What do you need to know before selling your home? No matter if you have sold a home in the past or why you are selling, the process is complex, costly, and takes a great deal of time from you as you prep and work towards that sale. The more knowledgeable you are about the process and your options, the more likely this process will go well for you. There are a few key things you should take into consideration before even listing your home for sale.
What to Know Before Selling Your Home in Today’s Market
Here’s where to get started. If you are thinking about selling, go through this list before you sign your name on any contract to sell.
1. When Should You List Your Home for Sale?
The best time of the year to sell a house isn’t always clear. Most of the time, selling in the spring is ideal. This is when people like to move because it provides them with enough time to list their own home to sell, move, and be ready for summer entertaining. It also means most of the move is going to happen when kids are not in school. Spring and summer months make moving a lot easier than trying to drag your boxes through the snow, too.
Keeping that in mind, you may want to list your home for sale during the spring. That is when you are going to get the most interested buyers. However, there are advantages to selling your home in the winter, too. With less competition on the market, you may be able to command a higher price for your property. The bottom line is simple – you should sell when you want and need to and just market your home properly to get the most attention to it.
2. How Long Will It Take to Sell Your Home?
The amount of time it will take to sell your home depends on many factors, especially related to your local area’s real estate market. In some markets, homes sell quickly, within a week or less of being listed. However, this is not the most common scenario (and sometimes, selling too fast indicates that you may have priced it too low).
Rather, expect to stay much longer. According to a report from Zillow, the typical home on the market in 2018 took 65 to 93 days to sell. Now, that may be much different from your home’s area. You can learn this information by tapping into local real estate agency websites. In some cases, the local chapter of the National Association of Realtors can help you.
It’s also important to remember that just because you hear about homes selling quickly doesn’t mean that is going to happen. Everyone advertises the very best results that they are having, including real estate agents. Plan to be in your home for 90 days from the day you list it, at least. Moving sooner isn’t bad, but not finding a buyer can cause financial difficulties.
3. How Much Does It Cost to Sell My House?
This is a very common question that many people ask as they are moving into the sales frame of mind. The answer is, again, it depends. There are a wide range of factors to consider here. Here are some examples:
- Real estate agent fees: Generally, 6 percent of the total of the sale price of the home
- Repair costs you need to make
- Continued costs for utilities, mortgages, and taxes even if you move into another home
- Fees associated with closing, which may account for up to 5 percent of the sale price
- Costs associated with marketing the property
There are likely other costs to consider, too. The cost of making updates to the home is perhaps the biggest concern for many sellers. Even if you do not think you need to make major repairs, you are likely to spend $500 to $1000 just getting your home staged and looking good for potential home buyers. It’s important to consider these costs on a personal basis and be sure to know before selling your home .
4. Should I Make Repairs Before Listing the House?
Most homes will benefit from some touchups around the property before it is sold. Think about the prospective home buyer walking into your home. They see the scruff marks on the doors, the walls that seem to be dull or full of fingerprints, and the carpet that looks stained. They may notice the outdated fixtures or the strange wall color in that one room. All of this makes them less willing to make a purchase.
You also have to consider any safety factors that may make it hard for a consumer buying a home with a loan to secure that loan. For example, if the home has chipped paint, broken glass, or a poorly vented dryer, these are going to be factors that you’ll need to repair to close the deal. You can often elect not to do them. If that is the case, you may have to discount what you sell the home for, or you may need to walk away from the deal.
Most often, making sure repairs are in hand is a good way to secure the highest value for the home, too. There’s a very fine line there – fixing to get a higher price and spending too much to do it. Make sure you work with your agent to determine what needs to be done in your home.
5. What Will a Home Inspector Find?
Home inspections are nearly always used in traditional home sales. It makes sense that a home buyer will want to verify that the property is safe and in good condition before making that purchase. That also means you are going to need to ensure the home is safe and that you are clear and transparent about any concerns present.
Again, you may have to make some repairs based on what the home inspector finds. In other cases, you may find unknown concerns that could derail the entire process. Nevertheless, this is a very common component of the sale process.
6. What Can I Get for My House?
It’s always a big question with homeowners and one that real estate agents hate. Most often, you value your home higher than what the market is willing to pay. Your agent should be able to give you an estimate of what your home is worth based on recent sales and trends in your community. This is called a comparative analysis report.
If you feel your home is worth much more than what this report says, you may still be able to list it for sale, but it may mean you don’t find a buyer. On the other hand, if this isn’t enough to cover what you owe, that could mean you need to do some work to raise the home’s value.
Always do your homework. That big sale price that you see is not what you will walk away with when you sell your home. Remember to factor in the additional costs to selling your home – including real estate agent fees – that will lower what you owe.
7. Do I Have to Use a Real Estate Agent?
In all of the questions about what to know before selling your home, this is an important one to keep in mind. You do not have to use a real estate agent. If you plan to sell your home on the traditional market, using an agent offers benefits. You are sure to be able to sell your home for a bit more if it is marketed well. You will also gain the insight you need to sell properly.
However, there are many consumers who do not want to use an agent and just want to move fast. If that is what you are facing, you may want to consider going without the agent. That may mean finding a local buyer who is ready to invest. Or, you could turn to a cash offer from a local company that will invest in your home to resell it later. This is a faster and easier way for you to get out of the home without having to pay all of those real estate agent fees, too.
In all cases, a real estate agent is a solid source of information about the market and the value of your home. You only pay them if you sell the home, but before you sign any contract, be sure to read it. You need to know what to expect in this process, including the costs to you. Do you want a Faster Way to Sell Your Home?
If you don’t want to do all of the hard work of selling your home, there are steps you can take to sell fast. Once you learn what you need to know before selling a home, you can see the value in getting a cash offer. At WeBuyHouse, we can help you sell your home fast, allowing you to move on sooner.
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