Selling Your House - A Checklist To Get You Started…
The big decision whether to sell your house or not … It is finally behind you. Weeks or maybe even more spent on checking financials and weighing all the pros and cons have culminated in the final decision – the house is to be sold.
If you think that was draining, then think again. I do not want to be scared of it, but selling a house can be stressful, especially if you are putting it on the market without expert advice and guidance, but selling your house is a process. To say the least – and you are at step 0. It’s best to tackle it head-on and be super organized right from the beginning.
To help you start off with a good start!!! I have created this handy checklist of things that must be considered when you decide to sell your house –
Steps To Follow While Selling Your House
1. Decide The Right Time –
Did someone just tell you that – “Timing plays an important role in selling your house fast and for the most money? Typically, summer and spring are the best time to sell a house while winter is a slow time for home sales.” Trust me, you have to think again about this one!!!
This, however, also varies by location and other factors, so it’s essential to research the best time to sell in your area. For example, the odds of selling fast and commanding a higher price increase when inventory is low in the area that is a SELLER’S MARKET. On the other hand, when it’s a BUYER’S MARKET, and home sales have cooled, buyers are picky and will take their time looking for the best homes for sale. So first things first, decide on a selling date. This would set the whole timeline in motion. The move could be because of a new job that takes you to a different city or your children starting school in a better school neighbourhood – it is always sensible to keep a schedule in mind
The timeframe helps you tackle all the tasks in a more systematic and organized manner. More often than not, you will be at the receiving end of a lot of contradictory advice on when it’s the best or worst time to sell a house.
2. Choosing The Best Realtor -
Selling your house is a huge deal, and an experienced real estate agent is guaranteed to get you a better deal and save you tons of hassle and legwork. Well worth the commission they charge!
As you get ready to sell So, the next step is to choose an experienced and reputable realtor. You can start by checking online reviews to create a shortlist about real estate agents and then spend some time meeting them before you decide to sign up with one. Some things you need to keep in mind –
- Decide whether it makes sense to get a pre-inspection done.
- Prepare a checklist of all paperwork and start work on getting it all in order.
- Decide whether you need any home improvements organized and fix a budget for the same.
A right agent will give more than makeup for the cost and help you get the most money for your home. So, don’t hire just any agent, but look for someone who’s a professional and has a track record of sales that proves they know how to sell your house fast. You can simply look up an agent’s sales history. The agent’s demonstrated market knowledge, and past results can assist you in the decision to pick him/her. You can even see them in action in an open house. However, the final and the most crucial factor when the agent’s credentials check out is your comfort with them. As you would be working closely with them, you should pick an agent with whom you feel the most comfortable and can communicate easily with.
Your agents will also help you in most of the upcoming steps of selling real estate properties like marketing, setting a competitive price, communicating with the buyer’s agent, negotiating offers, preparing paperwork, etc.
3. Deciding On A Price -
If you want to sell your house worth the value, then pricing is one of the most crucial factor and needs to be carefully considered as well. While you obviously want to get the best deal possible, overpricing can discourage buyers. It’s a delicate balance that needs lots of thought and the expertise of a real estate agent.
To decide how much your house is worth and what you want to ask for it, you can start with getting it evaluated. You can also get your agent to run a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA), which means how much similar properties in the same area have recently sold, but finally, you must be realistic!!!
4. Preparing Your House -
Since you are all set to sell your house, Now is the time to start working on some of the home improvement ideas. You need to dispassionately look at your house through the eyes of an outsider and make some serious changes. Best possible help in this department you can always get from your friends and family members.
Some of the things that are guaranteed to make a difference are –
- Declutter – Yes, it might seem obvious, but we are so used to our stuff that we don’t even notice it piling up. You also might consider removing any objects that are too personal. This could be your family photos or your favourite painting.
- Spring for a quick spruce up – Make sure a small cosmetic or mechanical glitch doesn’t become a significant issue. It could be as easy as replacing a toilet paper holder or fixing a squeaky front door.
- Repainting< – If your home has bright walls or attractive wallpaper, it might be a good idea to repaint it in neutral colours.
- Clean up clutter — Having the “lived-in” look is more of a distraction than a selling point for your home. Clearing off tables and cleaning out closets, for example, help show how much space your home offers.
- Fix small eyesores – coverup those small cracks and scuff marks and fix the leaking taps and loose handles. It might be a small thing, but for a buyer, a few of these can all add up to show a neglected home.
- Get some greenery – This always works! Adding some plants and flowers really brights up the house, and they can be placed strategically to cover up small cosmetic issues.
- Deep clean – Everything should be spotless. Especially the kitchen and the bathrooms.
- Do not forget the outside – Spruce up or repaint the entrance. Remember, first impressions count and keep your garden neat. .
Finally, an excellent realtor has Staging techniques that can add actual dollar value to your home. Make use of it!
If you want to know more about staging your house, read my blog about the staging –
“OUR COMPLETE GUIDE ON STAGING FOR ANY HOMEOWNER.”
“OUR COMPLETE GUIDE ON STAGING FOR ANY HOMEOWNER.”
6. Dealing With Offers And Negotiating -
Now that you have a serious offer, it’s time to get down to start negotiating in earnest. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, though, which is why an experienced agent really comes in handy at this point. They do this for a living after all and know all the tricks in the book.
This could be a complicated and lengthy process. So be patient and stick with your pre-decided negotiating strategy.
Some important things to keep in mind –
- The offer doesn’t become binding until both parties agree to the terms and sign the “offer to purchase” contract, subject to contingencies.
- The contract should contain an expiration date, purchase price, initial deposit, buyer down payment, financing terms and contingencies, warranties and fees.
- Generally, your sales contract will include a clause that allows the buyers to do a walk-through inspection of the property within 24 hours before your closing.
7. Get Ready To Close -
The offer has been negotiated and agreed upon, the purchase and sale agreement has been duly signed, and the buyer has got his financials in order. The end is in sight! All you have to do until the closing date is pack your stuff, make any agreed-upon repairs, maintain the house and sit tight.
But keep in mind, it’s not over till everything is signed on closing day. Problems can crop up, and sometimes even the best of deals fall through. You must make sure that all documentation from your end is complete and transparent and that you are honouring all the details of the deal.
8. Moving Out Smoothly -
Packed and ready to go? Selling your home and moving out is a surreal affair. On the one hand, there is the elation of closing the deal and on the sadness of leaving behind the place where you made good memories. But nothing quite matches the excitement of starting something new and exploring something different! Just like the rest of the process of selling your house, make sure you take this last step in an organized manner.
Leave the place clean for the next owner and organize a small package with all the codes, manuals, valuable information and a small welcome-home gift!