When you are ready to sell your home, it can seem overwhelming. But there are some things that you can do to not only prepare your house, but yourself, for process to come. Following these steps before you list your home will help you to avoid some of the common mistakes that sellers make. If you stay focused, you will be well on your way to getting the best price for your home in no time.
Detach yourself emotionally.
Once you decide to sell, you should start thinking of your home as nothing more than a hotel where you sleep at night. It’s easy to dwell on the warm feelings from all the memories you have in your home. But just think about all the memories you are going to make in your new home. Right now, you should act like a businessperson and this house is a commodity you are trying to sell. You should start to pack your personal items early so that when you look through your house, it is hard to identify who lives there. When your house starts to look like a model home because there is nothing left to associate it with you or your family, that’s the perfect time to have a showing.
Hire an agent.
It is tempting to sell your home on your own and keep all the profits from your sale, but it doesn’t quite work out that way. Most sellers are not equipped to handle all the work that goes into selling their home; getting the listing on the MLS database, having professional photos and videos done, getting high end “for sale” signage, hosting open houses, being available to show your home every time a showing is requested, marketing to a large network of potential buyers, and knowing how to price the listing and negotiate properly based on market data. Not only that, but sellers still have to pay a commission to the buyer’s agent so for all the extra work you have to do, you will still have to pay 3%. By hiring an agent, all of these stresses will be handled by a professional and it is well worth the commission and time that you will save.
Sell during peak seasons.
This isn’t always doable depending on your needs, but if you can plan ahead, attempt to sell your home during the spring or summer. Home sales tend to stall during the winter, especially during the holidays. In areas with lots of yard space, it is hard to visualize living in a house with three feet of snow in the driveway that needs to be shoveled each morning. The warm seasons give a house a chance to put its best features on display.
Set a realistic price.
By starting with a fair price for your house out of the gate, your agent is better able to market your home to a wider audience of people. Too high a price, and you will limit your audience and limit potential buyers. A wider group of potential buyers means more opportunity for not just one offer but multiple offers to roll in. Some sellers and agents use the strategy to underprice the house by a small fraction to attract even more buyers. This is something to discuss with your agent once you have a good idea of what your market dictates.
Don’t expect your asking price to the dollar.
There is always room for negotiation. If you set your heart on an arbitrary number, you will be disappointed when you don’t get it. There are lots of variables when it comes to closing on a home like closing costs, inspection contingencies, and appraisals. Just have some flexibility. It is ok to have a cut off with the asking price but don’t turn down an offer if it comes in under your asking price.
This list will put you well on your way to getting you and your home in the right condition to get sold quickly. Once you have found your agent and decided on an asking price, the hard part is over. All that is left is waiting for your offer and being ready for closing. Be sure to read our blog Getting the Best Price for Your Home for advice on how to be prepared for showings and working with potential buyers.