If you’ve never sold your home before, it can be an emotional and time-consuming challenge. Not only do you have to update your home and keep it clean and pristine, but you also have to open it up for complete strangers to peruse and scrutinize every chance they get. To top it off, you’ll likely get offered much less than the asking price. However, with a few time-tested home selling tips up your sleeve, you can quickly sell your home for the highest possible price, saving both your sanity and your bottom line.
Hire an Agent
Real estate agents may command a 5 to 6 percent commission for helping you market and sell your home, but it’s never wise to go about trying to sell your home by yourself, especially if you’ve never done it before.
An experienced real estate agent will help you establish the value of your home and a competitive selling price that will increase the likelihood of a quick sale. They will also handle and cover the cost of all of the marketing aspects and deal directly with potential buyers to negotiate for the best offer possible. Agents are also adept at handling real estate transactions and can ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
While plenty of people are able to sell their homes by themselves, they must dig up all of the recently sold comps in their area and similar properties currently on the market to determine a competitive selling price.
If you decide to forego an agent, you’ll also be responsible for marketing your home. At minimum, you must get your home listed in your area’s Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, which costs approximately $300. However, the marketing costs will likely add up to significantly more. Of course, you must also show the house, negotiate with buyers, and handle other aspects of the selling process.
Price It Right
After deciding on an agent, the very first thing you should do is determine the right asking price for your home. By shaving 10 to 20 percent off of your home’s appraisal value, you’re guaranteed to be flooded with buyers in even the worst of markets, creating a bidding war and driving up the home’s sale price.
Unless a buyer absolutely falls head over heels with your home, they’re going to negotiate, so you need to play the game in order to make the sale. The majority of home sellers want to list their homes at an attractive price that will still leave them with a little breathing room or negotiating power.
Taking this route allows potential buyers to feel like they’re getting a good value and sellers to get the money they need from the sale. Of course, the actual amount you’ll receive largely depends on the type of market your home is in, its condition, and how well it is staged.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
As soon as you decide to sell your home, you should switch your thinking from that of a homeowner into that of a business or sales person. By looking at the selling process strictly from a financial perspective, you’ll find all of the difficult emotional aspects of the home selling process falling by the wayside.
Try to imagine the way you were when you were shopping for a home and decided on the one you’re now selling. The majority of home buyers will naturally be in an emotional state as well.
Therefore, you should embrace this emotion and try to imagine that you’re not only selling a home, but a lifestyle and a dream as well. By doing so, you’ll find yourself putting in the effort to perform any necessary remodeling and stage the home to receive top dollar.
Avoid Selling in the Winter Months
Winter is traditionally a slow time for home sales. Not only are people busy with the holidays and all of the festivities, but the cold weather definitely put a damper on home shopping. Since fewer buyers are actively looking during the wintertime, your home may take longer to sell and you’ll likely get less than you were expecting. That being said, there will be fewer sellers as well, which means there will be markedly less competition.
Take Plenty of Listing Photos
Almost all of today’s homebuyer’s browse online listings, so you’ll be doing both yourself and your home a disservice by not providing plenty of photos for them to peruse. Since there are so many homes for sale with poor photos or only a few photos, having a multitude of great looking photos will make your listing stand out from the crowd and generate added interest. Your photos should be clear and capture as much natural light as possible in order to showcase your home’s space and most important assets.
Spruce It Up
Sellers who neglect to spruce up or stage their home are simply leaving money on the table. If your budget doesn’t allow for a professional stager, there are still plenty of things you can do to make your home look its best and reel in a quick sale.
However, failing to stage your home or do any necessary improvements will not only translate into a lower sale price, but it may keep your home from selling at all. For instance, if minor issues like a cracked tile or a broken doorknob go untouched, potential buyers may question whether your home has larger and costlier issues that may need to be addressed.
Sometimes, it’s helpful to enlist the help of your agent or a friend to act as a fresh set of eyes and identify aspects of your home that may need a little work. Often, de-cluttering, a thorough cleaning, and a fresh coat of paint is all that is needed to make a positive first impression on homebuyers.
Let It Shine
It really is amazing what a little light can do. Second only to location, ample light is one thing that every buyer is looking for when they’re shopping for a new home. This means you should put the drapes away, clean the windows, switch out the lampshades, trim any outdoor bushes or shrubs that may block the sunshine, and swap out your light bulbs with high wattage bulbs. Anything you can do to make your home appear bright and airy will make it more appealing and sellable.
Accommodate Potential Buyers
Even if it’s inconvenient, you must accommodate potential buyers who want to see your home. This means you must also de-clutter and clean the house before every showing as well. Buyers will not care if it looked clean yesterday if it’s a mess when they come to view it. It may take a bit of effort, but it’s important to remain focused on selling your home.
While doing each of these things will increase the likelihood of a fast and happy home sale, you should prepare yourself both mentally and financially in case your home sits on the market longer than expected. If you’re unable to find a buyer, you may be forced to rent out your home until you get a buyer lined up, spring for two mortgages, or perhaps face foreclosure. However, as long as you make as many smart improvements as you can, stage your home properly, and follow the other tips mentioned here, you’ll be able to seamlessly sell your home for the lucrative profit you’re hoping for.