The idea might have come to you suddenly or you might have planned your move for years.
And no matter when you decided to sell your property or whether you are a veteran of the property buying and selling game or you area a first time seller, there is plenty you need to know before you put that For Sale sign on your front lawn and invite total strangers inside to pass judgment on your home.
One of the most important things that property sellers must realize is that selling isn’t as simple as just putting some photos and a description of your property and a sign out front. The simple fact of the matter is selling a home takes a lot of time and effort and can be an emotionally draining experience.
Some of that stress can be alleviated by doing your prep work and developing a selling plan well in advance of putting your property on the market. Here are five things hat can make selling your property a little bit easier.
1. Do your research
Research your local housing market. Call this becoming a property stalker if you’d like, but knowledge is power and you can learn about your local housing market by driving around your neighborhood and noticing what homes are for sale. A quick trip to the internet will give you information on the property’s asking price, size, updates and amenities. Use this information to see how your property stacks up against the competition.
Don’t neglect to go to any open houses that are held in your neighborhood. That house with the great curb appeal may need some renovations on the inside while the home that may be lacking exterior appeal may be perfect on the inside. Use what you see to make an honest and unemotional decision on what your home may be lacking when compared to others or where it may be head and shoulders above what’s currently on the market.
2. Hire a realtor
After you’ve done some research, its time to hire an awesome realtor who will help you get the most money you can from your property sale. Interview at least three realtors before selecting the one you want to hire. Ask each to present you with a comprehensive marketing plan and analysis. They should also be ready to give you advice on how to prepare your property to sell; what repairs will be necessary before the sale can take place; home staging and home pricing; and property law.
After you’ve hired your realtor, make sure they have all the information they need about your home, including information on the HVAC, electrical plumbing, roof age and when renovations were done. That will help your realtor market your property and get you the most cash at closing.
Your realtor will also help you pick the most advantageous time to sell your home. While most homes sell more quickly in the spring and summer, you can wait until fall and winter to sell. Pick a time that is convenient for you.
3. Fix and stage things up
Get your property ready to sell by breaking out the paint brush, decluttering and making any repairs that are necessary. Don’t think you have to spend major bucks to get major cash out of your home. Be strategic about where you spend your money.
The saying about kitchens and baths selling homes is true, but you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars in these rooms. Paint kitchen cabinets, change the hardware on doors, make sure cabinets close and ensure above all else that everything is clean.
Brighten things up by cleaning windows and curtains and put high-wattage light bulbs into lamps and fixtures. Get rid of the junk that’s in closets and storage areas to give buyers a feeling of space.
Stage your furniture in a way that best highlights your property’s floor plan but have photos available of different arrangements so potential buyers can visualize the opportunities that your home provides.
Don’t forget your home’s curb appeal. A well-kept lawn, colorful flowers and shrubs create an ambiance that says welcome and come inside to see more.
4. Price it right
Ensure that your home is priced right the first time. For better or worse, the price you initially list your home at will do most of your marketing (and talking) for you throughout the time it is for sale.
Price it too high and you will price some potential buyers out before they even consider walking in the door. Price it too low and you risk undercutting any profit you may make. Every home has its sweet price, and its up to you and your realtor to figure out what that is. And home pricing is a very personal decision based on your personal finances and what you have planned as far as next steps for your life.
5. Get the paperwork done
Perhaps the most overlooked part of the property selling experience is all the paperwork you will have to gather before the sale is complete. Among the documents you will need are warranty information if that is applicable; your mortgage balance; your mortgage payoff; hot water heater age and instruction manual; HVAC age and instruction manual; appliance ages and instruction manuals; and an instrument survey.
Do not let your emotions overtake you when you are making decisions about selling your property. Be as dispassionate as possible as you evaluate what needs to be done in order to sell your home for top dollar and use the above strategies to help you develop and implement a plan that will leave you and your bank account smiling when the sale is complete.