing with can give a better answer to this question since it can vary case by case. If a home doesn't have a high chance for a sale, agents may consider offering a home warranty.
Whether you're planning to sell your home in the next few years or simply reviewing your options, it's essential to have an exit strategy. Don't let emotions drive your decisions, and incorporate some financial metrics into the mix!
Reed & Associates is a full service residential real estate brokerage. We work with buyers, sellers and investor/landlords. If you are considering selling or renting out your property, click here to learn more about our services and how an experienced real estate broker and property manager can share some of your burdens.