Selling your home is serious business because your house is likely your biggest financial asset. You are more invested in the outcome than anyone, but to succeed you’ll want to be engaged at every step, from preparing it for sale, to pricing, to negotiating, and closing.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Interview several real estate agents early on about listing your home. Ask about their previous sales record. See how they plan to market your listing. You want to know how often they’ve had to lower the price on a home for it to sell. Choose a real estate agent who communicates at the highest level, listens to your needs, and operates from a place of integrity. You’ll be working closely with this person and their team, so it’s important to make sure you understand each other.
Staging Your Home for the Buyers
Nobody wants to buy your postponed projects. These days, a house must be in top condition to sell – especially if you want to sell quickly. Tour your home with a critical eye and address problem areas right away. Cosmetic problems that can be fixed or neutralized quickly at minimal cost. Grimy walls should be painted. Torn carpeting should be replaced – or, better yet, removed and the underlying hardwood floors, refinished. Small repairs, such as torn window screens and crooked light fixtures, all must be made. Touch-ups and freshening can also update your decorating and even soften strong color schemes to make your house more appealing to more people.
Functional repairs and upgrades. Sure, you’ve lived with that gold-tone refrigerator for four decades, and it may still have ten more useful years… maybe. But why would a buyer pay top price for a kitchen with an ancient refrigerator? Ruthlessly examine the condition of appliances, plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, the roof and structural elements of your house. When you repair, or replace iffy systems, you remove a reason for people to reject your house. And, your house will appeal to cash-strapped buyers who are worried about expensive surprise expenses.
Problems you can’t fix. The location of your house is something you can’t change. The same can be said for your neighbors; the school district; noise and traffic patterns; and other factors. Be honest: are there factors that damage the appeal of your house? If so, you will have to price and market your house accordingly.
Some unfixable problems (such as water in the basement) must be disclosed to buyers, per state law. You can provide ease of mind to buyers through a home warranty, which covers the cost of repair or replacement for some major house systems.
Set the Right Asking Price
Your state, town, or neighborhood could be vastly different than national home value numbers. Never rely solely on one person’s advice or opinion. Talk to a handful of professionals, do your own market research and listen to your gut instinct. When comparing your home to others for sale, or that have recently sold, in your neighborhood, make sure that you are looking at homes that are similarly updated, have a close number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.
Accepting an Offer
If you can justify your asking price with recent market research, you are in a strong negotiating position and will likely receive offer at or above your asking price. Having a trusted real estate agent to guide you through this legal process is an invaluable asset.
What Happens After You Accept an Offer
After you have accepted the offer on your home the buyers will schedule to have their private home inspection done. This is usually completed within 7-10 days of the offer. Assuming the buyers are satisfied with the results of the inspection, within 16 days the buyer will have to order the appraisal through his lender.
If the appraisal comes in at the value of the purchase agreement and no repairs were required, then nothing further is needed from the seller now. If the home doesn’t appraise, we are back to the negotiating table trying to figure out a price that works for everybody. Once these hurdles are all cleared, it is time to start packing!
What to Expect on Closing Day
The most important item a homebuyer can take to the closing table is patience. Take a full or half day off work to deal with closing. Also try scheduling the closing date around the 20th or 25th of the month, rather than the last day of the month, to allow time to address any last-minute problems. There will be several sheets of paper that require your signature, so don’t expect to rush in and rush out on your lunch hour.
Selling a home always takes time, attention and energy. But with the right amount of elbow grease and good market research, you can ensure you will get top dollar for your home.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Dragonfly Group AZ a call today at 602-820-8876 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.