Successful real estate deals are surrounded by preparation. Home sellers that go into the process with their home ready to welcome buyers usually yields great results — such as higher priced offers and less time spent on the market. By understanding the home selling process, it keeps you in the know-how and prevents any unwanted surprises. With this simple checklist, you can get a bird’s eye view of what you should do when you are getting ready to sell your house. When you pay attention to these details and orient yourself to “sell,” you can attract serious buyers who are willing to put down good offers and buy now. Stay organized and sell your home with the help of our checklist:
Researching the home selling process gives you more than information on how to sell your house. It provides insight into how much you can sell for and if now is the right time to sell. By understanding these detailed elements, you can better position your home to sell for a better value (and quickly). You can also get a peek into who is buying and how to market your home toward them. Information is just the first step to getting ready to sell your house. Talking with a qualified real estate agent can add onto what you’ve already learned, and from there, you can learn some of the secrets to selling your home. You can see what other homes have been selling for and how your home is unique.
By organizing your house and removing any clutter that may be lying around, you can create a more positive perception of your home (in a buyer’s eyes). Imagine if you were a home buyer and walked into a house with junk everywhere, toiletries sitting on the sink, and kids’ toys scattered across the floor. Would you be inclined to buy the house? Probably not. This is why organization is key to getting started on the right foot. Reduce the amount of things sitting on the counter and decorate a little bit. Don’t leave your personal items lying around the house. You want the buyer to picture themselves living there; not you. By building a positive perception, home buyers will be more willing to make an offer on your house.
Anything that needs to be fixed should be fixed. Minor flaws add up in a buyer’s mind and they ultimately use them as excuses to either not buy or to ask for a lower price on the house. By fixing the small blemishes around the house (if you have any), you can ensure that a buyer will have a great experience looking around the property. If (and when) you do make these minor repairs, try to make them a small upgrade. Newly furnished lights or sink handles may not seem like much of a difference, but they are. They add tremendous value and make the buyer feel like the home is up-to-date.
Like we mentioned before, preparation and knowledge is key. By getting a pre-sale home inspection, you can see if there are any major flaws with your house before a buyer spots them. Even though a home inspection might cost you a couple hundred dollars, it could save a multi-thousand dollar deal in the end. If the inspector finds any issues with your house, you can easily correct and fix them before your home goes on sale. In addition, you can use it as a marketing tool and show buyers that your home has already been inspected and is in good condition. A home inspection will help you prevent deals from going sour and maintain a buyer’s trust.
With all the repairs complete, it’s time to set a price for your house. Every homeowner wants to earn the most money from their home sale, but it doesn’t mean you can set unrealistic expectations. You need to talk with a local real estate agent who understands the current state of the market, and who can guide you into the right price for your home. A real estate agent can show you how your house compares to others in the area, and they can show you what price point buyers are buying at. With their advice and your own research, you can get a good baseline for what price to set. The most important part to setting a price for you house is not to go too high or too low. You don’t want to lose potential money on your home sale, nor do you want your home to sit on the real estate market without any offers.
Now that the price is set and you’ve fixed everything that needs repairing, you can list your home for sale. As it becomes available, you’ll need to get ready for buyers. People will be visiting and touring your home to gauge for themselves whether or not they’d like to live there. Your job (to get your home sold) is to make it a welcoming experience. Keep the house clean and free of clutter. Upstage your yard space, so it creates a great first impression. And lastly, let your real estate agent give the house tours. You should not be there when buyers are viewing the property. Let them feel comfortable when touring your home, so that they can begin imagining living there.
Once you’ve received an offer, it will be time to close the deal. Negotiations will probably happen, so it’s important to listen to the advice of your real estate agent. Typically, buyers make offers that range from 5-10% below your asking price. They may be testing the waters to see what you are willing to sell at. For you, remember what your bottom line is. Know what you want to sell at before you reach this stage, and work towards that goal. If a buyer isn’t budging as much, you can always sweeten the deal (instead of meeting their price), such as paying for closing costs or offering your furniture for free, etc. Once both parties have agreed to the contract, you will sign a bunch of papers transferring your home’s title to the new owner.
As you get ready to sell your house, you can keep yourself aligned to the right goals with our home seller’s checklist. Having a qualified real estate agent to guide you through the home selling process is also an invaluable resource. Their expertise and knowledge of the market can help you decide on when (and how much) to sell. If you’d like to learn more about selling your house, download our free Definitive Guide to Selling Your Home: