The thought of putting your home on the market, looking over offers from potential buyers, agreeing on one, packing your things, and actually selling the property can be both daunting and exciting. As cliche as it sounds, the real estate industry is a lot like a good book in the sense that when one door closes another one opens. Selling your home is the ending to a single chapter in your story but it’s also the beginning to the next chapter or even the next book in the series. This one is titled The Big Move and it has a lot of character growth.
Ready to find out how much equity is in your home? Let’s go over a few tips to get prepared before putting that for sale sign in the front yard.
Steps to take before putting your home on the market:
- Interview several local realtors – There’s no one size fits all when it comes to work ethic, personality, and knowledge. Interviewing multiple agents can help you determine if they’re going to bring you the best services AND the best results. It’s kind of like matchmaking.
- Get a comparable market analysis – During the interview process, agents should come prepared with what’s called a CMA. This is when you find out how much your home is worth in today’s market, and it can help you differentiate between an agent that wants to work with you versus an agent that wants to work for you. Yes, there’s a major difference! An agent working with you will take the basic steps to get your home on the market and then hope that it sells during a busy market. An agent that wants to work for you will come prepared with a CMA, marketing plan, and already have potential buyers in mind that your home could be a perfect fit for. They’ll go the whole nine yards to make sure you get top dollar for your home.
- Clean up - Now, this doesn’t mean you have to make your house appear as if it’s not lived in. There’s no need to rush out and repaint every bedroom or put down new flooring, but a simple cleaning session will go a long way. Buyers know that they’re purchasing a home that somebody comes back to each day to relax and wind down. Seeing that a home is lived in can be part of what makes a place so enticing.
- When you agree to list your home, tidying up a bit can help make the place ready to pose for the professional real estate photographer your agent uses. It makes it easy to showcase the best qualities about your house and simply helps get it market ready. For example, getting your carpet professionally cleaned or getting rid of clutter and things you don’t need that may be just sitting around can make a world of difference. At the end of the day, don’t overwhelm yourself trying to fix every tiny detail. The best rule of thumb is that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Preparing for a showing
You won’t always have time to rush around and clean up at the last minute, and that’s completely okay! If somebody is going to fall in love with your home and make an offer, they’re going to love it for its bones. These tips aren’t necessary to do every single time your house is shown, but they can help give you quick tasks to do to make the home feel a little cozy when being viewed and may also help ease any anxiety you’re feeling beforehand.
- Light a candle if you’re leaving for 30 minutes and coming straight home after your property is shown. It can make the place smell great which can subconsciously make a potential buyer feel more at home as they walk from room to room.
- Make the beds, wash any dishes, and take out the trash. This is an easy yet efficient way to make the house appear organized and reduces potential odors from waste.
- Turn on the lights. This may seem like a miniscule task, but it allows potential buyers to walk through the home as if they were invited in the second they pulled up. It extends an open invitation and can encourage them to view the place as if it were already theirs.
As you get ready to put your home on the market, make sure you discuss your moving plans with your agent. Whether you’re wanting to move locally, out of state, or even build, your realtor can assist in finding you the perfect place to go or refer you to a local expert in the area you’re relocating to. This can also be a great time to ask if they have a preferred lender you can talk with about what you need to do if you plan to buy a house contingent on selling current home.
Additional documents and things you can do to get ready when listing your home:
- Deed & plat - while your agent can pull these documents, if you’re inheriting a property or want to be extra prepared when signing a listing agreement, this is a great way to be ahead of the game.
- Keep your grass cut and clean up the yard – clipping overgrown limbs can help make an unforgettable first impression in the best way.
- Store valuables in a safe place – Once you sign that listing agreement you can expect strangers to request to come see your home. While nobody should ever view your property without a scheduled appointment and an agent present, it’s always best to keep jewelry or anything valuable in a safe or out of sight.
- Find any papers you may have from having appliances installed or invoices from professionally hired repairs. This will come in handy when you fill out a property disclosure and can also help determine if you have any active warranties in case something needs to be replaced or repaired.
Ready to find out what your home is worth in today’s market? Give me a call and let’s discuss comparable properties that have sold in the last 3-6 months and how we can get your property ready to view for all of the hungry buyers out there.