Selling your house can be simultaneously exciting and stressful. Fortunately, there are plenty of organizational tips that you can use to take a lot of the stress out of the experience. And with the assistance of an experienced real estate agent, the home selling process doesn't have to be intimidating.
There are several tasks that you need to accomplish before putting your home on the market. Start by making a master plan. If you're planning on buying a new home, you'll need to look into financing (securing a loan pre-approval letter is a great step toward being prepared to buy) and do some research into what is available in your target area so that you're ready to buy a new house as soon as your current home sells. Doing a bit of investigation into the current state of the market can help you with both selling and buying, and your best bet for understanding the market is your real estate agent.
If you don't already have an agent in mind, you'll also want to do a little research here. Collect some recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors about agents they've used and trusted in the past. Then interview those agents. Have each walk through your home and tell you his or her impression of the property and your prospects for a sale. Discuss a potential marketing plan for your home. Most importantly, take care in choosing the agent who gives you sound advice and whom you think you will best be able to work with. A competent agent can provide you with comps (comparable nearby properties) to help you determine the asking price for your home.
From here on out, the process becomes easier because you have an expert by your side. Look to your agent for sales advice. One of the first steps you are going to want to take is to stage your home. First, clean it up! De-clutter to the point at which your home – and not your belongings – shines through and takes center stage. Recycle, donate, store, and toss superfluous furnishings and personal effects. Make your home a clean canvas on which a prospective buyer can imagine his or her own possessions. Next perform any small repairs that you can do yourself. This includes touching up paint, replacing worn fixtures, and shoring up anything that might seem off-putting to a potential buyer. Don't neglect your landscaping! Great curb appeal is the first step in selling a home. If your home is in need of serious work in order to get it market-ready, hire a contractor or handyman for larger or difficult jobs. If necessary, paint the walls for a fresh look. Choose neutral colors that won't obscure the look of the house. Finally, scrub the house from top to bottom. If you have the means, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to really make things sparkle.
You're almost ready to list, so locate your paperwork. Pull all home-related documents together in a folder to hand over to the buyer. Include anything that a new owner could conceivably need down the line, from appliance manuals to receipts for work and installations to information about any renovations or modifications that you've made to the original property.
Now you're ready to list your home. With your agent's help, settle on a fair asking price – it can be tempting to ask for as much as possible, but you must weigh your home's value against the current state of the market. Overpriced homes will take longer to sell, and nobody wants a house that has been on the market too long.
Getting ready to list your home isn't as daunting as it might initially seem. Educating yourself about the home selling process and partnering with a market-savvy real estate agent are your keys to a smooth sale.
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