Seven Steps To Selling Your Home
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he decision to sell your home isn’t always easy, and neither is getting it ready. Follow these steps though and you can see it all start to fall into place. It doesn’t have to be a project that takes all of your time or that leaves you feeling like your head is spinning!
Step1: Get your Home Ready
[imageframe style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”#d3d3d3″ bordersize=”2px” align=”right”][/imageframe]It is important to get a professional inspection done before you put your home on the market. Before a buyer signs a contract, they will hire one. If something comes up, it is better you know about it now rather than when you thought you had your home sold. This gives you time to explore the options and to correct problems so that your home will pass an inspection when someone is ready to purchase it.
What does the outside of your home look like? If your home is in need of fresh paint, you need to do it now. It will give it more visual appeal for potential buyers. When they love what they see outside, it will make them more motivated to see the inside of the home. Make sure you take good care of your lawn. If you have trees, get them trimmed.
Next, you need to take a good look inside of your home. Do you have faucets that leak? Maybe there is a stain on the carpet you keep meaning to remove. Get all of these little things taken care of so that your home looks very lovely and appealing.
Step 2: Finding a Real Estate Agent
Do yourself a favor from the start and hire a real estate agent. It is too risky and too time consuming to sell your home on your own. Find a great agent that you enjoy talking to and that has a proven track record. You need someone that will promote your home in the best possible methods so that you get plenty of potential buyers interested in it.
Take the time to ask plenty of questions before you secure someone to work with. They should have plenty of knowledge about the buying and selling process. They should be willing to listen to you and to answer your questions. You should be asking them about their experience, what they see as the market trends right now, and even what they know about your neighborhood. It is a good idea to meet with several real estate agents before you decide who will represent the sale of your home.
Step 3: Getting your Home Listed
With the help of your real estate agent, you can create a listing for your home. They will need to come take pictures of your home and landscaping. They can also help you with determining the price for your home. Several things have to be taken into consideration when creating a selling price. This includes the market, the condition of the home, location, and if you owe anything on it.
If you still have a mortgage on the home, it makes sense that you want to get enough out of the sell to cover what you owe as well as the commission for the real estate agent. If you don’t owe on the home or you have lots of equity, then it gives you more room to work with regarding negotiating an offer from a potential buyer.
Your real estate agent can get the marketing in place. They may put a for sale sign in the yard with some flyers. They may schedule an open house to attract people to come check out the property. Many real estate agencies now have websites so they can add the home to those listings. Some of them also run ads in the local newspaper on a weekly basis.
Step 4: Prepare the Home for Showing
Do all you can to remove clutter from your home. This will make your home feel more spacious to potential buyers. Take some time to do additional cleaning efforts such as wiping down walls and counters and washing windows. All of the blinds or drapes should be washed. Your real estate agent can help you with the process of staging your home. It should be set up so that people can easily get in and out of every room.
It makes sense that potential buyers are going to look in cabinets and drawers so have them clean and organized too. They will want to see how much storage room the closets provide and other details. It is recommended that you put away any expensive items as well as those that could easily get broken.
Do all you can to make the home very inviting. Open up the windows and allow the fresh air to come in. Place a nice centerpiece on the coffee table or add some fresh flowers to the kitchen table. You can also offer some snack items such as cookies or cake along with punch. The longer you can get people to stay in your home and the more comfortable they feel, the faster it is going to sell.
Step 5: Review Offers
[imageframe style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”#d3d3d3″ bordersize=”2px” align=”left”][/imageframe]When someone is ready to buy your home, they are going to make an offer on it. The first thing you want to look at is the price. If it is below your asking price, are you willing to negotiate? If so, are you willing to accept what they offer? If not, are you willing to respond with a counteroffer that is somewhere between what you asked for and what they offered? If you can’t accept the lower offer due to what you owe on the home, don’t do it. You don’t want to put yourself into a difficult financial squeeze.
Go through the offer with your real estate agent to make sure that it is all something you would be willing to accept. Are there any inclusions that they want to have in there? For example, do you have a big screen TV that is in a custom built cabinet that they would like you to leave as part of the offer?
The buyer may have some requests such as trees outside be cut down or that an upgraded security system be put into place. You don’t have to agree to the terms they put in the offer, but if you don’t read through all of it and you just sign it, then you are legally bound by those terms.
Take your time with an offer and really explore what it is providing you with. If you get several offers, you then have some room to make comparisons. When you have multiple offers coming in such as after a full house, it is going to work to your advantage to get the best price and other details with the sell.
Step 6: Closing
Once you have accepted a long offer and the documents are signed, the closing process will begin. This will include the date when the final paperwork is signed and when the buyer will take possession of the home. There can be closing costs involved, and normally the buyer will pay them. However, if your contract states you will pay them or pay a portion of them then you are obligated to do so.
Keep in mind that the closing will be contingent upon the reports from an appraisal and from an inspection. If the home doesn’t pass those requirements then it can void out the contract. If you did your earlier steps though and got the home evaluated and inspected then you have nothing to worry about.
Step 7: Preparing to Move
Take some time to celebrate with a nice dinner or other reward for selling your home! Now you can focus on the process of moving. You will need to have all of your belongings out of the home before the date when the buyer is to take possession of it. Pack early so that you aren’t struggling at the last minute to do so. If you are hiring a moving company, now is the time to work out negotiations with them.
The week before you move, make sure you put in a change of address at your post office. You also want to notify your utility and cable companies so that they can disconnect services. The buyer will need to notify them to get those services connected under their name.