Are you considering selling a home? The prospect can seem a bit daunting, especially if this is the first time you’ve put a home on the market. However, with these 6 easy steps, you can successfully list and sell your home.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Before you put your home on the market, you should find the right real estate agent. There are several ways to connect with real estate agents:
- Ask family and friends, especially in your neighborhood, for recommendations.
- Attend open houses in your community.
- Look for signs from agents in your community.
- Call area agencies.
Different agents may have different specialties, so you want to find someone who suits your specific needs. Once you’ve located a potential real estate agent, there are a few questions that you should ask:
- What experience does the agent have in your neighborhood?
- What services and representation does the agent offer?
- How long are homes in your neighborhood typically on the market?
- How would the agent price your home?
Staging Your Home for Buyers
Once you’ve located the right real estate agent, it’s time to think about staging your home. Staging your home means presenting it in a way to appeal to the largest number of buyers. When staging, there are several important things you want to consider:
- Your home and your entire property should be as neat and clean as possible. Even a sloppy yard can create a poor impression.
- Your home should be completely free of clutter and personal items. You want potential buyers to be able to see themselves living in your space. This can be difficult if your space is full of personal items such as family photos and knick-knacks.
- Decorate in neutral colors. This may mean that you need to repaint or move out furniture that is overly specific to your own taste.
Set the Right Asking Price
As you are working towards staging your home for sale, it’s time to consider the asking price. You should confer with your real estate agent. The agent can tell you what “comps” or comparable properties in your area are selling for and how long they stay on the market. When determining your asking price, there are several things to consider, in addition to comps:
- How rushed are you to sell? If you need to sell in a hurry, you may want to price the home a bit below market value.
- Is it a buyer’s market? That is, are homes moving relatively quickly, leaving buyers with much control of the overall market? If so, you may need to lower your price. It’s best to place your price in line with comps or even a bit low and receive multiple bids than to price too high and receive none.
- If your home has been on the market for several weeks and you’ve seen little to no interest, that may be a sign you have priced your home too high for your immediate market.
Accepting an Offer
You should review any offers carefully with your real estate agent. In an offer, a potential buyer will make clear the price that he or she is willing to pay and under what specific terms. Once you sign an offer, it becomes a legally binding contract. There are several things to look for as you are accepting an offer:
- If the offer is at or close to list price, you’ve priced your property correctly.
- You have three options:
1. Accept the offer as is, accepting both the price and the terms
2. Provide a counter-offer
3. Reject the offer
- Some common terms and contingencies include
1. An offer that is contingent upon the buyer selling his or her home within a stated time frame
2. An offer that is contingent upon an inspection of the property
3. Who is responsible for closing costs. Generally, the seller pays for these, but they buyer may try to “sweeten” an offer by offering to cover some or all of the closing costs.
What Happens After You Accept an Offer
After you accept an offer on your home, things can move quickly. This can be a chaotic time, and there are several things that you should be prepared for:
- The buyer will likely schedule a private home inspection.
- If the inspection goes smoothly, the buyer will schedule an appraisal for his or her lender.
- If the appraisal goes well, you can start packing for your move out. Remember to leave any fixtures, including window treatments, that are affixed to the wall.
- You should arrange to transfer or cancel all utilities on the close date.
What to Expect on Closing Day
Once the offer has been accepted and you are headed to closing, there are several things to anticipate:
- As your real estate agent what to expect. This process may be new to you, but your agent does this all the time. He or she can guide you.
- Be prepared to devote an entire day to the closing; take time off work. Closings can take longer than you may expect.
- Unfortunately, deals do sometimes fall through at the last minute. You should be prepared for this eventuality.
Selling your home can feel overwhelming, particularly if this is your first time. But with knowledge and the support of a team of professionals, this process can become manageable.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Evelyn Santiago-Blanks a call today at 909-772-8561 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.