You’ve decided that you are ready to move. Maybe it is for a new job opportunity, maybe it’s because you have too much house and you’re ready to downsize, or maybe it’s just that you are finally ready to move into your dream home. Whatever the reason is that you want to sell your home, it can be very exciting to think about moving on to new opportunities.
However, it can also feel extremely overwhelming.
Although it may seem like a simple task, without taking the proper steps, selling your home can be a huge mistake. If you are considering selling your home and you want the process to go as smooth as possible…
Here are the 10 things you must do before you list your home.
Determine your financial needs
You need to take a deep dive into your financials. What is the next financial milestone you would like to hit?
It is possible it could make more financial sense to rent before buying your next home or even downsize so that you can put money into your retirement savings?
No matter the reason, you want to determine how much you need to get from the sale of your property and if selling it as-is or making updates to your property can help you net the amount you need.
Make sure to talk to your REALTOR® about this.
They should be able to draw up a report that will tell you ahead of time how much you can expect to net on your home
Perform your research
Before you think about selling your home you need to perform research on your local market. It’s important to know what homes in your area are currently selling for.
Make sure to pay attention to homes that are in a similar condition and have your specific layout (if possible). You’re also going to want to know about how much you can get for your property after all expenses and fees are paid for.
Talk to a REALTOR®
Only a small fraction of homes sold by owner actually sell, and there are multiple studies that show that homes listed for sale by owner sell for significantly less than if you would have listed the home with a REALTOR®.
I recommend interviewing at least three REALTORS® in your area.
If you’re not sure where to find a REALTOR® you can always start online by searching top REALTORS® in your city.
If you’re wanting to make sure you have an agent listing your home that’s active in the area, you can always start by simply driving around your neighborhood and look for listing signs. Consider contacting those agents because you know that they are active in your area.
You might be tempted to list with a family member if you know someone who is in real estate. But, depending upon the skill level of your family member in the real estate industry, (and their track record), this might end up being a huge mistake.
Many people believe they can simply list their home on the internet and it will sell, but buyers have access to thousands of homes online. It’s easy for your home to get lost in the shuffle.
By selecting a top agent in your area to list your home, they may have relationships with other close agents that have active buyers looking for your type of property. That way, they can converse with those REALTORS® and make sure your home gets sold.
Determine what you can get in your local market
This is something your REALTOR® will be able to help you with. A top agent will help you determine what you can get for your home in your local market. This is done through a comparative market analysis or a CMA.
Don’t be alarmed if the REALTOR® says the home will sell for a different amount than what you thought. It’s not uncommon for people to think that they can get more for their property, especially if they’ve done updates to the home. If you’ve lived in your home awhile and have become attached to it, you might think that it’s worth more than what it really is.
When your agent runs a CMA they should also walk you through how they arrived at that number. Your agent may look at active properties on the market along with properties that have recently been sold. The time frame could be within the last three to six months, depending upon how long homes are staying on the market.
Get mentally prepared
It is vital you get mentally prepared for the home selling process by remaining flexible. Understand that buyers are going to be coming through your home, so be open to showings.
You want to make it as simple as possible for a buyer to view your property. As much as you may want to advocate to your REALTOR® that you only want buyers to view your home during the day while you are at work, the truth of the matter is that most buyers are also going to be working a 9-to-5.
It is ideal to have evenings open so buyers can come view your property.
The harder you make showings… the harder it is for someone to view your property. This makes your property that much harder to sell.
It helps to remember that you are going to have to keep your home clean and be ready to leave the home at a moment’s notice so that potential buyers can view it.
The good thing is that if you have a conversation with your REALTOR® about how long homes are staying on the market before getting an offer, you’ll gain some peace of mind. You’ll have an idea of how long the viewing process will take before you get an offer.
Declutter your home
It’s vital that you declutter your home to get the most value. It’s really hard for buyers to imagine themselves living in a home when there is clutter everywhere. You want to make sure that you clean your property and that’s it spic and span.
It is easy to have an emotional attachment to your home. When you get ready to sell your home, you must remember you’re now marketing a product. The home you’re selling has now become a product that you’re looking to market to someone else, and potential buyers do not have an emotional attachment to your home.
If you want someone to buy it for top dollar, it needs to look top dollar.
Remove pictures of your family
This is a small thing that can often be missed. You want to make sure you remove pictures of your family when you’re selling your home. It’s often difficult for buyers to picture themselves in the home as-is. When you have photos of your family memories that have been made, it looks as if it’s your home, versus a home that the buyer can see themselves moving into and making their own.
You need to look at this process as if you are now selling a product. It’s no longer your home, it is now going to become someone else’s home and you want the buyer to see it that way.
Consider renting a storage space
If you’re concerned about not having room to declutter, it’s worth the money to get a small storage space to house some of your belongings. Since you plan on moving, you can start the process of decluttering your space and moving some of your items into a storage unit. There are portable storage units like a pod that you can use to store your items in as well. Either way, you are going to want to make sure to move those items out so that there’s a lot more space.
Discuss negotiating terms ahead of time
When you speak with your REALTOR® you’ll want to discuss what you are and are not willing to negotiate on ahead of time. Any top agent is going to go over these items with you so there are no surprises when you start receiving offers.
This helps make sure you don’t let emotions get involved when you start negotiating the sale of your home.
You’ll create a seamless selling process when you know exactly what you’re willing and not willing to bend on.
This step falls slightly under the getting mentally prepared category, but it’s crucial to remain flexible throughout the home selling process. You must remember you are now selling a product and when the buyer visits your property for inspections, try to be as flexible as possible. You want to make it easy on the service professionals involved, including: the agent on the buyer side, the buyers, home inspectors, appraisers, and any other professionals providing services.
Try to make it easy for them to do their job and remain open so they may come by your home and get any work done. Remember the home inspectors, appraisers, and the agents often have other clients. There may need to be some flexibility in terms of getting these appointments on the books.
Be flexible and open to appointments even if the timing isn’t ideal. It is everyone’s goal to get the home sold and the transaction completed on time.
It is exciting to think about selling your home and moving on to new adventures, but it doesn’t mean it has to be stressful. Selling your home can be a fun process that is also stress-free. If you’re considering selling your home, consider reaching out and speaking with a REALTOR® in your area to help you through this process. At Quantum Real Estate, we help sellers with all of their real estate needs. If you’re looking to get help selling your home, feel free to contact us. Happy home selling!