Whether you have sold your home ten times or are going to sell your first home, there are things you need to know before offering your home for sale. There are many sellers who think the home selling process is very simple and does not take any preparation. This is not true, in most cases.
Any friend, family member, colleague, real estate agent or individual who says that selling a home is a fun experience, is not honest. The truth is that selling a home can be an inconvenience, cause stress and anxiety, and lead to thoughts of uncertainty. However, these feelings can be minimized if the right preparation is made and well-considered decisions are made along the way.
So before you sell your home, there are several things you need to know before you start the journey for the first time or the tenth time. Here are some important things to know before you sell a home.
Hiring a large real estate agent is extremely important
Often the most overlooked step when selling a home is the importance of hiring a large real estate agent. Are not all real estate agents the same? The answer is absolutely not. When selling a home, you should have high expectations of the real estate agent you are hiring to sell your home. Top producing agents possess different qualities and have different skills sets, bottom line.
How can a seller ensure that a large real estate agent is hired when selling a home? The answer is actually very simple. Knowing how to interview a real estate agent when selling a home will increase the chances that a large real estate agent is selected. Although there is no guarantee that the top producing real estate agent you will hire is the right one for you when selling a home, by asking the right questions and searching for the right answers, is important.
Understand your local market
When there are more homes for sale than there are buyers, it usually brings prices down, because sellers compete for fewer buyers. We often call this a buyers’ market. On the other hand, if there are more buyers than there are homes for sale, this often leads to higher prices, because buyers compete for fewer homes. We call this a seller’s market.
A good way to measure whether you are in a buyers’ or sellers’ market is to look at the average Days on Market for similar properties in your area. DOM is a real estate statistic that shows how long houses have been active on the market. If similar properties like yours sell faster than the average DOM for your area, then it may suggest strong demand.
You can also look at the rate of house price increase for homes in your market. Home price rise shows how fast house prices are rising; a strong rise can indicate that buyers are paying more.
Set the right price
If you have too high prices, you run the risk of having to drop the price, taking longer to sell, or making it more difficult for buyers to discover your offer. Over time, buyers may become skeptical about homes where the list price is constantly falling, suggesting that something is wrong with the home or that the seller has unrealistic expectations. This can limit your bargaining power, as buyers can perceive the trend as a sign that your home should be discounted.
Choosing the right time for the sale
House sales ebb and flow with the seasons. Spring usually brings the most buyers because many people want to move during the warmer months when the children leave school. Seasonal trends vary by market, but are not the only factor to consider when it comes to “the right time to sell”.
In order to sell your home for the most money, it can be helpful to sell at a time when you have enough equity in your home to pay your current mortgage, the cost of selling and the cost of moving. Otherwise, you will have to cover many of these expenses out of your own pocket. According to recent data from Bankrate:
Most homeowners do not build up enough equity in their home to compensate for purchase, closure and removal costs until they have been in their home for about five years.
The timing of your sale to get a higher price can also conflict with other life priorities such as moving to a new job, supporting aging family members or starting your own family. For example, if you miss the sale of your home for the peak sales season, but miss a big job opportunity as a result, it could actually have a worse financial impact.
Consider your curb appeal as attractive.
Make sure that the first thing potential buyers see of your home seduces them into seeing more. Yes, for better or worse, buyers tend to judge a book by its cover. By investing some effort in relatively simple solutions like planting colorful flowers and repainting your front door, the outside of your house can get them to come in.
You can avoid emergency clauses.
The contingent liabilities proliferate in the house contracts. Contingent liabilities are “back-out” clauses that do much to protect buyers but are annoying for sellers. The small print could say something like that:
The offer is only valid if the buyer’s current home is sold within three months.
The offer is only good if the inspection does not reveal a cracked foundation.
Even if they have been approved by the bank, the offer is only valid if the mortgage lender comes through.
Selling your home to an investor for cash is an additional obstacle you can avoid.
Financing is pleasantly different.
The reason why home sales last forever is because banks are involved. If you need to borrow money, you are on the timeline and they don’t really care about your timeline. All-cash purchases close quickly because they don’t have anything to do with lenders at all.
Financing is also where home sales tend to fall apart, so selling your home to someone who buys for money means you can skip that hiccup. In addition, when investors sell their homes in cash, they often pay the closing costs.
Selling a house for cash is quicker and less time consuming.
Because you have someone who is interested from the start, you don’t have to make all the preparations that go into the listing of your home for sale. You don’t have to worry about staging or hiring a professional photographer or finding out your marketing description. You are likely to leave inspection and repair responsibility and bypass the lending steps completely.
You call an investor, he asks you some questions and makes you an offer. You take it or not, and you close within a week or two. This can be a particularly attractive option in case you have to drop everything and sell the house for a job change or other sudden life change.