Get Ready And Prepare
Anything you can do to make (the agent’s) job easier is going to benefit you during the process and when sale time comes. What’s important to remember is that you’re mostly likely going to be working very closely with this person on a very big transaction, so it’s a good idea to be prepared and ready to provide them with as much information as possible right off the bat.
Give yourself a quick refresher on your local market, as conditions have likely changed since you bought. The goal is for you and your agent to be on the same page in terms of the value. Sometimes you’ll find conditions will be in your favor, and sometimes you may be disappointed with the current market, (but) regardless of what you discover, your research will help you and your agent create a realistic plan for selling your home.
Sellers should be realistic and look at recent comparable sales (known as “comps”) in the neighborhood. Sellers can find that information through online real estate sites. Sellers should be realistic, using homes with comparable square footage, the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and a similar level of amenities. It’s also important for sellers to consider their home’s condition relative to the comps.
Know Your Loan Amount
You have a rough idea of what you owe on the mortgage. Before meeting a listing agent, pull your loan documents and turn that estimate into a precise figure, knowing your loan amount upfront will help a Realtor know what strategy to take with your home. If the amount you owe is more than the market value, then you’r under water. Selling a short sale is totally different than an equity sale.
Bankrate’s amortization calculator allows you to create a chart that shows how much you have paid and how much you still owe, based on the original loan amount, interest rate and when you got the loan.
Even if your home is in the black, Chan says it’s important to work with precise dollar amounts to help get a better estimate of what you stand to make from the sale. Depending on what the agent thinks you can get in the current market, that information might also make the difference between listing and waiting it out.
Identify Liens And Disputes
Agents want to know about any issues like liens or property disputes so they can deal with them before the house hits the markets. The more a seller can tell your agent in advance about any liens and other issues that could hold up a sale, the better.
Think about any tax issues, disputes you have had with contractors or other problems that could have allowed a creditor to put a lien on the house. Be upfront about disputes with neighbors, especially if they regard property lines, because it’s easier to settle those matters before listing the property. And if you’re selling a property that belonged to a deceased relative, make sure the house has a clean title before contacting an agent.
Clean Up Your House
Think of it as making a great first impression. If your Realtor believes your home is fantastic, they will be persuaded to market it at a higher value. If they are convinced it’s a dump, they may be more likely to express feelings that make you feel they want you to give your home away. Curb appeal is major you want the agent to have a mental picture of your home being a prize, so if you need to mow the lawn or prune the bushes, do it.
Hiring Your REALTOR
Hiring a real estate agent is one of the more important decisions you will make when selling your home, so take your time. Doctors have specialties, and so do real estate agents. Even generalists will get additional training in some areas. So, the alphabet soup after an agent’s name can be an indication that the person has taken additional classes in a certain category of real estate sales. Here’s what some of the designations mean:
CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in transactions.
SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.
If the agent calls herself a Realtor with a capital “R,” that means she’s a member of NAR. By hiring a Realtor, the most important thing you get is an agent who formally pledges to support the code of ethics.
Depersonalizing your home is one of the most important steps in the home staging process! You are selling your home, not yourself, so put away photos of your family or children’s artwork so that they don’t become distracting to any potential buyers. They need to visualize themselves living in the home, not you.
Depersonalizing your home is all about neutralizing, or removing your personal taste from your home decor, so that buyers can mentally see themselves moving in. It may seem cruel to hear that the “personal stamp” you have lovingly placed on your home needs to go for it to be more appealing to house hunters, but remember, you are selling your house, not your stuff!
First Impressions Are The Only Impressions
The first impressions will either make or break a buyer’s opinion of your home, so make sure you put your best foot forward. Take the time to make the home bright, clean and smelling great. No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.Always be ready to show
Always Be Ready To Show
Selling a house is a full-time job as a potential buyer might be wanting to walk through at any time, so do your best to keep your home in showing condition. Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.
The kitchen is the heart of any home, so it’s worth it to spend some money on upgrades if necessary. You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.Showcase how much space is in your closets and cabinets by clearing out old clothes, toys, pots and pans. Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.Light it up
Maximize The light In Your Home.
After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.