Selling your home will be a monumental undertaking that will require many weeks of mental and physical planning before you list.
You can sell your home very quick by underpricing it, but if you want to speed up the sale of your home and get a good price, too, there are some preparations you can make.
Pre-Inspection And Full Disclosure – A pre-sale inspection enables you to address problems before you even put the house on the market. It also removes any questions about the condition of your home for you and a potential home-buyer, improving the speed, price and likelihood of a sale.
Disclosures are part of the sales process, so get a copy of your state’s Property Condition Disclosure Statement to fill out. Make sure you understand what information is required and seek the help of your realtor if any question is unclear to you.
Get Appraised – After completing all your seller basics of cleaning and junk removal, hire an appraiser to appraise your home. This will help you keep a realistic viewpoint of your home’s value come closing time. Hiring an reputable appraiser is fundamental so choose the best you can afford.
De-Clutter Your Brain & Mentally Move Out – Do not assume your home is the only desirable, marketable, buyer-be-grateful home on the market. Yes, it is unique in its offerings, but do not think that means you can ask a premium price that no one will refuse. And if your home is the only one the neighborhood for sale, do not presume that staging or curb appeal is unnecessary.
Your home is going to be queued with many other competitive homes in the area, so it cannot be a personal expression of you anymore. You have to move out of it mentally to let it become the buyer’s pride and joy.
Price Strategy in Place – Most homes that sell faster than average or for more than asking are carefully prepared to do so, with above-average staging and strategic pricing. If you want to create the same situation for your home, you will need to work with your local agent to put that same level of strategy and work into your listing. The homes that appear to present a solid value for the list price are the homes that buyers will be most excited to go see and make offers on.
Pre-Approved Buyer – You are a serious seller so ask that your home be show to serious buyers only. Do not feel obligated to take the first offer before the property has been fully exposed to the market. You do not want to exclude other buyers who might have offered more had they had a chance to visit your home.
Conversely, some buyers have been known to give above-appraised value offers with the intent of getting a seller to lower their price when the appraisal comes in much lower. Always check to see if the offer price is within the realm of reality by reviewing the comps, so you do not fall prey to this. Check out the buyer’s offer to ensure that a reputable lender has checked their credit, income and assets, and approved them for a home loan.
Where the buyer’s offer is all-cash or waives the appraisal contingency, review their account statements to ensure that the cash truly exists to close the deal, including any other cash in above-asking offers to waive the appraisal contingency.
Financially Fit – Many buyers do not want to deal with seller financial issues at closing. Just as it is important for you to check out your buyer’s financial readiness to buy, so must you keep yourself up to date with all your mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance. Unless you are selling under a distressed situation, keep your finances in tiptop shape to ensure a smooth and speedy sale of your home.
Ready To Show And Ready To Go – Keep your home show ready and if you do sell, make sure you are ready to vacate without delay. You should have removed most of your personal possessions to stage aggressively anyway, but short move times appeal to buyers. They like taking possession of the home as soon as they can, so by minimizing the contents of your home, you decrease the amount of time for your move.
Take Action When Needed – Market dynamics are intensely local, down to the neighborhood, so even if your co-worker in another area of town sold her home in six days, that does not guarantee that you will share the same success. Measure your home’s time-line up to comparable homes. If your home has no showings, showings with no offers, or if buyer/agent appeal is high, but so is your price, fix these problems early. Get feedback from agents and/or lower the price to keep your home from going stale in the market.
Realtor & Reality Check – One of the greatest tasks ahead for you to get your home sold, is to find a trusted real estate agent that is knowledgeable and can truly represent your interests. You do not hire the first plumber that comes along nor do you assume the house painter knows exactly how to deal with peeling ceiling paint. You ask questions and get references to know their level of professionalism, their customer satisfaction record, and local business standing. Be extremely choosy when finding a realtor, too. Shun any that push you to sign now and get explanations later.
Lastly, here is a little story to help you to keep the reality of home selling in check:
If your agent offered you the choice of a brand new, crisp one-dollar bill or a crumpled, dirty, and torn one-dollar bill, which one would you most likely keep? Like most other people, you would take the new crisp one. If your agent then asks if you would pay more for the nice bill, would you do it?