You may think selling your home should be a fairly straightforward process, correct? After all, you’re not a first time homebuyer and you’ve “been there and done that.” However, the home selling process can be one that’s full of surprises, if you’re not prepared. So, what is the best way to get prepared to sell your home?
STEP 1: Find a Solid Real Estate Agent & Prepare Your Home When it comes time to sell your home, you’ll need an experienced professional ready to offer sound advice and the guidance needed to properly prep your home for selling at the best price and in the right amount of time. It’s all about making sure your home is in great shape and appeals to buyers.
Often referred to as “curb appeal,” the first impression, or appearance of your home can tell a prospective buyer that your home is in excellent shape and has been well cared for the very moment they arrive.
Our top exterior curb appeal tips:
While it’s not necessary to remodel your entire house, necessarily, there are a few things you can do on a budget and in a short amount of time that will help your home sell. For example, buyers look at kitchens and baths first. Ask yourself, “Are the appliances in good order? Are they clean? Does the master bath have sparkling hardware? Would changing out hardware make the room gleam?” One of the best ways to freshen up a house is to add a fresh, new coat of interior paint. This is one of the least expensive ways to really spruce up your home. Your real estate agent will be able to suggest some additional ways to freshen up your specific home and make it more “buyable” for potential customers.
STEP 2: Get Your Financials in Order When home sellers sell, they’re usually doing something else at the same time – for example, buying! You will need to contact your mortgage lender and provide the required documentation very early on in the process. Don’t wait until you get an offer on your home before applying for your next mortgage. You’ll want to address any potential issues while getting pre-approved before you find your next home or before you need to hand over the keys to yours.
That means compiling copies of your most recent tax returns, bank and investment statements/portfolios, as well as paycheck stubs and insurance policies. Every lender requires complete documentation of your income, assets and credit history.
STEP 3: Have Your Home Inspected When you list a home for sale, it is a requirement that you disclose any known issues with your home. These issues could include a leaky faucet, foundation cracks or whether or not the roof needs to be repaired, to name a few. If you do not disclose known issues to potential buyers, you can be held liable for damages should the buyers discover that, for example, the foundation was faulty and you knew it all along.
Today, many home sellers hire a professional home inspector to carefully review their home, from basement to attic, reviewing everything from functioning light switches and thermostats to overall condition of the home’s foundation and drainage systems, to name a few. By having your own inspection completed, you’ll be able to identify and make repairs before listing the home, while providing potential buyers with a report identifying what’s right and what’s wrong with your home. Your real estate agent and your mortgage lender can refer you to recommended local home inspectors or, of course, you can search for them on your own.
STEP 4: Review That Contract In addition to suggesting a home list price based on comparative and recent sales data, the condition of your home and other important factors, a real estate agent will help negotiate the sale of yourhome when a buyer makes an offer.
At that exciting time, a contract will outline who (either the buyer or seller) is responsible for what during the closing process. This can include obtaining financing, the paying of closing costs and identifying the closing date. Remember that everything in the sales contract will need to be acted upon, verified or completed as requested prior to closing. A professional real estate agent can navigate, inform and guide you during what can be an overwhelming or slightly confusing process.
It’s been said that selling a home can be more stressful than even buying one. After all, a seller is often in the middle of two closings, your current home and your future home. And, if your home doesn’t sell, you may not be in a position to buy your next home.
TOP TIP: Get your financials and your property prepared for the selling process. When you do, you can sit back and wait for offers to start rolling in!
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