Selling a Home
So you’ve decided to sell your home. Perhaps you’re taking a job in a new community and you need to sell. Maybe you’ve outgrown your existing home and you need to move into something larger. Perhaps your family has grown up and moved out and it is time to downsize into a smaller home. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided to sell your home. What follows are some useful hints and ideas to make the selling process easier.
Things to Consider When Selling Your Home
There are four main areas to consider when you decide to sell your home: choosing your Realtor, pricing the home, preparing your home for the market, and showing your home to potential buyers.
Choosing Your Realtor
Selecting a Realtor is as important as any decision you will make in the selling process. You may be spending a considerable amount of time with your Realtor, so the person you select to help you should be someone you respect, and someone who is knowledgeable. Check your Realtor’s credentials. How long has he or she been in the business? What kind of marketing will your Realtor do? Will he or she give you references? Will your Realtor utilize a website and virtual tour so that your home has a presence on the Internet? Also, you should find out from your Realtor what he or she expects from you. Will you be responsible for open houses? How often will the home be held open? Will there be restricted hours of showing? Will the home be on a lockbox?
Pricing Your Home
The Realtor you select to help you sell your home will be the best source for determining the price your home should be listed for. He or she will have access to the Multiple Listing Service database and should be able to provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis of what the home should sell for, based upon sales of comparable properties in the neighborhood in which your home is located. Remember also, that a Realtor’s knowledge of whether it is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market will have an impact on what your home should be listed for. While your Realtor wants to get you as much as possible for your home, realistically, it is going to sell for what a buyer thinks it is worth, and that value will be determined by what other homes have sold for in the area, in the current market. If you are unrealistically high in your asking price, your home will not sell, and in fact may become “stale” on the market. Most of the sales activity generally occurs within the first month of a home going on the market, so you want your home listed at a realistic price, so that offers come in right away.
Preparing Your Home for the Market
The most important thing to do to your home is to make it as attractive as possible. Start with the first impression that a potential buyer has when they drive up, the so-called “curb appeal”. Mow and edge the lawn, get rid of the weeds, and plant some nice, colorful flowers if it the correct season. Stand back and critically look at your home. How do you see your home? If you stand in the shoes of a potential buyer, you will probably see things that need to be done.
Preparing your home for market does not stop at the outside. Preparing your home inside is just as important. Just as you cleaned up the outside, the inside should be just as clean. Put away any items that would contribute to a cluttered appearance. While family pictures and other treasures have meaning to you, to a potential buyer they are just things which tend to make a room seem smaller. Make sure that the lights are on and the window coverings are open when a buyer comes into your home. Light and cheerful is much better than dark and cheerless when it comes to showing your home. Sort out closets and arrange things neatly. It will make your closets look bigger, and further contribute to the sense of tidiness. Pride in your home will be seen by a potential buyer, and hopefully make them want to buy your home.
Showing Your Home to Potential Buyers
Perhaps the most invasive part about the marketing period will be actually showing the home. Most likely your home will be on Broker’s Tour, the day that all of the brokers in your local Multiple Listing Service will tour the home. Most likely you will be asked to leave the home during the broker’s tour so that your Realtor can show off the home to the local brokers. This will probably take most of the morning. If your home is placed on a lockbox, brokers will call your agent if they have a client who would like to view the home. They will schedule an appointment and use the lockbox to gain access to the home if you aren’t there. If you are there, most sales agents like to have you remain out of the way as they show the home, although they may ask you questions regarding the home that you should cheerfully and honestly answer. Unfortunately, it may be that sales agents may schedule appointments in the early evening if they have clients that work during the day, so be prepared for some disruption in your daily lives. Obviously, weekends are a particularly popular time for showing homes, so while you may prefer to relax on weekends, you must keep your home ready for showing at almost any time. You should try and be as cooperative as you can. If brokers can’t show your home, or you make it an unpleasant experience for the broker and his/her client, your home is going to be “forgotten” and it won’t sell. Also, ignore comments that you might overhear from potential buyers. Each buyer is looking for their ideal home, and things in your home may not correlate to their dream home. It is very normal for them to make comparisons. In the end, a buyer will view your home and match their dream with yours and a successful sale will result.