Selling your home, especially if you’ve never done it before, can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging. Strangers will come into your home and poke around in your closets and cabinets. They will criticize a place that has probably become more than just four walls and a roof to you, and then, to top it all off, they will offer you less money than you think your home is worth. With no experience and a complex, emotional transaction on your hands, it’s easy for Sellers to get overwhelmed. Read on to find the 7 essential steps to selling your home – successfully.
Steps to selling your home.
1) Don’t Get Emotionally Involved. Once you decide to sell your home, it can be helpful to start thinking of yourself as a businessperson and a home seller rather than as the home’s owner. By looking at the transaction from a purely financial perspective, you’ll distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling the property that you’ve undoubtedly created many memories in.
Also, try to remember how you felt when you were shopping for that home. Most buyers will also be in an emotional state. If you can remember that you are selling not just a piece of property but also an image, a dream and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and perhaps some minor remodeling to get top dollar for your home. These changes in appearance will not only help the sales price, they’ll also help you create that emotional distance because the home will look less familiar.
2) Hire A Professional. The most common question I get asked as an Agent is “What will you be doing for me?” My response is that I will help you set a fair and competitive selling price for your home that will increase your odds of a quick sale. I can also help take some of the high emotion out of the process by interacting directly with potential buyers so you don’t have to, and eliminating tire kickers who only want to look at your property but have no intention of putting in an offer.
As a Real Estate Agent I will also have more experience negotiating home sales than you do, potentially helping you get more money than you could on your own. Further, if any problems crop up during the process – and they commonly do – an experienced professional, like myself will be there to handle them for you. Finally, as an Agent, I’m familiar with all the paperwork and pitfalls involved in real estate transactions and can help make sure the process goes smoothly.
Selling your home for the right price.
3) Setting The Right Price. Setting the right asking price is key. Remember the comparable market analysis you did when you bought a home to figure out a fair offering price? Buyers will do this for your home, too, so as a seller you should be one step ahead of the game.
Overpriced homes do not sell. Market conditions and neighborhood analysis is key to finding the right price.
4) Expecting To Get Your Asking Price. Any smart buyer will negotiate, and if you want to complete the sale, you’ll have to play the game. Most people want to list their homes at a price that will attract buyers while still leaving some breathing room for negotiations. This will allow the buyer to feel like he or she is getting a good value and allow you to get the amount of money you need from the sale.
5) Repair If You Can. Any problem with the property will be uncovered during the buyer’s inspection, so repairing before listing becomes part of the process. If you decide that fixing the issues are not feasible there are other options. You can price the property below market value to account for the problem, or list the property at a normal price but offer the buyer a credit to fix the problem. Realize that if you don’t fix the problem in advance, you may turn away a fair number of buyers who want a turn key home.
6) Preparation is Key. Sellers who do not clean and stage their homes are throwing money down the drain. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, that’s OK – there are many things you can do on your own. Failing to do these things will not only reduce your sale price, but may also prevent you from getting a sale at all. For example, if you haven’t attended to minor issues like a broken doorknob, a potential buyer may wonder whether the house has larger, costlier issues that haven’t been addressed. As an Agent I like to help my Seller’s in this area. I can look at your home with a fresh pair of eyes to point out areas of your home that need work – because of your familiarity with the home, you may have become immune to its trouble spots. Decluttering, cleaning thoroughly, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls and getting rid of any odors will also help you make a good impression on buyers.
Be accommodating when selling your home.
7) Be Accommodating. If someone wants to view your house, you need to accommodate this person, even if it is inconvenient for you. And yes, you have to clean and declutter the house before every single visit. A buyer won’t know and won’t care if your house was clean last week if it isn’t clean when he or she views it. It’s a lot of work, but stay focused on the prize. Getting your home SOLD.
As I stated above, selling your home can be emotionally challenging. It can also be exciting, rewarding and the key to moving forward into the next chapter of your life. Following these 7 essential steps will go a long way toward helping you put your best foot forward and achieving that seamless, lucrative sale every home seller hopes for.