There’s a right way to sell your home and there’s a wrong way to sell your home. The average home takes anywhere between 45 and 90 days to sell. The right way can bring you closer to the lower end of this range, possibly even under it. The wrong way can take you to the higher end and even extend the time it takes to sell your home. Can you wait upwards of three months to close the sale of your home?
If the answer to this is no, then you need to pay attention to the dos and don’ts of selling your house according to the experts.
Price your home realistically
The price of your home is where everything starts and ends. It’s important that you don’t get carried away by what you perceive to be its value. Do some research on what comparable homes in your neighborhood would have sold for. This will give you a ballpark range on where to place your price. Consider this range in relation to certain factors related to your home. Did you make any improvements, especially to the kitchen or bathroom? Is it in a good school district or in a demand area? These factors can push the price up. Is it in need of repairs? Is it near a busy street? These factors can push your price down. If you ignore these factors, it’s likely you’ll receive offers below your asking price. This can lead to your home remaining on the market too long, which causes its perceived value to go down.
Selling a house is a business and legal arrangement requiring a firm commitment of your time and energy to be done properly. If you’re working and have a family, this may be a bit too much for you to handle. There are parties that can help. Your first option is hiring a real estate agent to help you. The agent works for a commission, which is a percentage of the sale price. The advantages offered by the real estate agent are that they remove all of the work for you. They deal with the listing, the marketing, the showings, negotiations, and the closing aspect.
Getting the right agent for your type of home is critical. Select one who knows your area and what comparable homes they sell for. A good agent will also help you moderate your expectations and set an appropriate price. You can also select a home buyer or real estate investor. These can be especially helpful in selling a house fast if you need to be out of your home quickly. A home buyer will usually give you an “as is” cash offer for your home, which is a big advantage if you need the money and can’t spare any for home improvements. Dealing with a home buyer also significantly cuts down the number of steps between putting your home up for sale and collecting payment. There are no commissions or closing fees, so more of your money stays in your pocket.
Conduct minor repairs
If you’ve put off fixing leaks in the bathroom or have exposed wiring in the living room, now is the time to fix those. You don’t want a prospective buyer to see these. In their mind, they will see themselves as buying liability and lower their offer price. Cosmetic upgrades to the outside of your home as well as to your kitchen and bathroom can add some value to your home. This has to be balanced with the expense generated by these upgrades. Sometimes, the cost of the repair does not add greater value to your home to justify having it done.
Clean up your home
When prospective buyers turn up for showings you don’t want them to meet a dump. Have a professional company come in to clean your home. Pay special attention to cigarette and pet odors as no one wants to buy a smelly house. Reduce clutter as best as you since this tends to make the house look smaller.
Have your home professionally staged
If you have the option, move into an apartment before the sale. This will give you the ability to “stage” your home. You or your agent can hire a staging company to temporarily give your home a completely new look for showings. Stagings have been shown to increase the likelihood of a quick sale and higher offers.
Make your home available for showings
It may be inconvenient if you still live in your home, but you have to make your home available for showings at the convenience of the prospective buyer. Most buyers have time to see homes during their lunch hours in the week and on weekends. This means until your house is sold, you may have to leave a key with your agent to access the home and put up with strangers walking through your home on the days you really want to rest. It will be worth it though when you collect that seller’s cheque.
Make major renovations before the sale
Experts advise against doing large renovations just before a sale, especially without finding out whether the proposed renovation will actually increase the value of your home. If you put $2,500 into a bathroom or kitchen repair, that upgrade has to add somewhere in the vicinity of $8,000 to your sale price to be profitable. If after doing the math, you realize a proposed renovation is not adding value, don’t do it. It won’t be worth it. Large renovations also have to be completed before the home is sold. This can add weeks to your sale time, as your home has to be re-inspected and re-appraised.
Distract the buyer
Don’t assume that the buyer has the same tastes in decor and lifestyle as you. If you still live in the home while it is showing, keep children and pets out of the way. Remove anything personal from their view. Tone down any unique decorative touches with neutral paint. You want the prospective buyer to begin to envision the space as theirs. The better they are able to do this, the more likely they are going to put in an offer. Don’t prevent this by leaving family pictures, toys, and clothing where they are likely to encounter them.
Getting a great offer for your home and a quick sale isn’t always easy. You can put it in reach if you follow these dos and don’ts from the experts.