How Does the Home Selling Process Work?
The home selling process can be riddled with obstacles from start to finish. From the usual negotiation deadlocks, to buyers with obscene demands – there’s never any guarantee that you will find a buyer and close on the first try. But not to worry, if you’re planning on selling this year, we have compiled a list of expert tips that will help clear the path as you prepare to make this huge financial decision.
So let’s get started!
1. Prepare your Mind for Selling the House
A lot of times people think about selling but are on the fence. Perhaps they’re looking for a bigger house, or a smaller one, or they want to relocate to a different place. Either way, these people are not 100% sure they want to sell (or even if they should sell).
Whatever the case, make time to understand your reasons for selling, and be clear about your expectations from this transaction. Remember it’s perfectly normal to experience nerves when making big decisions such as selling a house; but you just need to be mentally and emotionally prepared to part with your home, and the rest is just a financial transaction.
2. Think About the Right Time to Sell
Houses don’t sell much in the colder months, so you might want to look into the right season to sell your house. This is important as it will determine to some extent, the value of your property, and how quickly you close a deal – without giving the buyer too much control over the process. A few other things to consider here are:
In real estate location determines property value, so your house will be valued based on where it sits.
A clean, well-maintained home will attract buyers. Conversely, a dilapidated structure with leaking faucets and sagging roof will be hard to sell.
If your house has several must-have features in your location (perhaps a pool), then it will dictate a higher asking price.
If the buyer is protected with Home Protection Insurance, they may feel more comfortable about buying.
3. Prepare Your Home for Selling
You must prepare your house for property showings, and this will help potential buyers envision themselves living in that house. The real estate agency handling the deal should help with fixing any broken items in the house, but to give you an idea, here’s what’s required:
A good paint job will do a lot to enhance the overall appeal, and it should help make the house look newer.
Find a way to modify your curb because this is the first thing buyers look at before deciding to buy a house.
NOBODY wants to look at a dirty, unkempt property, so this should be your first job before showing the house. Clean everything and consider hiring professionals for the job.
Check for odors:
If you notice strange smells coming from the kitchen or basement, or if you smoke in the house, that could present a challenge. Keep in mind that lingering smells will turn off some buyers.
4. Listing Out the House for Sale
This is one of the first steps of selling a house and it involves a third party, in this case a real estate agency. Contact your preferred agency and have them list the house for sale. The good thing about listing a house is that your agency will have good knowledge of your neighborhood, and they are well-prepared to assist in handling most of the other processes like pricing and home showings.
5. Hire a Real Estate Agent
You will find that it’s not an easy job to sell a house, and it’s worse if you don’t have a competent real estate agent working on your behalf. So why do you need a real estate agent? Here’s what they will do for you:
- An agent will take on the job of analyzing your local area to determine property value, existing trends, and establishing a fair market value.
- Take the job of managing home showings, which in itself can be a hassle. This will also mean taking care of maintenance, repair work, decluttering, and so on. An agent will make sure you don’t spend too much money on this.
- Hiring a photographer to take awesome pictures of your house and posting them on their real estate website to attract buyers.
- Marketing your house using different marketing channels such as social media, the agency website, and of course, a wide network of fellow real estate agents looking for sellers.
- Handling all the paperwork – which can be a little daunting for the average home seller.
6. Negotiating the Purchase Price
When the offers start rolling in, you will have a chance to negotiate with potential buyers. Keep in mind that today’s homeowners get an average equity gain of $55,000 according to the National Association of Realtors website. Do enough market research before putting up your property – that way, you have a clear idea of your valuation. This will help during negotiations.
Your real estate agent will handle the negotiations, and one thing to watch out for is if a real estate agent gives you an estimate that is unreasonably higher than your own estimate. They could just be trying to get your business, and it will present problems when your expectations fail.
7. Understand the Docs
Hire an attorney to get professional advice regarding your closing papers. While it’s true that legal representation isn’t always mandatory, it will help clear any lingering questions you may have over the deal. An attorney can help you sniff out a bad deal, and in any case, some states require real estate deals to be signed by an attorney – so you may have to hire one anyway, depending on where you live.
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