So, you may have been thinking about it. You’re thinking, maybe it’s time to take the plunge. It’s time to stop worrying over it, it’s time to stop making excuses, and just sell your house already!
Whether you have a growing family or a shrinking one, or it just feels like the right time to upgrade or simplify things, the decision to list your home for sale is never a simple task. But, with the right help and guidance, the load can be lightened.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is: Once I sell my home, do I know where I’m going after that? If you’ve already made plans to move into a smaller or larger home that you already know you can afford, regardless if your current home sells or not, then that is the first step in the right direction. Maybe you are choosing to rent a small apartment instead, or move in with family. In those cases, making sure you have enough in your savings and have paid off most of, if not all of, you non-mortgage debt, are less of a concern. However, if you’re planning to buy a new home that is worth more than your current, making sure you have a solid financial plan in place is key, and something many people don’t think of before they list their house. Not being financially secure before you list your home can lead to many more headaches you won’t be expecting, making the process all the more stressful. You’ll need extra funds on hand not only for the move itself, but also maintenances of the property that may come up if a potential buyer requests them.
Sitting down with an experienced financial advisor is a good idea if you’re not sure where you stand money-wise. If you don’t know where to find one and don’t have anyone who can refer you, this would be a good time to contact your bank or a real estate agent, both of which tend to have a roster of reliable sources for these matters.
However, sometimes you need to sell because you simply can’t afford to live where you’re living anymore, and you may want to just sell your home “as-is”. This is a viable option as well, but it may take longer to sell your home if it needs some upgrading, and it may not sell at full market value. A knowledgeable real estate agent can best advise you on how to price a home in need of some TLC.
And, speaking of real estate agents…once you feel that you are as ready to move as you are to sell, now it’s time to find a good agent to help get your house sold! You’ll want to work with someone with your best interests in mind, but who also isn’t afraid to be honest with you and not just be a “Yes-Man”. The agent you choose should make you feel at ease with their breadth of knowledge and experience, and they should be prepared with advice on how to get your house market ready, be familiar with the area you live in, show evidence that they have the tools to sell, and be able to make recommendations for you when it comes to attorneys, home inspectors, and property surveyors, just to name a few.
Referrals are an agent’s bestfriend, so talk to people you know- friends, family, co-workers, neighbors –and ask them if they can recommend a good agent for you. If you can’t find a recommendation, stop in a few local real estate offices or do some research on the internet to see who others in your area are using successfully.
Okay, now you’re financially ready and you’ve found your agent- what’s next? It’s time to get your home ready for showing to potential buyers! Most agents can advise you on this part, and may even have a handy checklist for you to use. Some things to consider are:
Keep the yard neat and well-maintained, meaning mow that lawn, trim those branches and shrubs, and keep overall yard clear of debris, such as toys and tools
Take down and put away any unnecessary clutter and pictures that wouldn’t have meaning to anyone but you. For example, you may have a thing for clown art, but those viewing your home may get creeped out by it! It’s time to make those walls and shelves look like they’re makeover-ready! The easier it is for a buyer to imagine living in your home, the better
Paint! Find spots that need touching up and make those walls look fresh! If you have any “radically” painted rooms that may look garish to others, it might be time to consider something more neutral
Do any repairs that may not seem like a big deal to you, but could stand out to someone looking at a home with new eyes. For example, fix gutters, polish hardwood floors, fill in cracks on walls, keep doors and windows clean and neat. Fresh paint on the front door is a simple thing you can do that does wonders for first impressions!
Once you’ve made all the necessary adjustments to get your house showing-ready, now you’ll just want to stay on top of keeping things neat and clean as much as possible. Keep toys put away, keep pet areas neat, keep floors vacuumed, furniture dusted, etc. Little touches like fresh flowers in the entry way or on the kitchen table can really help buyers walk away with a good feeling about your home as well!
If you’ve done all these things, now your agent takes over and handles all showing appointments and negotiations with offers that will start to come in. Whomever you choose to assist you in selling your home, they should be able to have a conversation with you at least once a week to keep you up-to-date on how things are going, and advise you if anything needs to change, such as the way the home is being marketed, or reviewed by buyers. Just remember, these things can take time, so don’t expect your home to sell right away. It can take weeks or months before you get a solid offer, so be prepared to hang in there and keep that in mind in regards to your projected moving date.
Have more questions? We would love to hear from you! Call our office today at (336) 600-1052, and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable agents today!