In today’s real estate market, preparation is key to a successful home sale. Buyers want to see a home that is move-in ready and they want a home in good shape. With a little foresight, you can get your house prepared for buyers and set yourself on the right footing to a successful deal. Use our home seller’s checklist to make sure you are ready to sell and to stay on top of all the tasks needed to find a buyer.
Understanding the home selling process and knowing your local real estate market is the first step to being prepared. When it comes to selling your house, you will want to do it at the right time (that best serves you) and you will want to get the most value from your property. By researching what other homes have sold for and how long it took, it will give you a picture of what to expect. Also, you might want to see if any home renovations could add value to your house and attract more buyers. Talking with a local real estate agent could give you a heads up on market conditions, and help you decide if now is the right time to sell.
Like we mentioned before, buyers want to see a home that is move-in ready. They don’t want to walk into a house filled with clutter and junk. Toys scattered across the bedroom floor and personal items stacked across the bathroom sink are major detractors from your home’s appeal. Buyers want to see themselves living there and it can be hard seeing past your stuff. Reduce the amount of things sitting around house and highlight the available space your home provides. Every inch that lends its way to a buyer is more value added to the property.
Is your home’s color a little faded? Are your lighting fixtures outdated? Little blemishes around your home can stick out like sore thumbs to a home buyer. They’ll be coming to your house with a critical eye and you don’t want to give them an excuse to offer a lower price for your house. Make a few upgrades and finish off any repairs, so your house stands out to buyers. Use this chance to get them excited and ready to make an offer. Attention to detail will return a higher yield of buyer interest and home value.
Getting a home inspection before you sell your house will cost you a couple hundred dollars, but it could save you thousands in the end. An inspection will show you if there are any issues with your house and give you time to make repairs. You can also use it to your advantage by showing home buyers that your home has already been inspected and cleared of any major flaws. If you did have to make repairs, you can highlight that you have made the necessary fixes and it won’t cost the buyer anything. Overall, a pre-sale home inspection helps you avoid deals going sour (in case a buyer learns that there are issues with your house).
Every homeowner wants the most money for their home sale, but oftentimes, sellers set unrealistic expectations for what they want. Talking with a local real estate agent will help you establish a good baseline for your home’s price. Let them walk you through what other homes are selling for and how your home compares to them. They’ll also give you the run-down on the local real estate market and show you how much you could get at the moment. By asking a reasonable price for your home (based from research), you can garner more attention from buyers and get a fair value.
With the price set and your home inspected, it’s time to get ready for buyers. As your home hits the market and goes on sale, agents will begin to bring buyers to tour your house. During this stage, you will want to keep your house clean and ready to welcome guests (i.e. buyers). Be sure to check all the nooks and crannies around your house, and make sure it is properly staged. A lot of times, homeowners shove their stuff into the closets, but they forget that buyers will be checking there to see what space your home will provide. Try to keep your home clean at all times, since you may never know when a buyer will want to see your house.
Once you’ve received an offer, you have three options: accept the offer, reject the offer, or make a counter-offer. Typically, home buyers will make an offer that is a little bit lower than your listed price. They may be testing the waters to see what you are willing to sell for. The important part of this closing phase is to remember your bottom line. Know what you want to sell for and work towards that goal. Sometimes deals don’t center around the price, but instead the perks of the contract (such as closing costs, furniture included in the home sale, etc).
As you prepare to sell your house, you can set yourself on the right foot with this home seller’s checklist. However, having a experienced real estate agent to guide you through this process is an invaluable resource. They’ll be able to tailor your home’s marketing strategy to your needs, as well as provide insight into the local real estate market. If you’d like to learn more on how an agent from Nicole Charles & Associates can help you sell your house, take a peak at our services: