So it’s time to move on to greener pastures. You’ve had a great time through the years in your home, but you need to move on and buy a new house. First, though, you will usually need to sell your home before you can buy another home.
Selling your home can be a complicated process. There are a lot of legal considerations to take into account, and you need to think about things like finances, and even marketing! Thankfully, selling your home can be a lot simpler when you know exactly what you need to do. We’re here to make selling your house as easy as it can possibly be. Read on for our easy guide to selling your home!
Things To Do Before You Sell Your Home
You can’t just sell your home in mere seconds! You first need to lay some of the groundwork. These are just a few of the things that you have to do before you even try to put your home on the market.
Figure out your finances and how much it will cost to sell your home
The very first thing that you need to do is figure out your personal finances before you sell your home. Look at the paperwork for your mortgage – are there any early repayment charges if you need to switch your mortgage? Can you transfer your current mortgage to your new home?
If you are going to be getting a home that’s more expensive, then you will probably need to remortgage the property.
Always remember that you aren’t going to get a solid answer about how much your house will sell for straight away – you will only get an estimate. It’s worth expecting a lower number so that your expectations aren’t set too high.
Finally, work out your budget. Have a look at the different costs involved when selling your home, such as real estate agent fees, making your house look appealing to sellers and more. These are all things that you need to think about before you try to sell your home.
Figure Out How Much Your House Is Worth
It’s always a good idea to work out how much your home is worth before you try to sell it. This will help you to figure out what money will remain once the mortgage has been paid off.
There are primarily two key ways that you can figure out how much a home is worth. First, the appraised value. This is when a professional comes in and looks at the condition of the home, trying to figure out how much it costs. You can also use fair market value, which is basically a comparison with other similar homes in the same location.
You can make things a little easier by looking on a home value estimator online and entering your address into it. It could be a good asset if you want a rough estimate of the cost. Ultimately though, you will have the most accurate results if you get an appraiser to look at the house.
Do Your Research On The Local House Market
Before you sell your home, it’s worthwhile to do a little bit of market analysis first. This will help you to understand more about how your home is likely to perform on the market.
You can start off by looking through some of the data available on the market. A lot of brokerages do reports on a quarterly basis that will give a rough idea about the general state of the market. Try to look into the real estate market in your area – figure out what real estate agents are the best at selling homes in the area, and what properties that are both renovated and not renovated are selling for. Trawl for the internet for a little while, and look on sites like Zillow for housing estimates.
Consider The Timing Of Selling Your House
Making sure that you are choosing the right time to sell your home could make all the difference in how the sale goes. There are certain months that are better for sales than others. For instance, May has been a great month in the past to sell in, but recently March has been fantastic for selling.
On the flip side, houses sold in October have historically had a difficult time getting the asking price for their homes. It’s worth checking about the sales trends in your area to work out when it’s best to sell your home if you want to make the best possible profit. Some studies have also reported that you are more likely to sell your house quickly if you list your house on Thursday too. Pretty neat, right?
Tidy Up Your House
If you want to get sales, you will have a much easier time getting them if your house looks appealing to any potential buyers. For that reason, it’s a good idea to give your house a makeover before it makes its way onto the market.
To start with, try to clean up the outside of the house. That may include doing things like cleaning the windows, cleaning the driveway and mowing the lawn. Clear up any imperfections on the exterior walls of the house – it may be that a new paint job is needed.
When you have finished sorting out the outside, you should then move inside. Make sure that any selling points of the home are obvious to the buyer. Use things like mirrors to make it look like there’s more space and to add more light. Make sure that any clutter is removed from the room so that your buyer can get a true picture of what the home will be like if they buy it. Get a home survey if you think that there are any big structural problems that could be a deal breaker for any buyer. You don’t need to spend a huge amount on renovations, but the amount largely depends on what needs to be done.
