When you purchased your home you probably never thought as to what it would be like to try and sell it someday. Now that you are planning to put it on the market, you’ve probably already moved out emotionally and just want to get started on finding your next home. But you’ll have a lot of work to do if you want to fetch a good price. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a lot of money prepping, just some time and effort and a good agent.
Here’s a checklist to get you started:
Set your goals for the sale
Do you want a quick, hassle-free sale, and only want to get out of the home what you put into it? Or, are you willing to take more time and effort in order to get the highest possible price? Make sure you and your spouse have the same goal in mind. Also, do you have a plan for where you will go once you sell? In a hot housing market, some buyers will be looking to close in a matter of weeks. Decide if you would be willing to move out on a few week's notice and where you would go. If you plan to try and time the sale with the purchase of your next home you won’t be able to be as flexible about the closing.
Hire a real estate agent
Hire a real estate agent We recommend that you try selling your home with an agent since going solo isn't for everybody.
Price the house
It is critical to set the right asking price. You don’t want to feel you sold for too little, but an overpriced home can languish on the market and go stale. Real estate agents will recommend a price, but you should probably do some homework yourself since some agents will set a high price to get your listing, only to recommend that you lower it later.
Identify your home's flaws or problems
Sellers are expected to disclose any major problems or flaws in the structure or property, including things like leakages, termites or any other nuisance. There is really no upside to trying to hide problems anyway since most buyers will have the home inspected before closing.
Get the house in showing condition
While you probably won’t want to have major repair work done before a sale, small cosmetic touches can increase your home’s value considerably. Consider painting, clean the windows, polish fixtures, buy some plants. Also, get rid of clutter. Remove extra chairs and tables to make rooms look more spacious, and clear off kitchen counters.
When you actually start showing buyers around, there are a lot of small ways to make your home more appealing. Of course, keep rooms meticulously neat. Also, turn on all the lights, and try to keep pets out of sight.
Decide what goes and what stays
Before you start showing your home, you need to decide what will be included in the sale. If you want to take your washer and dryer and your refrigerator with you, tell serious buyers before negotiations start. Leaving behind the custom cushions and drapes designed for a window could turn out to be an attractive selling point.
Figure out your own finances
Make sure you know exactly what you'll net from the sale. Add up the amount you'll owe the bank and the agent.
Start looking for a new home
Sellers are usually advised not to begin the search for a new home until a sales contract is signed since you don't want to be saddled with the costs of carrying two homes if the sale falls through. Plus, trying to perfectly time the two closings can make planning a move much more stressful. However, if you have to move quickly or you don't want to pass on your dream house, you have some options. A "bridge loan" will let you use the equity in your old house to buy a new one. You could also include a contingency clause with your buyer stating that you will only buy the new home if the sale of your old home goes through.