- 10 Steps Before Selling Your Home
- Top Buyer Turn Offs
- Curb Appeal
- Small Improvements That Sell
- Preparing Your Home For Sale
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
Market conditions change rapidly and you do not want to get caught off guard with any unexpected issues involving your credit, so be sure to get pre-approved before you get into the home buying or selling process.
Find a lender you trust and research the housing market in the area where you wish to live so that you have a good idea how much it will take to buy a replacement.
How To Start Researching
Hint: I can show you any property (regardless who the listing agent is) and you can use my website to search the entire MLS and find any property in the area!
Start looking for two types of real estate:
a. Houses that seem to match the one you’d like to buy
b. Houses that are similar to your current home.
2. Check Your Mortgage Payoff
Call your lender to find out the payoff for your current home mortgage. You’ll need the figure to complete Step 6.
3. Determine How Much the House Is Worth
Determine your home’s fair market value. I can help you by doing an initial Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) report to see what recent home sales have been in your area and then arrange for an appraisal of a property you are interested in.
4. Estimate Your Costs to Sell Your Existing Home
As your real estate agent, I deal with transactions every day and can give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs including the following factors:
a. Real estate commission if you use an agency to sell.
b. Advertising costs, signs, other fees provided by your agent.
c. Attorney, closing agent and other professional fees.
d. Excise tax for the sale.
e. Prorated costs for your share of annual expenses, such as property taxes, home owner association fees, and fuel tank rentals.
f. Any other fees typically paid by the seller in your area (surveys, inspections, etc.).
5. Determine Your Costs to Acquire a New Home
Total all expenses related to buying a new home including:
a. Moving expenses, loan costs, down payment, home inspections, title work and policy, new hazard insurance policy, etc.
b. Your lender should give you a disclosure of estimated costs when you apply for pre-approval.
6. Calculate Your Estimated Proceeds
Will your closing proceeds cover your costs to acquire a new home?
Will you have cash or other funding to make up the difference?
Calculate your proceeds by:
Deduct your mortgage payoff from your home’s fair market value.
Deduct your costs to sell from the remainder to get an estimate of the proceeds you will be paid at closing.
7. Make Necessary Repairs
Make all major priority repairs (low to high priority items identified on Home Seller’s Tips page) unless you want the house to be regarded as a fixer-upper. I’m not referring to cosmetic updates, but to items in need of repair. Anything that’s out of line gives potential buyers a reason to submit a lower offer.
8. Get the House Ready to Show
Most houses need at least a little spiffing up before they are shown to potential buyers. Great curb appeal, fresh paint indoors (and sometimes out), organized closets and cabinets, clean windows and appliances, and a clutter-free atmosphere are essential if you want the house to appeal to buyers.
9. Make Your Home Accessible and Comfortable
That means it’s always ready to show. Many agents won’t bother showing a house that takes 24 hours to get into. Don’t crowd home buyers when they are viewing your home and make every effort possible to make them feel comfortable while in your home.
10. How to Find a Real Estate Listing Agent
- Basically, there are many agents who all adhere to the same professional standards or code of ethics established by the National Association of Realtors, but here are some things you should look for in an agent and why you should do business with me
- Find an agent that you feel comfortable with in their personality, professionalism and ability to serve or assist you in your home buying/selling process – like me!
- Find an agent who has a good website that provides you with ample educational resources, information about the area, offers you services and has a good MLS search and information on listings you are interested in
- Find an agent who will offer you prompt professional service
- Find an agent who is knowledgeable and will help guide you through the real estate process
- Ask me for referrals. Don’t do business with me because I have a nice website: let my previous customers tell you how I serviced them
- Make an appointment and interview me to ask me about my marketing tactics, placement in MLS, services offered, commission rate, etc.
- Get a feel for my experience and knowledge of the industry and the area and more
Curb Appeal Starters
- Kill mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof, or driveway.
- Pressure wash siding and decks.
- Keep sidewalks and driveways clean.
- Stow away unnecessary garden implements and tools.
- Clean the windows and gutters.
- Mow the lawn regularly. Get rid of weeds.
- Rake and dispose of leaves, even if your lot is wooded.
- Edge sidewalks.
- Trim tree limbs that are near or touching the roof.
- If you can budget it, a fresh paint job does wonders.
- A more attractive front door
or replace doorknob hardware
or repaint /stain the door and polish the hardware
- Paint inside and out
Fresh paint is the most cost-effective and profitable improvement you can make, even if your home doesn’t need a new coat. Paint the interior walls a neutral color and the ceilings white to make rooms look bigger.
- New lights
Replace outdated fixtures. This inexpensive improvement can update old decor that might have discouraged buyers.
- New flooring
Install new carpet, linoleum, or tile, and refurbish hardwood floors if needed. Choose a neutral color for new carpeting. New flooring will increase the market value of your home, while shabby floors can kill a sale.
- Planted landscape
Attractive front and back yards boost the value of any property. Mow the lawn, trim shrubs, and plant new bedding flowers. Plant some trees if the yard is barren, especially in the front parkway. Sweep the patio or deck and decorate with potted plants and flowers.
- Complete repairs
Before listing your home for sale, make all minor repairs and catch up on maintenance. If you’ve deferred maintenance, get a professional home inspection. If the inspection reveals problems, make the repairs before listing the home. If you don’t, the buyer will probably discount the offer price for more than the cost of repairs or replacement.
- A clean garage
If you use your garage for storage, clean it out and rent a storage space. Paint the interior white. If your garage is unfinished, install wallboard or build storage shelves on the back wall.
As your agent, I will do a pre-sale walk-through and provide you with advice and suggestions before we determine when to list the home and for how much we should ask for.
Budget enough time and resources for improvements. Keep it simple so that you can keep it up, especially if it’s likely your home will be on the market for a number of weeks. Use a checklist to keep track of what you need to do.
- Must Do
- Might Do
- Don’t Bother Doing
Boost Your Sale Proceeds
To get the best possible price for your home, consider the following:
|Keep it clean: If nothing else, a clean home is essential and clutter is at a bare minimum.
Store your belongings: Put personal belongings into clearly labeled boxes, and store them neatly on-site or in an off-site storage facility.
Install shelves or closet organizers: Don’t invest unless your agent feels they will significantly improve your home’s marketability Freshen a room’s decor: Consider a coat of paint or new floor coverings if a prominent room shows signs of wear or is very outdated (in that room only).
Refinish wood floors: You may want to pull up the rug and refinish the wood floors under old carpeting in one room to show buyers the quality of the floors.
Paint and carpet entire house: unless it’s absolutely necessary, it is too big a project that may not result in a significantly higher price. Make necessary repairs: Make sure outlets work, toilets flush, and windows and doors open and shut smoothly. All heating, air conditioning, and other home systems should work, too.
Do extra maintenance: Consider re-staining your deck or cleaning your gutters. Such projects give your property a well-cared-for appearance.
Make major improvements: Now is not the time to put on a deck or build a fence. While these projects can add value, you are not likely to boost your home’s value enough to justify the expense
Increase curb appeal: Make your home look as inviting as possible to the drive-by buyer by tidying up landscaping, planting fresh flowers, and up-keeping lawn, etc.