Most people selling their homes envision a smooth transaction in which they put it up for sale, receive an offer quickly from a serious buyer, and close the deal. If only it were that easy! In reality, the process of selling a house depends on several factors, some of which you can manipulate and others of which are completely out of your control.
For instance, its location might affect how long your home stays on the market or how much money you can make. In a market with plenty of buyers but few sellers, you might expect a higher selling price and a shorter selling time. On the other hand, in areas where house sales have slowed, sellers will likely need to make more concessions to find a buyer. With that in mind, here’s what you need to do to ensure your make that sale as soon as possible.
Choose the Right Agent
You can easily research a real estate agent’s sales record and credentials on the internet and make an informed hiring decision. An agent’s internet profile can reveal useful information such as their years of experience, number of completed deals, and professional certifications. You can also look into whether or not they use professional photography and where they advertise their listings.
To avoid paying a real estate agent’s commission, some homeowners choose to sell their property independently. This is referred to as a “for sale by owner” (FSBO) listing. Sellers might potentially save thousands of dollars in fees, which often equals 5 – 6 percent of the selling price.
However, a competent agent works hard for their cut. If you hire a realtor, they will advertise your home to the widest possible audience and negotiate with potential buyers on your behalf to get you the best price. If you decide to sell your property on your own, you’ll be responsible for everything involving preparing the house for the market, analyzing bids, negotiating, and closing the deal.
Minor repairs, decluttering, and a deep clean from top to bottom should precede your home’s official listing on the market. No potential buyer wants to see burned-out light bulbs, a shaky stair handrail, or a busted towel bar when they come to see your house. The impression you’re going for is one of a well-kept house, so any little irritations go contrary to that.
Buyers may have a harder time picturing themselves and their belongings in your house if it is cluttered with personal items. During your spring cleaning, you should give, sell or store away the things you no longer need. No need to go to extremes to sell your property; nonetheless, it will be more attractive to potential buyers if it has an airy, welcoming atmosphere.
Your real estate agent may recommend more extensive pre-sale preparations, such as hiring a professional carpet cleaner or repainting over bright colors with neutral tones. Even though they’re just aesthetic, these changes may do wonders for your home’s saleability. Keep in mind that a skilled agent is aware of the needs of the market and the things most likely to be purchased.
Conduct Home Inspection
Though not required, a pre-sale house inspection is a good idea for potential buyers. Before you put your house up for sale, get it inspected thoroughly so that you can identify any structural or mechanical issues that are present. It might set you back a few hundred dollars, but it will notify you of problems that clients will likely raise during their own inspection.
Repairs done in conjunction with other house prep work may help sellers get ahead of the bidders and hasten the sale of their property. In other words, when the property finally enters the market, it should be in tip-top selling shape and attract buyers quickly without complications.
Staging Your Home
You may consider preparing your house or hiring a caretaker if you plan on moving out during the listing process (or earlier). As a stager, you don’t have to fill every room with furniture, but you should pay special attention to the most important rooms or those that potential buyers could have trouble seeing.
Hiring a caretaker means they will move into your house, complete with furniture and daily life necessities. The job of a professional caretaker includes keeping the house tidy and furnishing it so that the owner’s tastes and the house’s character shine through.
Compile all Closing Papers.
A property sale requires a substantial amount of documentation. Put everything in one convenient location to speed up the process. You’ll mostly be looking for the following paperwork:
- Original purchase contract
- Mortgage lender documents
- Title Insurance
- Property survey, certificate of occupancy, and certificates of compliance with local codes.
- Tax Records
- An appraisal from your home purchase.
Just before you close on the sale of your house, the buyer will do a walkthrough to inspect it one more time. By this time, you should have moved out and left the house in pristine condition. Closing day is usually a very emotional one, especially for first-time buyers. As such, the closing will go more smoothly if the seller satisfies the buyer’s expectations.
Bring a valid form of identification to the closure. Your signature will be notarized on the deed that transfers the property to the buyer, and the name on your identification must match the name on the deed. Suppose it doesn’t (e.g., you gained the title as a single person, but your ID matches your current legal name as a married person). In that case, you must provide supporting paperwork to justify the difference (e.g., a marriage certificate). Inquire with your agent or title company about the papers you will require.
It’s natural to feel a sense of accomplishment after selling your property. If you can keep in mind the ABCs of real estate, you’ll be able to find and hire a great agent, get a fair offer quickly, move quickly through the closing process, and finish your transaction without any complications.