Selling your home or investment property is a bittersweet and challenging experience. Finding a buyer at your preferred price requires more than placing the “for sale” sign outside the house. First-time homeowners should learn the various intrigues involved in selling a house. There’s a lot that goes on from the time you’ve decided to sell your home to the last stage of handing over the keys. This checklist outlines some important activities homeowners should prepare for when selling their homes.
Before Listing the House
It is tempting to list your home immediately after you’ve made the decision. However, you should check off some important things before your home hits the market. Below are a few things to work on:
Hire the Right People
Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned real estate investor, selling a property isn’t a simple activity. Finding time to stage, repair, and market your home might prove challenging. Therefore, you should consider hiring a team of professionals. While most homeowners gravitate towards working with real estate agents, they are not a perfect option for many reasons. To sell your home fast, avoid extensive repairs, and save on agents’ fees, consider selling your home to cash home buyers.
You should also have a real estate attorney on your team. Whether your state requires it or not, consulting an attorney is recommended. Different states have laws and regulations that guide the process of selling properties. An experienced attorney protects you from legal issues arising during and after the sale.
Research the Property Market
Researching and understanding the local real estate market before listing your property is also important. You should conduct a comparative market analysis to approximate the value of your home. Check out the local housing market, especially recent sales of similar homes. Fortunately, you’ll find several local websites that estimate the values of homes, including those which haven’t been listed for sale.
Scope Out Competition
Identifying potential competition also helps in evaluating the market value of your home. You should consider hiring an appraiser if your property is unique or has significant modifications. When scoping out the competition, consider the specifics of the house, such as amenities, square footage, age, number of rooms, and upgrades.
Calculate Your Home Equity
Home equity is typically your percentage of the property’s worth. Increase in property value over time, home improvement projects, and paying down more mortgage often increase your home equity. To calculate the equity, you should define the current value and deduct pending mortgage payments.
Prepare the Home for Sale
With the right team and having understood the basics, you can prepare and list your home for sale. Important preparations include:
Make the Necessary Repairs
Making simple repairs and home improvements increases your property value and marketability. Below are categories of repairs homeowners should make:
- Repairs home sellers must make – You should fix visible structural defects, safety issues, and other problems that violate building codes before selling your home. Home improvement projects, such as refreshing the walls and other valuable upgrades, are also recommended. You should conduct these repairs before potential buyers inspect your home.
- Repairs home sellers should make – Only focus on important repairs that can turn off potential buyers. Simple repairs, such as replacing missing shingles with expensive options, won’t make a significant difference.
- Repairs home sellers can negotiate – Some issues, such as window treatments, are negotiable, especially if the prevailing real estate market favors sellers.
Focus On Curb Appeal
You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of curb appeal in creating a positive first impression when selling your home. Spend some time repainting the front door, repaving the driveway, power washing windows and roofs, planting flowers, and replacing the mailbox. Fortunately, most of these projects are budget-friendly.
Declutter and Depersonalize
Clutter significantly impairs the buyers’ first impression, especially in open rooms. Decluttering and depersonalizing allow prospective buyers to visualize themselves living in the house. Try to make your home a blank canvas so that potential buyers can imagine their ideas in the house. Eliminating clutter and removing personal effects, such as personal photos, awards, and religious or political items, is visually appealing and makes rooms appear spacious.
Clean the Interior Thoroughly
Cleaning the interior is another commonly forgotten item that should be on your checklist. After decluttering and removing personal items, you should clean the house thoroughly. If you can’t clean yourself, consider hiring professional cleaners for thorough interior cleaning. Like decluttering, you should create a cleaning checklist to ensure all parts are cleaned.
Start by cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, the countertops, sink fixtures, floors, and pavements. You should also clean household appliances, especially the refrigerator. Other important items to clean include:
- Lampshades and ceiling fans
- Vacuum carpets
- Wash both sides of the windows
- Disinfect and scrub toilets and tubs
- Shine fixtures and finishes
- Damp wipe bedroom cabinets
- Remove cobwebs from hidden areas
What to Do After Listing
You should only list your home after staging your home properly using the tips above. Your home should be ready for visits by potential buyers at this stage. In addition, ensure that you do the following:
- Maintain cleanliness – If you are living in the listed home, ensure that you keep it clean every time. Potential buyers can show up for tours unexpectedly, giving you a few minutes to tidy up.
- Gather closing documents – If you are selling to cash home buyers, you should be prepared to close the sale any minute. Therefore, ensure that your closing documents are accessible. Important documents include the closing statement, purchase contract, addendums, home inspection report, and seller disclosure.
After Accepting the Offer
This is the last stage of selling a house. This stage typically involves signing the purchase agreement and preparing to move out. However, remember to cancel your homeowner’s insurance policy and all utilities. You should also change your address.
While selling a home is a lengthy process, it shouldn’t necessarily be confusing. From understanding the real estate market for accurate pricing to staging your home for sale, homeowners can easily feel overwhelmed. Using the checklist above simplifies the home selling process. Engaging home buyers also eliminates some of these steps.