Plan Every Step Carefully
Preparation is key when doing something big like selling your home. You should try to take a methodical approach. Carefully work out what you need to do and in what order. Work out how much each part of the process is going to cost, and whether you are going to need any outside assistance. If you are prepared and you plan out the whole process well, you are much more likely to have success when you are selling your home.
How To Sell Your House
Now onto the slightly more stressful part – how to sell your house! This can be pretty complicated, so stick around for all of the information that you need to know.
Hire A Real Estate Agent
It is certainly possible to sell your house by yourself. You can do all of the marketing by yourself and figure out what you’re doing on your own. Of course, that’s a lot less likely to get you sales if you don’t know what you are doing. For that reason, it’s best to consult the professionals. It’s time to get in touch with a real estate agent!
Real estate agents are a dime a dozen, so you are sure to find out that’s a good fit for you. You could just use the agent that’s closest in proximity to you, but it’s better to be strategic and do your research first. Look for a real estate agent that is known for selling quickly. Look for a real estate agent that can help you to come close to our asking price, and is experienced with closing.
This is where your budget will come into play too. Your real estate agent is likely going to ask for a fee to secure their services. This fee can vary based on the agent, so make sure that you negotiate up front. You can use online estate agents too – it’s ultimately up to you.
When you have chosen a real estate agent, you will then be given some paperwork. You should ensure that you carefully read this paperwork, looking at all of the terms and conditions before you seal the deal. This will help to protect you in the long run and you can be on the lookout for any potential issues.
When everything has been handled in terms of the paperwork, your real estate agent will then get to work on selling your house.
Hire An Attorney Experienced In Real Estate
Selling a house is a legal transaction of property rights, so you are going to need an attorney to help you out. Real estate attorneys are experienced in handling the legal parameters of selling commercial and residential real estate. They will do things like provide legal documents, drafting contracts, they will deal with any issues with construction and development and they are usually there when you’re closing the deal with the buyer.
An attorney helps you to ensure that everything goes smoothly. They will help you to draw up a sales contract, eviction agreements, title documents and more. Make sure that you are finding someone with a good reputation that is reliable. The attorney will handle most of the hard work for you.
Get An Inspection
You may be hesitant to spend any extra money, especially since you are trying to profit as much as possible from the sale of the house. With that being said, getting an inspection is very beneficial to you. If you get an inspection then you will know upfront what issues there are in the house. You can then fix them before your buyer decides that they want to make a sale.
The alternative is that you don’t get an inspection, a buyer puts an offer in and asks to do their own inspection, a problem is found and they then pull out of the sale. This can cause a lot more problems for you during the selling process, so it’s better to know what you are up against in advance.
Make Sure Your Insurances Are Up To Date
Your insurance also matters when you are trying to sell your home. When you are selling your house, you are keeping yourself protected by ensuring that all insurances are up to date.
First of all, it’s worth taking some time to update your insurance policy. This is absolutely necessary, since you are still liable for the home until the buyers take over. If you have insurance then you are safe in the event that unforeseen circumstances occur. It’s better to be cautious, after all.
Once You’ve Figured Out How Much Your House Is Worth, Set A Price
It can always be tricky to figure out how much you should be asking for when you are selling your house. Do you put a number out there that’s lower than what it’s worth so you’re more likely to get the sale? Do you throw a higher number out there in the hopes of getting the best profit from the right person? There are a lot of things to consider.
What can help is doing a little bit of research. Look into the market – how much are oher homes in the area selling for that are similar to yours? You can also get a real estate agent to do a valuation of the home. They can then give you a ballpark figure of how much money you can get for the home. It’s best not to go for the highest number straight away – play it safe and land somewhere in the middle. It’s also worth remembering that your buyer will probably attempt to do some negotiations. For this reason, you should add roughly 5-10% to the figure that you would be willing to accept so that you aren’t losing a profit.
Ultimately, the main thing that you need to do is price your home in a realistic way. Don’t price it too high as you are more likely to struggle to get interested buyers. Don’t put it too low either as you aren’t going to optimize the value that you could get. If you are realistic, you are less likely to be disappointed.
Advertise Your Property
If you don’t advertise your property correctly, you will have a hard time finding buyers. With that being said, there isn’t necessarily one way that is best for advertising your property. It’s usually best to go with an online or high street real estate agent in most cases, as we have already established.
What’s great about advertising with an estate agent is that they will do most of the advertising work for you so you don’t have to do a thing. You can help to spread the news by sharing the news online on social media or telling friends and family, but otherwise there’s not much that needs to be done.
Consider All Offers Carefully And Negotiate If Needed
The time that you have been waiting for has arrived – you have received an offer. This is great news! Now you need to take some time to consider the offer thoroughly before choosing which offer you want to go with – if you have multiple offers, that is! This part of the process can cause a lot of anxiety, especially if a buyer is offering much less than you would like. It can feel like you are constantly in limbo and waiting for a better offer. That’s why negotiations are important, as you can also put your foot down, depending on the situation.
Here are a few things to consider before accepting an offer.
Is the amount they’re offering enough for you to be able to afford your next property?
If you are planning on buying another home, then it’s important that you ensure that the offer is one that will help you to cover the cost of your next home, otherwise it’s not worthwhile.
How fair is the offer: is it close to your real estate agent’s valuation of the property and other recent selling prices for similar properties in your area?
It’s only natural to assume that the buyer is going to want to reduce the cost of the home, but you shouldn’t allow offers that simply aren’t reasonable. If your home is on the market for $320,000, for instance, an offer of $200,000 isn’t one that you will want to accept.
How Quickly You Need To Sell
In some cases you may already be in the process of buying your new home and you need your current house gone fast. In this case, you should consider whether you will be willing to accept a lower offer simply to get it off your hands more quickly.
How Long Has Your House Been On Sale
Sometimes you may struggle to sell your house if it has been on the market for a while. If you have been holding out for offers for a long time and you get one that’s reasonable, it can be a good idea to accept it.
What Is The Buyer’s Situation
Finally, consider the situation that the buyer is in. Are they in a chain? Are they going to need the new home quickly, and do you think that they would be willing to increase their offer if the circumstances are right? Consider whether the buyer made a lower offer because there is a structural issue or some other problem in place.
Ultimately, it’s important that you fully assess the whole picture when you are selling your home. Take some time to figure out whether you are happy with the offer – it may be worth speaking to the real estate agent. They could possibly help you to convince the prospective buyer to spend more money on the house. A real estate agent is a kind of salesperson, so they are experienced in selling homes to all kinds of people. Don’t settle for less unless you absolutely have to.
Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your House
Now that you know the basics and the things that you should be doing, it’s important to know what things you need to avoid. Try to avoid making these mistakes when you are selling your house, and you are sure to get an offer that you can be happy with.
Not Hiring A Real Estate Agent If You’re Not Experienced
Nobody wants to spend more than they have to on selling their house. That’s why a lot of people may hesitate to hire a real estate agent to help them to sell their houses. The problem is that it’s usually not a good idea to try to do it all by yourself. It’s a totally different story if you have some experience, but if you don’t then you could end up causing some issues for yourself by doing it all off your own back.
A real estate agent is there to get the best possible deal for you. They will help you to get the best chances of a good deal. They have a lot of experience in trying to negotiate the sales – something that you may not have. They usually handle issues during the process too, which can save you a lot of stress. The chances of delays or issues are also reduced because someone else is handling it all for you. On the flip side, you have a much higher risk of things going wrong if you handle them entirely by yourself.
Pricing Your House Unrealistically
If you want to sell your home then it’s important that you set a price that is realistic for the property. It doesn’t matter whether you are using a real estate agent or working off your own back – this is vital. As we have already established in this article, doing your research is crucial as it can help you to choose a price that is suitable for your property, encouraging more buyers to take a look at it. If the price is too high, a lot of people looking for a home won’t even look at yours. Overpricing has even been confirmed to be one of the main reasons that sellers struggle to get a sale.
