If you are thinking of selling your home, chances are you're caught up in a mass of emotions. You may be looking forward to moving up to a new home or facing the uncertainty of a major move across country. You may be reluctant to leave your memories behind or eager to start new and exciting adventures. Remember, I am here to help you with any of your needs. Call or email me today!
Whatever turbulent feelings you're experiencing right now, there are plenty of practical matters that need your attention. Keep in mind the following considerations to help the whole process go more smoothly.
At What Price Should I Sell My Home?
In setting the list price for your home, you should be aware of a buyer's frame of mind. Based on a list of houses for sale in your neighborhood, buyers will determine which houses they want to view. Consider the following pricing factors:
- If you set the price too high, your house won't be picked for viewing, even though it may be much nicer than others in the area.You may have told your agent to "Bring me any offer. Frankly, I'd take less." But in that list of houses, yours simply looks too expensive to be considered.
- If you price too low, you'll short-change yourself. Your house will sell promptly, yes, but before it has time to find the buyer who would have paid more.
NOTE: Never say "asking" price, which implies you don't expect to get it.
To determine the proper list price, contact a REALTOR® and have them provide you with the following professional services::
- Furnishing comparable sales.
- Analyzing market conditions.
- Helping to determine offering incentives.
- Estimating your net proceeds.
No matter how attractive and polished your house, buyers will be comparing its price with everything else on the market. Your best guide is a record of what the buying public has been willing to pay in the past few months for property in your neighborhood like yours.
We can furnish data on sale figures for those "comps", and analyze them for a suggested listing price. The decision about how much to ask, though, is always yours. The list of comparable sales I bring to you, along with data about other houses in your neighborhood presently on the market, is used for a "Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)." To help in estimating a possible sale price for your house, the analysis will also include data on nearby houses that failed to sell in the past few months, along with their list prices.
Consider Market Conditions
When real estate is booming and prices are rising, houses may sell in a few days. Conversely, when the market slows down, average DOM can run into many months.
We can tell you whether your area is currently a buyer's market or a seller's market. In a seller's market, you can price a bit beyond what you really expect, just to see what the reaction will be. In a buyer's market, if you really need to sell promptly, offer an attractive bargain price.
Some sellers list at the rock-bottom price they'd really take, because they hate bargaining. Others add on thousands to the estimated market value "just to see what happens." If you want to try that, and if you have the luxury of enough time to feel out the market, sit down with us and work out a schedule in advance. If there haven't been many prospects viewing your home after three weeks, you may need to lower your list price. If that doesn't bring any prospective buyers, you may need to lower your list price again. Plan on doing that regularly until you find a level that attracts buyers. Make a written schedule in advance, before emotion takes over and you're tempted to dig your heels in.
Estimating Net Proceeds
Once you've been given an estimate of market value, you can get a rough idea of how much cash you might walk away with when the sale is completed. This can be particularly useful as you start looking for another home to buy.
From the estimated sales price, subtract:
Buyout figure on your present loan(s)
Any penalty on your mortgage
Unpaid property taxes
As far as closing costs are concerned, you and your eventual buyer may agree on any arrangement that suits you, no matter what local practice dictates. Your agent will assist you in estimating what your final closing costs will be. It is difficult to predict what the exact closing costs will be when you negotiate with a particular buyer.
Getting the house "Ready for Sale"
A house that "sparkles" on the surface will sell faster than its shabby neighbor, even though both are structurally well-maintained. From experience, agents also know that a "well-polished" house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, what they can't see has probably also been maintained.
In readying your house for sale, consider:
How Much You Should Spend
The Exterior "Curb Appeal"
Preparing the Interior
In preparing your home for the market, spend as little money as possible. Buyers will be impressed by a brand new roof, but they aren't likely to give you enough extra money to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive "polishes" and "touch-ups" to your house, such as putting new knobs on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room, and doing extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new kitchen. I am familiar with buyers' expectations in your neighborhood, can advise you specifically on what improvements need to be made.
Before putting your house on the market, take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible) to maximize its exterior and interior appeal.
Enhance your home's exterior and curb appeal by:
Keeping the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly.
Trimming hedges, weeding lawns and flowerbeds, and pruning trees regularly.
Checking the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling.
Inspecting doors and windows for peeling paint.
Cleaning and aligning gutters.
Inspecting and cleaning the chimney.
Repairing and replacing loose or damaged roof shingles.
Repairing and repainting loose siding and caulking.
Keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice.
During spring and summer months considering adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance.
Re-sealing an asphalt driveway.
Keeping your garage door closed.
Storing RVs, boats or old and beaten up cars elsewhere while the house is on the market.
Applying a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
Enhance your home's interior by:
Giving every room in the house a thorough cleaning, as well as removing all clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners with crowded rooms have actually rented storage garages and moved half their furniture out, creating a sleeker, more spacious look.
Hiring a professional cleaning service, once every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may be a good investment for owners who are busy elsewhere.
Removing the less frequently used, even daily used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics, making these areas much more inviting. Since you're anticipating a move anyhow, holding a garage sale at this point is a great idea.
If necessary, repainting dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
Checking for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement.
Repairing cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
Replacing broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.
Inspecting and repairing the plumbing, heating , cooling, and alarm systems.
Repairing dripping faucets and showerheads.
Buying showy new towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.
Sprucing up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.
Don't hesitate to ask for advice. Contact me today for a no-obligation consultation on your home.