With the new year officially underway, many people are already on the hunt for their next home. They’re searching websites, driving through neighborhoods, researching the housing market, and talking with their real estate agents. If you have considered putting your house on the market, this could be great news for you. Selling your home doesn’t have to be stressful. With a variety of tools available to you, it’s never been easier. Before you start, there are several things you should research and consider to ensure that your home selling process goes as smoothly as possible.
Believe it or not, listing your home on a whim and without doing much research may not be the most effective selling strategy. Before putting your house on the market, there are several things for you to consider.
The housing market is always changing. That means that when you start considering selling your home, it should be one of the first things you look at. Whether or not the housing market is hot could drastically affect how quickly your home sells and how much you will get in return. Do some research and see what is selling in your area and for how much. Fewer homes for sale could mean less competition for you. But a larger number of properties listed and no sales could be a sign that you should wait to list.
Time of the Year
Statistically, the spring months tend to be the best time to put your house on the market. As children finish out the school year, families have more downtime and start to consider relocating. In the spring, there are not only a higher number of homes for sale, but there are also a lot of potential buyers searching for that perfect property. These days, however, the housing market never really sleeps. Hot or cold, rain or shine, people are always on the hunt for their next home.
What is Your Goal?
Why are you selling your home? Are you downsizing? Upgrading? Relocating? Depending on your timeline, you may not have much room to be picky about amenities and features. Take some time to prioritize what is most important to you throughout this process. Consider what you would like to achieve through selling your home and moving. This could drastically affect things like the price that your home is listed for and how long you ideally have to sell.
There are always hidden costs when it comes to selling your home that could put a wrench in your plans if you’re not careful. Before you list your house, make sure you and your family are financially ready to take on whatever may come your way. Plan for things like home maintenance and inspections, closing costs and fees, costs for your real estate agents and even cleaning, staging, and storage services. These can all add up in the blink of an eye, so setting yourself up well ahead of time is extremely important. If you don’t think you can swing it financially, consider listing at another time once you’ve had the chance to save.
Learn More: How Soon is Too Soon?
Is it the Right Time For Your Family?
Sometimes, waiting for the right season or for the market to heat up just isn’t possible or practical. The right time for you to sell your home will always be when it is the right time for your family. When considering listing your home, look at things like your family’s stage of life, schedules, and future plans. Do you have any major vacations coming up? Are you moving for work and need to be relocated and settled in by a certain date? Maybe you’re outgrowing your current space and just need something a little bigger. Whatever your situation may be, it is unique to you. The right time for your family may look different when compared to what the housing market is doing.
Before You Sell
When you decide that you’re ready to move, you may begin researching how to go about selling your home. It’s important for you to focus on what will help you sell it quickly, and for the best possible price. After all, no one wants their house on the market for longer than it needs to be. There are several things that you can do before you list your home that will help get that Sold sign up in your yard faster.
Complete Any Necessary Repairs
A lot of people get lured into making major renovations before a sale, but in reality, most potential home buyers actually fixate on the smaller details. Instead of focusing on the big, expensive remodeling projects, take the time to complete those repairs you’ve been putting off. Fix leaky faucets, upgrade lights and fixtures, change hardware on cabinets, update paint, and clean or replace old grout. On the exterior of your home, pay attention to the condition of your roof, gutters, trim, siding, and walkways. It’s always a good idea to schedule a home inspection to get a second opinion before you put your home on the market. Prospective home buyers can often see unfinished repairs as a bargaining chip and try to negotiate the price down. Sometimes, they may even be scared off by everything that needs to be done, no matter how small the job may be. The fewer repairs the buyers see and have to deal with when they move in, the more likely they are to make an offer.
Professional Tip: If you are going to put money into a larger remodeling project, start with the kitchen. Kitchen remodels are some of the most sought-after home renovation projects from a buyer’s perspective, and add the most value to your home.
Learn More: Seller’s Guide to a Successful Home Inspection
De-clutter and De-personalize
When potential buyers come to your home, they are trying to picture themselves in your space. That can be really difficult for them to do when they’re surrounded by your personal belongings and clutter. While your decor and furniture may have sentimental value to you, others can have a hard time looking past them. In order to get the best price for your home, it’s important to de-personalize and de-clutter your space. Consider getting rid of anything that adds a personal stamp, and remove any junk and clutter that could be distracting or off-putting to anyone viewing your home. Each room should feel as clean, bright, and open as possible without feeling too empty. By removing your sentiments and clutter, you give potential buyers the ability to envision what it could look like to start the next chapter of their lives in your home.
