So you’ve decided to sell the old place. Maybe you’re moving out of town, perhaps you’re upgrading or you’re just so tired of the current spot you need to get out as quickly as possible. Whatever your reason, it is a good time to sell your home. Markets have improved and people are buying homes again. Plus, with house prices climbing, you’ll likely nab a much better price than you would have a few years ago. Of course that doesn’t mean you can just hammer down a “for sale” sign in the middle of the yard and expect the offers to roll in. You need to follow a few steps, work with a real estate agent and properly price the pad, all to make sure you not only sell the house quickly, but land the best price for the house as well. Keep Reading
Determining The Price
We all have price points we expect our homes to go for. After all, we know what we paid for the home, how much money we put into it and the kind of upgrades it now features. Nobody can blame you if you price it high, because after all, everyone wants as much money as possible for the house. Problem is, you can price yourself right out of the market, and no money is far worse than some money. So how do you price your property? This is where the real estate agent helps out. They will first bring in a few different inspection professionals into the house. These people will look over the house from top to bottom, investigate issues, note improvements and give it a complete inspection. Each of these people will then offer up what they believe the house is worth and what kind of improvements are necessary. Your agent will then take the average of these different inspections.
The pricing doesn’t end there though. Your agent will also look at similar properties in the neighborhood that have sold in the last six to 12 months. This gives a good idea as to what the local market looks like and what people are paying for the location. Perhaps this amount is higher than what property values are going for, which means you can ask more. You can also compare how your home stacks up to this other property in order to determine what to ask. After all of this is weighed out, the real estate agent will give his or her final recommendations. While you set the final price (hey, it is your house after all), they will point out what is the most likely point to sell your home.
Fix It Up
Now, after the inspections, you may find a handful of things need to be updated. Yes, nothing is worse than pumping cash into a home you are about to sell. Kind of like putting new rims on a car you’re about to trade in. However, these upgrades can improve your property value, make it more attractive to buyers and help it stand out above other homes in the area. Some of the most common repairs includes modernization. Maybe you love your home, but those 80s gold fixtures in the bathroom are a major turnoff to others. Swapping out fixtures is a cheap fix but does wonders. Changing out the water heater is a plus as well. Many home buyers love the idea of a new water heater (especially if you splurge for the tankless option). Now, some repairs may just be too costly or are not as necessary, but the minor fixes do go a long way.
Clear the Clutter
So you’ve come to a price point and you’ve made the necessary repairs. You’re ready to list, right? Not yet, so slow down there. First you need to make the home presentable. While you love your family photographs around the house, nobody really wants to see pics of your great uncle Fester. Sad but true. You need to make your home not only presentable, but but removing personalized touches it helps those walking through the home to picture their own lives inside of the house. This means it is time to declutter the house. Pack up all photographs, remove the over sized couches and just clear out anything that isn’t necessary. This helps make the rooms feel larger and open.
You may want to consider painting the home as well. If you went out and painted some rooms really outlandish colors (you know, that room you completely dedicated to Prince), you should paint it a more modern, clean color. Again, people want to put their own stamp on the house, so if your personalized touches are everything, many people will struggle imagining their own styles (or they might just see it as more work to be done before moving in).
With the home clutter free and all the fresh paint, the last final touches include bringing in quality lighting and mirrors. Lighting are the accept points that can sell your house and often overlooked. The mirrors help bring in more natural light and make rooms look larger. While hiding major imperfections is never desirable, smoke and mirrors with making rooms look larger or brighter is fully acceptable.
The last real step before listing the house is curb appeal. You know that old saying “never judge a book by its cover?” Well, guess what? Everyone and their mother judges a book by its cover. And if your cover (the front yard) is terrible, potential buyers will drive right past. After all, if the yard is run down, the interior must be as well, right? You need to make your cover look as enticing as possible. Hire a professional landscaper to trim it and plant flowers if you don’t have the time. Fix any paint issues on the exterior and do whatever is necessary to beautify the outside of your house. It is amazing what freshly cut grass and trimmed bushes, or a brand new tree, can do for the yard.
Listing the House
Now the house looks as great as it has since, maybe ever (and it may just make you feel sad you’re listing it now), you can list the house with the price you decided upon with the real estate agent. The prices should start coming in. The thing to remember is the initial prices will be low. Some might even be insultingly low. But hey, they want to try and lowball you. Doesn’t hurt to try. You can reject it or provide a counter offer (maybe keep the price but throw in appliances). Your real estate agent can give recommendations. You don’t need to accept the first offer, and don’t feel bad about rejecting it if it doesn’t come close to what you’re looking for. Your agent can give you ideas as to what lower prices you might want to accept. It ultimately comes down to you and what you are comfortable with.