Deciding to sell your house is a major endeavor. You want to make sure you get the most money possible, and to sell your property quickly. However, there are many missteps along the way that could prove costly. Here are six steps to selling your house that can help you eliminate obstacles along the way.
Real Estate Agent & Pricing
Find the right real estate agent. Seriously, the wrong agent could hinder your progress substantially. Find an agent who is licensed, experienced in the type of property you’re selling, and who is familiar with your area.
Price to sell. Many people make the mistake of over-pricing their house. When you over-price, your house may stay on the market longer than anticipated, and may undergo several price reductions. However, pricing too low might expedite the sale, but could cut into your bottom dollar. There’s also no such thing as “sentimental value” when pricing property. Buyers aren’t willing to pay for the memories you’ve made inside the house they intend to buy. Your real estate agent will provide you with a comprehensive market analysis to help you price your home effectively.
Staging and Showing
Staging a house means that you prepare the home inside and out for showings. This begins with curb appeal, encompasses cleanliness and organization, and includes repairs as needed throughout the house. Also, be security conscious. Remove any weapons, jewelry, or items of value.
Try not to be home during the time when the house is being shown to potential buyers. Being present during showings can be uncomfortable for you as well as for the buyers. It may also be a good idea to make arrangements for pets. Some buyers are allergic, aren’t pet-friendly, or may be put off by barking dogs. Showings can also be stressful for your pets.
Receiving Offers & Negotiations
When your house is priced to sell, you may receive more than one offer. Although your real estate agent cannot tell you which offer to accept, they can advise you on subtle and not so subtle differences in contract. Be aware of contingencies, pre-approval, and closing dates. Don’t be fooled by high dollar values, especially with buyers who have yet to be approved for their home mortgage loan.
Inspections and Appraisals
You house will undergo an appraisal and an inspection before the deal can be done. The appraisal verifies to the lender that the house is worth what the borrower is paying. Appraisals typically work in $500 increments, so small upgrades such as plumbing fixtures, light and socket covers, doorknobs, or screens could increase (or decrease!) the value of your property.
The inspection covers the systems and materials of your property. The inspector will check for termites and pests, plumbing and electrical systems, quality of structure, and materials such as roofing. If you are aware of problem areas in your house or on your property, fix them before the inspector.
During the appraisal and inspection processes, the contract is still under negotiation. Furthermore, when warranted, the contract can be terminated.
Titles and Transfers
Make sure there are no tax debts or property liens on the house prior to selling. As part of any real estate transaction, the title must be deemed free and clear before it can be transferred from seller to buyer. If your house is part of an HOA, check about transfer policies and fees to inform and/or assist the buyer with the process.
By the closing day, all of your items should be removed from the property, and the property should be in the the same or better condition than during the appraisal and inspection. You’ll be turning over the keys at closing.
Make sure your house is in good order and good standing before placing it for sale. Find the right agent and price accordingly. Stage your house to sell, and plan for showings. Be open to offers and review them thoroughly to determine the offer that’s best for you. Know that your house will be appraised and inspected before closing day. By taking the time to educate yourself and prepare properly, you can eliminate potential problems and alleviate stress.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Ocala Realty Experts a call today at 352-254-5255 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.