Think Simplicity and Neutrals
Not everyone has the same taste in home decor and styling, so making your space more attractive and appealing to a wider majority of buyers is extremely important. Before putting your home on the market, take some time to tone down and simplify your space. Remove the patterned wallpaper, get rid of the unique furniture, minimize and simplify the decor, and neutralize the paint colors. Choosing a neutral color palette helps potential buyers picture their belongings in your home.
Clean, Clean, Clean
You may not always have enough advanced notice to thoroughly clean the house before each showing. Before putting your house on the market, hire a professional cleaning service to come in and clean your home from top to bottom to make sure it’s looking its best. Get rid of clutter to help make the space feel more open and inviting. Clear off kitchen and bathroom countertops, and make sure everyone is picking up after themselves. If you have pets, consider finding them a temporary home until your home is sold. You may love your dog or cat, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does. Temporarily relocating your beloved critters will prevent buyers with allergies from getting turned off. It can help eliminate messes, odors, and noises. Adopting a “clean as you go” attitude to keeping your home organized can help ensure that you are prepared to welcome potential buyers at a moment’s notice.
There’s No Secret Formula
Selling your home doesn’t have to be complicated. When it comes to selling your home, it’s easy to assume that there is a secret to success. After all, some agents seem to have the magic touch when it comes to moving a property. There are definitely several things you can do to separate your home from the competition, but you may be surprised to hear that they’re not secrets at all. They’re available to every homeowner, and they can easily be used to help you sell your home quickly.
Hire a Real Estate Professional
Your real estate agent can make or break your home-selling journey. While they vary in their approach, many have proven themselves highly effective in the home-selling world. Real estate professionals know just what it takes to sell a home. Having them on your team as you sell yours is definitely an added bonus. Don’t be afraid to bypass your family friend and find an agent with a good track record that can get the best possible outcome for you and your family. A good listing specialist in your area will know exactly how to find the best potential buyers for your home. They will be knowledgeable and able to offer advice on the always changing housing market. They will be a valuable asset for you and your family, with the expertise and knowledge to advise you along every step of the way. Real estate agents take away your stress and anxiety and help make your home selling process as seamless as possible.
Make a Good First Impression
Whether online or in person, the front of your home is typically the first thing buyers see. This brings a new level of importance to your home’s curb appeal. While you can’t fix a bad lawn overnight, you can spruce up problem areas to make them more appealing and less of an eyesore. Landscaping with flowers and hedges is a great way to beautify the front of your home. Consider adding design elements such as benches, birdbaths, or water features. Take a look at the exterior structure of your home. Does it need a good cleaning? A fresh coat of paint? Hire a professional to come and bring new life back to the outside of your home. Be sure to clear your porch, entryway, and yard of clutter, trash, and debris. Thoroughly clean your roof and gutters, and make sure all walkways are safe to walk on and clear of excess dirt and leaves. These tips will help ensure that potential buyers want to see more on the inside.
Learn More: How to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home
Upgrade Your Lighting
People, especially home buyers, respond extremely well to light. A dim, dark house in no way appeals to potential buyers. Take some time to brighten up your space. Clean your windows and screens, and pull back those blinds or curtains to let in as much natural light as possible. Trim any foliage outside of your windows that may be blocking light from coming in. Swap out any dull, warm lights for brighter bulbs with a higher wattage. While you’re at it, replace any bulbs that are burned out. Then, change lampshades and add new lamps or fixtures for the perfect finishing touch. Your home will feel much more open and inviting when it is well lit.
Price It Right and Be Willing to Take a Risk
Pricing your home right is one of the biggest tips any real estate agent can offer you. It will give you the best chance of having a quick sale. Start by getting an accurate estimate of the value of your home, as well as an assessment of what others are willing to pay for similar homes in your area. Then, be willing to take a risk and knock down the price if need be. Taking a little risk can result in a big payoff. Pricing your home competitively could potentially attract more buyers and start a bidding war. This not only gets you offers but also makes your home seem much more desirable.
Learn More: What Affects Your Home Value?
Invest in Professional Photography
We all know the saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. This is especially true when it comes to listing your home online. One of the most important things you can do to position your home well is to have professional photos taken of your space. The photos that are attached to your listing are often the first impression buyers have of your home. They could end up helping them decide whether or not they want to schedule a showing. You want the photos to beautifully highlight your home’s best features. With clean, crisp, professional photos, buyers are much more likely to fall in love with your home before ever seeing it in person.
Staying on top of these real estate tips and tricks can drastically help when you are selling your home. Before you put your house on the market, check a few of these off of your to-do list to ensure that buyers see and appreciate only the best features of your home.