Are you truly prepared to sell your home?
Selling a home isn’t always easy. Even in a seller’s market, with restricted inventory, high prices, and a wide assortment of buyers clamoring to tour your house, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to attract competitive bids – or that your home will sell in its first month on the market.
Too often, sellers are unprepared for the realities of selling a home. They don’t know what it’s like, they don’t know what to do, and they don’t make much of an effort to prep their property effectively.
So what does it take to be a “prepared” home seller and improve your results?
Hire a Real Estate Agent
There are many things you can do, as an individual, to prepare yourself and your home for sale. But no amount of preparation will be enough to close a gap in your expertise. For that, you’ll need to work with a real estate agent.
Real estate agents help you sell your home from start to finish, offering advice on your pricing strategy, coordinating marketing and open houses, and even helping you sign the final paperwork. Most active real estate agents have years to decades of experience selling homes, and they can make your home selling process much easier.
Once hired, your real estate agent can help you through almost everything else in this guide – and point out anything else you might be missing.
Analyze Your Priorities
Part of being prepared is considering and analyzing your own priorities. Each home seller is unique, so it’s important to understand what your biggest goals are.
Most home sellers want some combination of the following:
- Price. Are you interested in selling your home for the highest possible price?
- Speed. Are you more interested in selling your home as quickly as possible?
- Simplicity. Do you want the selling process to be as smooth and painless as possible?
Generally, you can optimize for two of these three; if you want a fast and simple home sale, you’ll compromise the price. If you want a straightforward deal with a high price, you won’t be able to close it quickly.
Research the Current Market
Another way to prepare yourself is to research your current market. Once you understand the dynamics of your local real estate market, you’ll be much better positioned to price your home effectively and you’ll set healthier expectations about how the home sale process is going to go.
There are many variables you’ll need to consider on this front. You’ll need to think about the general state of the economy and the national real estate market. You’ll need to think about current interest rates. You’ll need to think about how your neighborhood has developed recently and the future trajectory of this neighborhood. You’ll need to think about factors like local crime rates, school quality, and drop opportunities. You’ll also need to see how homes like yours have sold in the recent past.
Combining all this information together, you should get a sense for what price your home might fetch and how quickly it could be sold.
Prepare Your Home
No matter what your priorities are, it’s a good idea to take some time to prepare your home for sale.
- Hire a home inspector. Your prospective buyers are going to carefully scrutinize your property, from top to bottom. In their initial walkthroughs, they’ll be on the lookout for any imperfections. After submitting an offer, they’re going to hire a home inspector to investigate the home and even more detail. Get ahead of this process and hire a home inspector yourself; they can help you understand any issues or red flags associated with your home so you can fix them before they ruin your chances of getting a compelling offer.
- Make repairs. Next, commit to making any repairs that seem necessary to make the home both livable and attractive. You’ll need to carefully consider the cost of each repair and the potential value of making it; not all repairs are worth making proactively. Generally, any critical flaws that compromise the safety of the home require an urgent fix. Small, inexpensive repairs are also worth making. For everything else, you’ll need to calculate the costs and rewards and use your best judgment.
- Paint. A fresh coat of paint can instantly revitalize your house, making it seem brighter, cleaner, and newer. Because it’s also inexpensive and relatively easy to apply, there’s no excuse not to do it (unless you’ve recently painted).
- Do a deep cleaning. If your home is unclean in any way, it’s going to turn off prospective buyers. Hiring professional cleaner or do a deep clean yourself, steam cleaning the carpets, wiping down the walls, and clearing dust out of every nook and cranny of the home.
- Organize and depersonalize. Home depersonalization is a crucial step in home staging, making the home seem as neutral as possible. This means taking down family photographs, removing distinctive pieces of art, and eliminating any trace of evidence of pet ownership. It’s not a fun process, especially if you’re emotionally attached to your home, but it can greatly increase the appeal of the home to outsiders.
One final way to prepare yourself as a home seller is to start coordinating logistics for your home sale.
- Moving. How and when are you going to move? Can you begin packing now? How much advance notice do your movers need? Do you know where you’re moving? Moving can be stressful and complicated, so the more proactive work you can do here, the better.
- Storage. Is there someplace you can store your possessions after you sell your home but before you move into your new home? What storage units are in the area? Can you start packing them now?
- Temporary living. Is there a chance you’ll need temporary living arrangements when you’re between homes? How will you coordinate this?
Selling a home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s probably going to be stressful, no matter what, but you shouldn’t have to feel like this is beyond your capabilities or beyond your control. Selling your home gets much easier when you work with a real estate agent, so don’t skip this indispensable step – contact Green Residential today to get in touch with a specialist near you!