Yet, selling your home is not simply a matter of putting a sign in the yard and waiting for a buyer. It is a process that not only evolves over time but can be radically different for any particular situation.
I am putting together a quick list of things that will help you out in most cases.
How do you want to sell your house?
Do you want to take your time and find try to get the absolute best price for your house? Do you need to sell the place fast and get a fair price, but move on with your life? Are you okay with showing your home to strangers or are you looking for someone to just take it as is?
The answers to these questions can give you an idea of how to approach selling your property.
For instance, you can use a traditional real estate agent if you want to spend the time looking for a homebuyer that will pay the best price for your house. If you go this route, you need to remember that you will be showing your house regularly, spending time and money to rehab the house to the agent’s specifications, and, of course, paying that agent their commission on the sale.
You can go the “For Sale By Owner” approach, and save that commission by taking care of all aspects of the sale on your own. You set the price you want and the buyer has to pay their agent a commission.
It will save you money but it will cost you time and effort in doing all the paperwork and marketing for the property on your own. You will have to become familiar with websites and take your own high-quality photos. You will have to write the listings and become familiar with the real estate market at the time and in your area.
If it’s the first time you are selling your home, saving money on the agent’s fee may not be worth the extra stress in learning the entire process while selling your house.
You could sell it to an investment company. If you are in a hurry or just not interested in fixing up your house to sell or staging it to show, then this may be the route to go. Investors are always looking for single-family homes to add to their portfolios.
Quite often investors will buy your house fast (within a couple of weeks) and give you cash for the property. It may not be top dollar, but remember, you aren’t paying for repairs, agent fees, or closing costs.
Sell your house at the right price.
Pricing your home can be tricky. On the one hand, there is the price that you want, but on the other, there is the house that the market will support. You have to find the “Goldilocks” area between the two.
A real estate agent can be a great help here as they sell houses just like yours several times a month. They know the market and the neighborhoods. They can pull comps of houses just like yours in your area to get a great idea of what you can sell your house for.
You can get an idea yourself on websites like Zillow. It might get a little tricky if your house has extra features like a pool, extra yard, or an amazing view.
Get your house ready to sell.
The better your house looks the more offers you will get on it. Remember the three D’s of getting your house ready to sell.
Declutter: Get the junk out. You don’t want moving boxes, kid’s toys or clothes all over the place when potential buyers come to see the house.
Depersonalize: Ultimately you want the buyer to feel as if they can live in this house. So it’s good to make it look less like YOUR house. Remove family pictures, awards, kid’s artwork, or anything that makes it feel like your house and not theirs.
Deep Clean: The house should shine. There should be no strange smells. Make sure the bathrooms sparkle and the baseboards are dusted. A clean house in an inviting house.
List and Market your home
A real estate agent will take care of most of this for you. They have access to sign printers, websites, networks, and all sorts of tools to market homes. Also, realtors have access to the MLS database that will inform the agents of those looking to buy as to what’s available. They can make listing your home a breeze.
If you are selling your house on your own, you will need to take great photos, write up an enticing listing, and posting the house on as many reputable websites as you can find.
Get ready for company. If you are marketing your house well you are going to have interested buyers coming to see the house in person. Keep the place extra clean so you can pick it up at a moment’s notice.
Look at the offers for your house, but be prepared to negotiate.
When a buyer has seen your house online and eventually toured it they will make a formal offer to buy it if they like it. It may be sent through your agent or directly to you if you are selling the house yourself.
No matter how many offers you get on your house there are things other than the closing price you will want to consider before closing the deal.
Is the buyer pre-approved? If the buyer has documents from their financial institution stating that they have the funds available to purchase the house. This is a great indicator that the buyer can get the financing they need to buy the house and close on time.
Are there any seller concessions? These concessions are incentives sellers sometimes provide for buyers. They can include additional money to cover fees for having your home inspected, title insurance, or homeowner association fees for a year.
Cash vs. Financing. If you have multiple offers on the table, then an offer in cash can be more appealing. An all-cash offer means that there will be no bank involved and the closing can happen much faster. Most investors will make you a cash offer for your home.
Buyer’s Contingencies: A buyer might be interested in your house and make you an offer, but there may be things that have to be taken care of before they can commit. Things like selling their current home. A lot of home sellers will allow buyers to set contingencies in the contract in order to lock in a good price. In a multiple offer scenario, however, the buyer with the fewer contingencies should ultimately get the house.
How fast can they close? There are buyers that want your house but can’t buy it right away. Maybe they are selling their current home and moving to your city. For whatever reason, they are willing to pay for the house but cannot close right away.
Just like in the contingencies, a buyer whose closing date is closer to your own will be more competitive.
Selling your home is ultimately about setting your priorities and finding a system that works best for you. Whether you want to take your time and get the best price or sell your house fast for cash, it is important to plan your strategy. The items listed above might help you set up your plans and sell your house with fewer snags.