Instead, make sure that the price you are putting out there is a reasonable one. Sometimes a reasonable amount of underpricing can also be useful as it may potentially encourage more buyers to look at the property.
Expecting the Asking Price
It’s always important to have an asking price as it can give you and the buyer realistic expectations about how much money is going to be needed for a successful sale. With that being said, it’s very rare that you will find a buyer that will automatically snap up a property at the asking price. If the buyer is smart, they will take the time to negotiate with you and the real estate agent so that they can get a more favorable number. You need to expect this negotiation and know how to respond to it.
There’s always a chance that you will get less than the asking price, and this is why it’s important to thoroughly think about how you are pricing the property. By being smart about the asking price you put out there, you minimize your risks of losing profit or losing potential buyers.
Selling During Winter Months
You may be surprised to learn that the chances of your house selling can largely depend on the season. There is most certainly a time of the year that it is better to sell your house. If you want to sell your home quickly, it’s best to avoid trying to sell during the winter season.
It’s pretty obvious why that is. Winter is usually around the holiday season. People are less likely to be house shopping during the winter because they have social engagements to do. People just usually don’t want to leave the house very often when it’s cold outside, either. The problem is simple. If there are fewer people looking for houses, you are going to have to expect that it will take longer for the house to sell.
You’re eager to sell the home – that makes sense. In reality though, it may just make more sense to wait a little longer. Selling during the warmer spring and summer months is usually ideal because more people are usually looking around then. It’ll take less time to sell too, which will certainly frustrate you a lot less.
Not Listing Any Photos Of The House
Nobody is going to want to buy a house that they can’t see. A house is such a huge investment, so why would you bother with something that’s a total gamble like that? More and more buyers are doing their house hunting on the internet lately, so photos are a must have if you want to attract potential buyers.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should be posting photos of terrible quality made by your 9 year old nephew, either. Make sure that you get high quality pictures taken with a wide angle lens if you can. If you don’t feel confident with photography, you can also get a real estate photographer to help you out. After all – a picture is worth a thousand words – this is certainly true when it comes to real estate.
Hiding Major Problems In The House
In life, secrets usually surface eventually. You should expect the same when it comes to selling your house. Don’t try to mask big problems in the house. If a buyer is smart, they will ask for a buyer’s inspection and the issue will be spotted straight away. Make sure that you are fixing the problem beforehand or you are pricing it lower to account for the defect.
You could bank on a buyer not doing a survey, but that’s a pretty big risk. Instead, fix the problem in advance so you don’t scare off keen buyers. It’s also worth noting that certain states also have disclosure rules, so you could get in a lot of trouble for hiding problems.
Not Tidying Up The House Before Putting It On Sale
Would you want to buy a home that’s completely filthy? Think about it. If you wouldn’t buy it, why would you ever expect that a prospective new buyer would? Don’t cheat yourself out of a sale before you’ve even got to the negotiations stage. Instead, clean up the house a little beforehand. Maybe get a little bit of extra help from a fresh set of eyes and see what they think.
Not Accommodating Buyers
Your buyer has a lot of power in the selling process. It is for this reason that you need to take their considerations into account. Sure, it’s inconvenient to allow a random stranger into your home at awkward hours, but you really shouldn’t expect otherwise when you are trying to sell the house. Besides, that inconvenience is worth it for the pleasure you will get by signing the home over to your buyer.
That’s everything that you need to know about how to sell your home! Selling your home can be pretty complicated, especially if you’ve never done it before. There are a lot of considerations to make and a lot of things to do. Just remember that it will be worth it in the end! Hopefully with this guide, your home will be signed over to new owners in no time so you can enjoy your new home too!