If you’re ready to sell your house but have never gone through the process, you may not be sure where to begin – these eight steps will help ensure success.
Find Out How Much Your Home is Worth
The first step is to ask, “How much is my house worth?” If the answer isn’t what you hoped, do what you can to increase the value by making improvements. If your budget is tight, at minimum consider repainting, beautifying your landscaping, eliminating clutter and giving it a thorough cleaning.
Determine the Best time to Sell
If you want the best results, you may not want to put your home up for sale in the wintertime. The summer months see the most home sales, although anytime between April and October can help you maximize profits.
Get a Good Real Estate Agent
Having an experienced realtor at your side is one of the most critical parts of the home selling process. If possible, get referrals from friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers. Interview at least three to determine rapport as well as to ask questions like what the agent’s strategy will be. He or she should have experience selling homes in your neighborhood if at all possible. You’ll also want to find out the commission rate you’ll have to pay for said services. While you could go FBSO (For Sale By Owner), in most cases you’ll end up getting less for your home in the end than if you’d hired an agent and paid the commission fees.
Make Necessary Repairs
Look at your home, inside and out, with the careful eye of a potential buyer to identify any potential problems. You only get one chance to make a great first impression so be sure to make all necessary repairs first. Anything major will come back to haunt you during the inspection.
You want your home to look its best, not only for buyers but for the photos. Give it a deep cleaning or hire a cleaning service – everything should shine. That means floors, carpets, walls, everything. The interior should be well-lit, if necessary, add lamps and be sure to keep blinds open to bring in natural light. Decluttering all rooms (including closets) will make it look more clean and spacious too.
Assuming you’ve hired a skilled agent, that person will identify the top selling points of your home and choose the very best way to advertise them. Get together with your agent to help and approve the campaign – after all, you’ve been living in the home, so you know it better than anyone. Professional photos should be taken at minimum – a virtual tour can bring in even more potential buyers.
One of the most challenging aspects of home selling is showing the home. If you force your agent to make appointments, you’ll have fewer potential buyers coming through the door. Either try and be as flexible as possible or let the agent install a keypad or lockbox to show it while you’re away. The more accommodating you can be, the better.
Negotiate or Accept the Offer
When you get an offer, you and your agent may decide to accept or negotiate from there. If your home is priced right, you’re likely to receive multiple offers, but don’t ignore any of them, even if they seem low. Oftentimes buyers start low but are willing to negotiate. Once everyone is in agreement the process of selling can be completed. At closing, the final paperwork will be signed, you’ll receive the check and the buyer will get the keys.