5 Things To Consider Before You Sell Your House
Selling a house is a major financial decision that requires careful consideration of many factors that can impact the value and marketability of your property. Before listing your house for sale, it is imperative to understand crucial information relating to your local housing market, the current condition and upgrades needed for your home, as well as legal and tax implications that may be involved.
Being well-informed in these key areas will allow you to accurately and competitively price your home, determine the best time to list it, and develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to effectively showcase your property’s strengths to prospective buyers.
In this article, we will discuss some of those factors, so let’s dive in to read on:
Make Any Necessary Repairs Before Listing:
Before putting your house on the market, walk through and identify any repairs that need to be addressed. This includes minor things like fixing leaky faucets or showerheads, patching small holes in drywall, replacing a few cracked floor or wall tiles, or touching up exterior paint, as well as some major repairs.
While considering repairs, pay particular attention to the roof, exterior, windows, etc. If the roof is near the end of its useful 25-30-year life or has a few active leaks, get quotes from highly reviewed local roofing companies like Dr. Roof or some other trusted companies. Do not forget to look at the review section while hiring any company. For example, search for Dr. Roof Inc reviews, and you will have a look at how trusted that particular company is.
Replacing an aging roof can boost home value and appeal to buyers. Making these repairs upfront shows buyers you care about the home. It keeps its focus on all the great features rather than trying to negotiate discounts for minor fixing issues post-close.
Know Your Area’s Real Estate Market:
The local market conditions have an enormous and critical influence on the outcome of your home sale. Comprehensively researching and understanding the current market dynamics in your neighborhood and city is essential to pricing, marketing, and selling your house effectively. Things you must research and know include:
- The exact average sale price for very comparable homes that have recently sold or are currently active on the market.
- The current supply and demand dynamics in your specific area – is it more of a buyer’s market with high inventory or a hot seller’s market?
- The typical and average number of days homes similar to yours are staying on the real estate market in your zip code before going under contract.
- Contingencies that buyers are commonly asking for and receiving in local home sales, such as inspection, appraisal, financing, or closing cost contingencies.
Hire a Good Real Estate Agent:
A talented agent guides you through the complexities of selling and marketing a home. Key things to look for include:
- Deep knowledge of your local market: Find an agent familiar with recent comparable sales in your neighborhood. They can accurately gauge demand and pricing for homes like yours.
- Marketing savvy to get a lot of buyers in the door: Your agent should have a strong online presence and relationships with other agents to widely promote your listing.
- Proven negotiation skills to advocate for your interests: An experienced agent has likely negotiated hundreds of real estate transactions before. They can advise you when an offer is reasonable or when to counter and stand firm on your preferences.
- Ability to handle complications that crop up: From inspection issues to problems with financing, an agent helps resolve challenges to keep the sale on track. A savvy agent has seen it all and can navigate unpredictable scenarios.
Prep Your Paperwork:
Selling a home is a major endeavor that requires advanced preparation, organization of documentation, and attention to detail to facilitate a smooth sales process. Being proactive by gathering pertinent paperwork and establishing thorough record-keeping systems ahead of time can prevent delays or issues from arising down the line.
When preparing to sell your home, you will need to compile relevant paperwork and documentation such as:
- Warranties, user manuals, and maintenance/service records for home systems and appliances to convey to buyers. Having these documents on hand demonstrates your careful stewardship as a homeowner and can reassure buyers.
- The original or certified copy of your property deed to conclusively document ownership and properly transfer the title. The deed contains vital information that the buyer will need at closing.
- Documentation of any significant home upgrades or improvements you have performed. These records will be useful for determining capital gains tax liability from the sale. Gather any permits, contractor invoices, receipts, or other proof of investments made in the home.
- Insurance documents – notify your agent that the home is being listed so they can walk through and identify any issues the buyer may flag later on.
- Tax documents related to the home, such as property tax records or tax returns showing mortgage interest deductions.
Have a Backup Plan:
Even the most carefully orchestrated home sale can run into surprises like an unexpected repairs request as part of a home inspection contingency in an offer. It’s wise to consider possible scenarios ahead of time:
- Be prepared to negotiate repairs or credits so the buyer still wants to move forward. Have a sense of how much you’re willing to discount or spend on fixes. Being ready with numbers keeps negotiations factual rather than emotional.
- Be open to keeping the home on the market longer or relisting later if needed. Your timeline may shift for any number of reasons. Mentally prepare for a longer duration and research options like leasebacks.
- Consider if you would rent the home if a sale falls through. Calculate expenses and potential rental income to see if this is feasible.
Selling a home is a multifaceted process that requires planning and consideration of the factors mentioned above. Attending these key areas will allow you to accurately set a competitive asking price, effectively showcase and market the property’s strengths, and streamline negotiations and the closing process.