Home Selling Process – Step One
This is the first in a series on the home selling process.
The decision to sell your home isn’t one to be taken lightly. There are numerous factors to consider and for first-time sellers, the process can be a bit overwhelming.
Your home is most likely your single biggest investment and buying and selling a home is the largest transaction you’ll ever make. As any buyer or seller knows, there are countless details that go into a real estate transaction. But you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting yourself — a qualified agent can help you navigate the process from beginning to end.
Choosing an agent is the first — and one of the most important — steps in selling your home. Agents know the market inside and out, and can help set the right price. They know what buyers are looking for and can market your home accordingly. They also know how to attract the right buyers. Finding an agent who understands your goals, your timeline, your expectations and even your communication preferences can mean the difference between a smooth selling process and one that’s a bit more challenging.
Your agent can help set a timeline for selling your home and help you set realistic goals. For example, do you hope to move before the new school year starts? Are you expecting to make a certain amount of money from the sale? Do you want to sell your home as-is or remodel to get top dollar? The right agent can walk you through these and other questions.
One of the most hands-on steps in selling your home is preparing it for sale. Yes, a thorough cleaning from top to bottom is important, but other little details can sway potential buyers as well. Nothing turns off buyers more than an overgrown front yard or dated wallpaper, so it’s best to tackle these projects ahead of time. That’s not to say you have to put too much effort into updating your home before you sell, but there are a few things that can make a lot of impact with minimal effort or expense. These are just a few suggestions; your agent can give you more individualized advice based on your home:
- Trim grass, reseed and prune trees and shrubs.
- Repair outdoor lighting.
- Remove peeling paint and add a fresh coat, especially on trim.
- Clean or replace old or muddy doormats.
- Remove dated wallpaper.
- Remove all personal items, such as family photos, mementos and children’s art.
- Remove all pet items, such as dog beds and cat trees.
- Declutter by storing little-used furniture and knick-knacks.
- Fix leaking faucets.
Another thing your agent will help you decide is whether to conduct a pre-sale home inspection. Although you’ll have to pay out of pocket, a pre-sale inspection can give you an accurate picture of your home’s worth. It can also prevent unwanted surprises during the sale, allowing you to address issues on the front end. However, in a seller’s market, they may not always be warranted.
Staging your home is another step in the selling process. Your agent can help you determine whether to stage your home yourself or whether to hire a professional staging company. Home staging means you’re putting your home in the best light to appeal to potential buyers. Staging can be as simple as adding fresh floral arrangements or greenery or as detailed as renting furniture to give your home a high-end look. Your agent can help you determine what’s right for you.
When your home is ready to hit the market, your agent will arrange professional photos, develop a marketing plan, and schedule open houses. We will go over these steps in detail in our second installment of the home selling process series.