Nobody decides to sell a home overnight. Getting the best price for your home, with the least amount of stress, takes time and planning. Here are the five steps you should follow as you prepare to put your home on the market.
**LEARN YOUR HOME’S MARKET VALUE**
Most homeowners have a relatively good idea of their home’s value while others do not. When it comes time to think about selling, you need a firm idea of your home’s “market” value. Market value is what a buyer is willing to pay based on recent comparative sales.
Having a local agent look at your home is the first step toward getting a practical idea of your home’s value. Any good agent would welcome the opportunity to meet a potential seller and put together a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). After touring your home, the agent will get back to you with some information about the market, recent comparable sales and an opinion of your home’s value. Even if you’re months or years away from selling, having an agent over early on engages you in the process and allows you to start gathering information.
**ASSESS YOUR HOME’S PHYSICAL CONDITION**
Every homeowner thinks of their house as their home. But when you look to sell, you should start thinking like a seller. That means seeing your home as a ‘product’. By looking at it this way, you’ll understand is and isn’t needed to entice buyers.
In most cases, you’ll have some work to do to sell your home. A listing agent will give you ideas & suggestions to make your home more appealing to prospective buyers.
Additionally, you should know your home’s overall condition. A property inspection could be an excellent investment. If you discover you need a new roof or that the furnace is about to expire, you’ll have time to address it before a buyer catches it. Ultimately, this can save you time and money. Knowing what your home needs, early in the process, will help prepare you towards a successful sale.
** START WATCHING THE COMPARATIVE SALES WITHIN YOUR AREA, CITY AND/OR TOWN**
A successful home sale is the result of all of the information gathered. Be knowledgeable about your home’s current market value and what may be needed to make it “market ready.” Pay close attention to how homes sell before yours and why. Your real estate professional will give you a sense for what the highest and best price would be for your home in your neighborhood.
** DO YOUR HOMEWORK**
After speaking with a good local agent, you may have a list of things to do before you can list your home for sale. Start speaking to painters, contractors, landscapers, etc and ask for estimates to jobs needed. Your agent can provide you with referrals. This will help you decide what work you’re willing to do, what needs to be fixed and how much you’re willing to spend.
Sellers need to stay one step ahead of buyers. Things come up, and it’s better to find and fix them now — before you get into contract with the buyer. This is also a good time to perhaps check the title of your home and confirm a mortgage balance, if any.
**SET A DEADLINE TO LIST**
You and your agent should pick a date to get the property officially “listed” and then plan to get any work completed prior to that date. Your home should be “open house ready” for the photo shoot. Listing photos are people’s first impression of your home and its condition. While curb appeal still matters, photos are the single most important part. Once the home is on the market, the home is out there, for all the buyers to see.
Take your time and do your due diligence. The more you plan, the better off you’ll be and the quicker your home will sell — and for top dollar.