How to Sell a Home
Over the next month, we are presenting a series of posts on Getting Ready for the Spring Market. We will be covering topics such as Selling your Home, Staging your Home for a Quick Sale, House Hunting Preparation, and How to Win in a Hot Housing Market.
We are starting off the series this week with How to Sell your Home. Read on for tips and tricks to make the big job of selling your current home less stressful, why you should hire a real estate agent, and why a pre-sale inspection is a good idea.
How to Sell a Home
Selling a home can be stressful and lots of things can affect how long a home is on the market or its sale price. The rise and fall of the economy, housing inventory, and location can all affect how quickly and easily it is to sell your home.
However, with a little planning and some smart moves, you can make your home more attractive to buyers and increase your bottom line. Most of those steps are simple, like staging your home to make it less cluttered and more attractive or avoiding unnecessary upgrades that have no effect on the sale price.
Here are two sets of steps you can take to help with the sale of your home.
First Step – Get Ready to List Your Home
- Get a presale home inspection to identify trouble spots.
Although not required, a home inspection can identify issues that could drive away potential buyers and prolong the sale of your home.
By making repairs that will likely be spotted by a buyer’s own home inspection, you can fix simple issues that make the home look like a better investment and repair bigger issues that might cause a buyer to walk away.
- Research and hire a good real estate agent to help smooth out and speed up the sale.
With so many online marketing tools available, it’s tempting to try to market and sell your home yourself. However, there is a reason that realtors earn their commissions.
A good real estate agent does more than host open houses. A good agent can identify the best way to market your home, help you set an attractive price that still gives you a good return, and direct things like professional photos and staging to ensure your home has the best curb appeal online and in person.
- Get the home physically ready for showings.
Most realtors will recommend staging your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. That means getting the home as clean as possible, removing any unnecessary belongings to declutter your home.
If you have ever been to an open house, you may have noticed how neat and tidy the home for sale was, as if it was the model home in a new development. That’s not an accident – making your home as neat and clean as possible can improve first impressions and increase the appeal.
Clear out as much stuff as you can while still being comfortable in your own home, even if you have to put some in storage. Then, give it a really deep clean and you’ll find your showings get good feedback from truly interested buyers.
Second Step – List Your Home
- Put your home on the market.
Once you’ve got your home ready and a good realtor to help with the sales process, it’s time to list the house. There are a few things you can do to help with a quick sale, such as keeping the house neat and clean once it has been staged.
- Let your realtor show the house.
You can also help by allowing your agent to show your home while you are not there. It’s tempting to want to walk through the home with potential buyers, pointing out the great features and inserting your memories into the picture to show how warm and wonderful your home has been.
However, this does not help with the sale. Your prospective buyers need to envision themselves in the home, picturing family meals, holidays, and quiet nights in front of the TV. By interjecting your own memories and images during a walkthrough, they do not get the chance to make it seem like it could be their own.
Let your realtor do their job, which is to sell your home. If you have some favorite features or memories, share them with your real estate agent. They will know whether to share them with a buyer or leave them out of the conversation.
- Prepare for the Sale
There are a lot of moving parts to the sale of your home and it’s best to prepare for many of them. There will be extra costs at the closing for the seller too, not just the buyer. The seller is responsible for costs like outstanding liens if there are any, a transfer tax, and the agent’s commission.
It is also wise to consult with a tax professional about capital gains tax. If you stand to make a substantial profit from the sale of your home, you may want to be prepared for any taxes that come with that windfall.
A little knowledge and preparation go a long way to make the sale of your home easier and can help it sell faster. With these simple steps behind you, your next tasks will be packing up the rest of your belongings and hiring the movers as you head for your own new home.
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