Selling your house is a process that’s far from easy. In fact, you may be dreading the journey from finding the right listing agent, pricing, preparing, and being patient while potential buyers parade through your property. But if you simplify the steps by understanding what to expect, you can experience selling your home with minimal stress, quickly, and for the highest price. Here, then, are the six steps to selling.
Step One: Hire the Right Listing Agent
Don’t hire the first agent you come across. Ask friends, family, and associates who they could recommend, or turn your hunt for the right real estate agent to search engines and social networks. Read the reviews, check out the ratings, and determine the track record of the agent.
When interviewing, ask about the agent’s last three sales. Inquire about the list price vs. selling price, how long the homes remained on the market before selling, and the sales price. This can help you gauge the agent’s success.
Choose an agent who specializes in the type of property you’re selling, and familiar with the community so he or she can point out neighborhood nuances and features that could promote the sale of your house.
Review the agent’s broker agreement and the contract. Ask about the exit strategy if you’re not satisfied.
Step Two: Price it Right from the Beginning
There’s an art and a science to pricing your house competitively. If you get it wrong, you could sell yourself short and lose money. If you price too high, you could experience multiple price reductions and the stigma on your house where buyers ask, “what’s wrong with it? Why hasn’t it sold?”
Your agent can advise you on pricing based on their expertise and a comprehensive market analysis – a report that shows data about recently sold homes in your area that are similar to yours in size, style, and features. You can also use online home valuation calculators, or consider having your home pre-appraised to determine fair market value. Another resource is your own perception – tour other houses for sale in your area and compare yours.
Step Three: Stage the Home for Best Results
When you get ready to go on a date, a job interview, a special event, you take the time to dote on your appearance. You concentrate on your hair, makeup, wardrobe, cologne, etc. You want to make a good impression. Your house is no different. When you’re ready to show your home for sale, dress it to the nines by staging the property.
Start with the yard to enhance curb appeal, and then move through each room in the house. Your goal is to de-clutter, de-personalize, organize, clean, and arrange furnishings in a way that make rooms appear open, bright, and spacious. You can stage the home yourself or you can hire professional stagers and/or cleaning companies to tend to the tasks that aren’t appealing to you.
Step 4: Showings, Offers, and Negotiations
Try not to be home when your agent shows your house to potential buyers. You can be uncomfortable, as can the buyers. It’s also a good idea to find a safe place away from home for your pets. Some people considering the purchase of your home may have allergies to pets, or may be put off by cats rubbing on them or dogs barking at them when they’re trying to assess your home and how it might suit their lifestyle.
In the best-case scenario, you’ll receive multiple offers. Trust your agent’s advice in assessing offers and negotiating terms. Pay attention to timelines and contingencies as well as to the dollar amount contained in the offer.
Step 5: Inspections, Surveys, and Appraisals
The buyer’s lender requires certain steps to verify the property’s boundaries, condition, and fair market value. Be patient while you open your home to these service providers.
Step 6: Packing
You’re in the final phases of selling your home. By closing day, which is quickly approaching at this point, you’ll have to have all of your belongings out of the house and vacate the premises for the new owner to move in. You’ll be turning over the keys.
You don’t need to attend the closing meeting if you’ve worked out the details with your agent.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Charles Mortimer a call today at 510-578-8803 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.