Determine the Costs
Before you get too excited, remember that putting your home on the market comes with its own costs. Homeowners can use some creativity and comparison shopping to reduce their costs and boost their bottom line. While you may feel as if you’d rather spend money to buy your next property rather than to sell your house, remember that careful spending on the marketing of your home can result in a higher profit at the end of the transaction.
Prepare Your Home
Before you list your home for sale, you’ll need to spend some time and money getting the property in pristine, buyer-friendly condition so it garners the highest possible purchase price. While you may think you need to spend thousands on a new bathroom, paint your entire home or put in a new garden, your REALTOR® can tell you the best ways to spend your energy—and your cash.
Getting rid of clutter, organizing your closets, paring down your personal photos and deep-cleaning every inch of your home are all cost-free steps that go a long way to improving your home’s appeal. Simple, inexpensive fixes such as replacing cabinet knobs and light bulbs can make your home look cleaner and more modern without requiring excessive spending.
Set the Price
Your REALTOR® will tell you that pricing your home appropriately from the beginning is critical to getting it sold quickly and at the best price. Many homeowners want to set their list price based on what they paid for their home, the balance of their mortgage, or on the profit they want to make so they can move into another home. In reality, your home is worth only what the market will bear. If you price your home too high, some potential buyers won’t want to look at it at all, while others will simply walk away without making an offer. Your REALTOR® can provide a comparative market analysis which would include sales prices for similar, nearby homes that sold in the last month or two.
Provide your REALTOR® with tips about what you love best about your home and community that can be incorporated into your marketing materials. Provide information about the area’s amenities or neighborhood sports leagues so they can appreciate your home’s location.
You can also visit other homes that are for sale, or even local model homes for ideas on ways to present your home to potential buyers.
Manage Offers and Negotiation
Negotiation is a complex matter and all transactions are unique. Both sides – buyer and seller – want to feel that the outcome favors them, or at least represents a fair balance of interests. At various times we’re in a “buyers'” market, a “sellers'” market, or a market where housing supply and demand are roughly equal. If possible, you want to be in the market at a time when it favors your position as a seller. A REALTOR® can provide you with information and strategies to best work the market in your favor.
Escrow is essentially what happens when money is deposited by one person to a neutral third party so that it can be delivered to another party upon completion of an event. In the home buying process, escrow opens when the buyer and seller sign a purchase agreement and the buyer puts down a deposit. Escrow protects all parties involved by making sure that no funds or properties change hands until all conditions in the agreement have been met. A neutral third party can be an escrow officer from an escrow company, someone from a title company or from a title and escrow company.
Finding a buyer for your home is just the first step on the home selling path. The seller must make sure all repairs and deadlines are met. Be open to further negotiations; your REALTOR® will be able to guide you through the closing process. Your REALTOR® can guide you in the final weeks to ensure your deal closes and that you are satisfied with the results.