Many homeowners envision an effortless home sale experience – where all that needs to happen is finding a buyer, closing the deal and handing over keys – but unfortunately the process can be long and time consuming.
Some factors influence how long it takes a property to sell, such as its location. Working with a real estate attorney is beneficial as they can guide this process and address legal concerns as needed.
Preparing Your Home for Sale
Selling your home may not top your list of difficult adult tasks, but selling one certainly comes close. Selling involves an enormous investment of time, planning, and money; yet there are things you can do to make the experience less cumbersome for both yourself and your family.
Your first step should be to prepare the house, whether using an agent or doing it yourself (FSBO). This may involve anything from decluttering and cleaning the place to revamping plantings and repainting surfaces – in addition to any small repairs likely to come up during an inspection process.
Depersonalizing your house is also key when selling. This involves clearing away personal items like photos and memorabilia for display; painting it neutral colors to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
Finally, when staging the home with furniture and decor that accentuate its best features, buyers can better visualize themselves living there – which is key for getting them excited about purchasing it.
Beating out competition when selling your home requires having it in excellent condition, but beware of overdoing upgrades that won’t yield a return on investment. If in doubt about which upgrades are worth their expense, consult your real estate agent who can conduct an evaluation of market value and suggest cost-effective improvements.
Pricing Your Home
Remembering all of the memories made in your home over time may make pricing it an emotionally charged endeavor, but keeping emotions aside when selling is essential. Work with your realtor to establish an affordable price which will not only attract potential buyers but also spark bidding wars if desired.
An effective way of determining your property’s value is through conducting a comparative market analysis (CMA), using prices for similar homes in your neighborhood which have recently sold. Your realtor will use this information to provide an accurate evaluation of its market value.
Overpricing your home will not only turn off potential buyers, but may also result in a longer listing period and less offers than you anticipated. When setting the asking price of your property it is also essential to take into account current mortgage rates as well as local market conditions.
Home values may fluctuate depending on the season of sale; certain markets are more active during spring or fall; however, overall the best time of year to sell your home is summer. If listing during wintertime, make sure all maintenance issues have been taken care of as well as decluttering. It may also help to review expired listings in your area so as to see what their original list price was and any necessary price cuts they required prior to being sold.
Marketing Your Home
No matter if it is a buyer or seller’s market, your home must stand out to attract potential buyers. Marketing your home effectively is key and there are multiple ways you can do it; one way would be hiring a real estate agent who will handle everything from listing it on local MLS listings to taking professional photos and creating an attention-grabbing listing with information that captures buyers.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offer another method for marketing your home: they give potential buyers access to it without actually driving by it, enabling them to form an impression without driving past it themselves. You could also ask friends and family members to share it on their accounts to spread awareness.
Before listing your home for sale, it’s essential that it receives a thorough cleaning. Foul odors, dirty floors and dusty surfaces can turn away prospective buyers; make sure to scrub toilets, wipe surfaces and wash rugs prior to showing it. It is also advisable to get rid of clutter or unnecessary accessories which might distract buyers from appreciating its best features.
When selling a home with tenants in place, it can be challenging. But with some smart tips in hand, selling can still be successful!
Showing Your Home
Home buyers prefer viewing homes in person before making offers, which can be challenging when you have children, work from home or have pets. If you need to leave for home showings, ensure your family members know in advance and how best to keep the house clean for visitors; daily messes like crumbs, coffee spills or toothpaste dribbles can take away from its beauty and make visitors uncomfortable. Keep pets away from your home during showings to prevent anxiety for potential buyers who might be allergic or fearful of dogs and cats.
If you own a garden, make sure the grounds are neat and maintained regularly. Flowers and shrubbery add extra curb appeal, creating a positive first impression for buyers of your home. If it features a fireplace, ensure it is warm and welcoming – perhaps adding a “welcome” sign in the entryway can set the atmosphere!
Removing blinds and curtains during home showings to let in natural light will make your home more visually appealing, and offering refreshments such as cookies or soft drinks may encourage buyers to spend additional time viewing your property and notice details they otherwise might miss.
Negotiating the Sale
As a seller, it’s crucial that you remain calm and collected during negotiations. Enlisting outside resources – such as real estate professionals or financial advisers – who don’t emotionally commit themselves to your sale can also provide impartial advice that helps guide the process more successfully.
As part of the negotiation process, it’s essential to identify your bottom line as well as that of the buyer. Knowing these limits allows you to avoid lowball offers or offering prices too high for the market; additionally it helps to understand their motivations and their timeline for purchase.
Homebuyers often request concessions when buying real estate, such as covering closing costs, home warranty programs or prepayment of property taxes. Although these expenses usually fall to the buyer themselves, sellers can also agree to cover them during negotiations as an effective way of making their deal more appealing to prospective homebuyers.
Maintaining strength during negotiations is vital, so always refer back to the two year rule – asking yourself whether a particular point being negotiated will matter in two years – before making decisions on any points being discussed. Furthermore, research the tactics of buyers that might attempt to use against you when making offers such as asking for inspection before offering price; such behavior should serve as a red flag and should not be disregarded by sellers.
Closing the Sale
Closing represents a pivotal milestone for both buyers and sellers alike. For buyers, closing means their dream purchase has finally come true and they can officially assume ownership. On the other side of things, for sellers it marks the culmination of an exhausting journey begun when listing their home for sale.
As part of the closing process, title companies conduct extensive title searches to confirm that the seller owns and can legally sell the property. Furthermore, title companies will check to make sure there are no existing liens against the property that could potentially expose buyers to past debts.
Before the closing process begins, both parties should read through all necessary closing documents carefully and ask any necessary questions that arise. It is also a good idea to bring any relevant paperwork such as bank statements, tax returns or paycheck stubs for review by a licensed attorney or escrow agent at a real estate office where closing usually occurs; seller presence may not always be necessary as long as a proxy signs in their place.
Some common factors that can delay closing are problems with lender underwriting processes, unexpected home inspection findings or unexpectedly discovered damage during walkthrough. While it’s impossible to always avoid delays altogether, a great real estate agent should be able to anticipate and mitigate most.