There are many reasons for selling your home, but no matter the why, it’s how you go about the process that is always the most important. Few homeowners ever get the chance to hone their house selling skills to a point at which they know the process inside out, and with ever-changing trends, regulations and methods, it can be difficult to keep up.
So, whether you’re a first time home seller, or you’ve been here before, it’s good to know the basic steps you need to take to ensure your home sells for the right price, quickly. Getting this wrong can lead to leaving cash on the table, or your home not selling at all. It’s a bit of a balancing act, but the following 8 easy steps are sure to help you on your way.
Get Help with Pricing
Pricing your home accurately is essential, and also rather difficult. It requires in-depth and up to date knowledge of your local market, neighbourhood trends and an understanding of exactly what you’ve got to sell. Going it alone involves much research, but a good real estate agent will be able to help you set the right price quickly.
Make Your Home Ready to Sell
Before listing it, you need to make sure that your home looks the part. The photos in your listing should spark the imaginations of potential buyers, so it’s important you carry out the following steps:
- Give your home a deep clean, or hire a cleaning company to do it!
- Declutter and depersonalize — show off how much space your home offers, and remove anything that puts your stamp on the home; let the buyers imagine their life there, not yours!
- Refresh and breathe new life into your home — a lick of paint in a neutral palette is a quick, cheap and easy way of creating a blank canvas for the next owners.
- Make repairs — fix squeaky floorboards, dripping taps, and anything else that might put a potential buyer off.
In order to make your home ready to sell, it has to be as near to perfect as possible. New owners don’t want to have to worry about not having enough space or having to repair a lot of little things as soon as they move in.
Spread the Word
Got your house ready? Good, now it’s time to get the photographer and stagers in. Create a high-quality advert for your home, and consider taking it up a level with a virtual tour or drone photography. Next, spread the word and make sure your listing is visible to as many potential buyers as possible.
Gone are the days of sticking a sign in the yard and hoping for the best. Nowadays, you need to be visible both online and offline. Multiple listing services (MLS) offer a superb advantage and any good agent should be able to help you with this.
Switch off Your Emotions
It’s time to detach from your home and start treating it as a house to sell. You’re moving on, and cannot be emotionally affected by other people’s opinions or criticisms. Being at peace that your former home is now an asset to sell will help during negotiations and viewings.
Get Ready for Viewings
With your home on the market, viewings can happen at any time, often at the last minute. Be prepared for this; temporarily re-home pets if possible, arrange childcare with neighbours and ensure your home is clean and decluttered at all times. Also, try to get in the habit of regularly baking bread or cookies!
Be Flexible When Negotiating
It’s not uncommon to receive lowball offers, so don’t take offence. You can deal with lower offers in any way you see fit, though it’s always best to seek counsel from your agent. Your bargaining power is often dependent on the market. Be prepared to make compromises, especially if you’re not receiving many offers.
Prepare for a Home Inspection
Accepted an offer? Great, but bear in mind that most buyers will make a conditional offer, often hinging on the result of the home inspection that lenders will require they carry out. It’s well worth having your home inspected in advance, in order to avoid nasty surprises and last-minute haggling. Identify and deal with any major problems beforehand.
Know How to Close
If you want the sale of your home to run smoothly, it’s worth knowing exactly what is required of you in advance. The closing process may require you to provide a number of documents, sign various pieces of paperwork and pay certain costs. Speak with a real estate lawyer or agent in advance in order to be sure you’re one step ahead at all times.