Selling a home seems pretty straightforward: decide on a price, stick a "For Sale" sign in the yard, and wait for the buyers to start calling—right? Actually, not quite. In fact, there are quite a few steps that go into listing a home, and there’s a lot of prep work and planning required if you expect to make some decent money on your sale.
7 Things to Know Before You Sell
It’s important to understand that selling a home takes time, preparation, and yes, some elbow grease. Here’s what you need to know about selling a home before you even think of listing.
Your agent matters. A lot.
Too many sellers looking to save some money on agent commission make the mistake of listing For Sale By Owner (FSBO). At first glance, FBSO might seem like a good idea, especially if you’ve sold a home before. But honestly, the amount of headaches you’ll save—and the amount of money you’ll gain in your sale—is worth the small percentage you’ll shell out for a good agent.
It pays to prepare documents ahead of time.
Don’t wait until a buyer requests a warranty, utility bill, or legal document before you start fishing through old files to find it. Take some time to organize your paperwork ahead of time so you’re prepared to meet any buyer demands. Not only will this instill buyer confidence in your ownership, it’ll streamline the process overall and help to move the transaction along more quickly.
A pre-listing inspection is highly recommended by most agents.
Why do you need to pay for a home inspection—won’t the buyer do that anyway? Most likely, yes. But wouldn’t you like to know about all the issues that will surface in that inspection and have a chance to address them before they can give a buyer an excuse to walk away? A pre-listing inspection gives you the opportunity to tackle any issues in your time frame, which might mean shopping around and comparing quotes or even a DIY fix.
Decluttering, cleaning & staging are essential.
The goal of showing a home to buyers is to allow them to visualize their lives in your home. And frankly, that’s much easier to do without a lot of your stuff taking up real estate! Taking some time to declutter, clean, and depersonalize your home will leave plenty of room for buyers to fall in love with the idea of their furniture and decor in your spaces.
Price isn’t a choice.
You might think the price tag on your house is entirely up to you, but actually, you probably don’t want to pick that number out of thin air—especially if you want to sell your home in a reasonable amount of time and make some good money on it, too.
Pricing a home is a fine-tuned art reflective of what buyers are actually paying for homes in real-time. A good agent can definitely prove their worth when it comes to finding the balance between protecting your equity and remaining competitive.
Deferring mortgage payments is not a good idea.
If you’re planning on buying another home again once you sell your current home, you may want to think twice about deferring mortgage payments, even if you’re able to. Not being current on your loan will prevent you from being able to get a new loan for your upcoming home purchase.
Low inventory = high price.
Current market conditions are very favorable for sellers. Inventory is low (i.e., there aren’t a lot of homes for sale) so your competition is low. And since buyer demand is high, prices are also high. This mix is the ideal condition for a seller looking to make top dollar.
Thinking of Selling a Home in the Raleigh Area?
Have you been thinking of selling a home in the Triangle area? Then it’s time to get in touch with 220 Agents. We’ve got the team, the experience, and the expertise to help you get the job done right—without all the hassle and headaches. Contact us today to learn more about how we’re a little different, and how that will make all the difference in your sale.