The following is a guest post from Jason at Work, Save, Live. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please read my policy and contact me.
Realizing that housing markets in parts of our country are still struggling, selling a home can be a difficult task. There are a lot of factors that determine whether or not it’ll sell quickly: pricing, visual appeal, and location are a few.
With that in mind, here are a few items that you need to consider before you put your home on the market.
1. Hook up With a Reputable Real Estate Firm and Agent
If you’re not going the ‘For Sale by Owner’ route, make sure you find a first-rate real estate company and agent. In fact, you typically gain more market exposure through using a quality firm than going it alone. Investigate the leading companies in your region and talk to others who’ve used their various services.
2. Have a Down Payment Ready
If you plan on buying a new home after yours has sold then saving for another down payment will be top priority. If you have equity in your current home then you’ll be able to access that once you’ve found a buyer. However, with the collapse of the housing market, many people have very little equity which means you’re going to have to accumulate cash on your own.
Personally, we’re combining both of these options. We have a little equity built up in the house (which mostly will get taken from realtor fees and closing costs), and we’ve also worked hard over the past 6 months to save as much money as possible.
3. Get Your Financing in Place
Check out financing for your new home and work with a reputable lender to get pre-approved for your next purchase. Research what banks, mortgage brokers’, credit unions, and other qualified lenders are offering. You may decide to stay with your current institution but it is good to do some comparison-shopping and see who offers you the best interest rate in addition to the lowest closing costs.
4. Do Necessary Repairs
You want your home to be in the best possible condition before you list it. Even minor repairs and upgrades can help you get more for your home. Consider repairing dripping kitchen faucets, your roof, any lifting floor tiles, any bathroom fixtures, and such that are looking and performing less than optimum. Do any patching and painting that may be required, and make sure to spruce up your exterior curb appeal with flowers and a nice lawn.
A neat and tidy home is inviting to buyers. De-cluttering adds to the beautiful aesthetics of your home and makes your abode visually appealing. This translates into good feelings for homebuyers and can manifest itself in a quick sale. Pack away knick-knacks, voluminous CD & DVD racks, and any hordes of pictures hanging on walls to give your home a sleek, clean look.
6. Understand Your Local Market
To negotiate intelligently, via an agent, you must know what’s happening in your local real estate market. Read up on what’s going on and keep open lines of conversation with your real estate professionals. Knowledge is your best tool for talking constructively with home buyers and agents. You can voice your needs and concerns more intelligently armed with vital information.
7. Above All – Make Sure You Want to Sell
Getting ready to sell involves ensuring you really do want to sell. Don’t make a rush decision – know exactly why you’re selling and where you want to go, before you put your house up for sale. Consider the financial ramifications of your decision. Is it financially feasible for you to sell? Consider the ‘quality of life’ ramifications: will you be happier with a new home in a new area?
What to do to sell your house is something you should extensively research. Your objective is to get the best price for your home and sell it within a reasonable period, while satisfying all financial requirements. Consider the above-mentioned steps and you’ll be well on your way to selling your current home and closer to securing your next one.
Kim’s Comments: I would certainly stress the curb appeal, cleaning, and de-cluttering. Many homebuyers can’t see past your stuff. You’d hate to lose a sale because you had a dirty kitchen!