Four Steps to Selling Your Home
If you are preparing to sell your home and you'd like to attract more buyers and close faster, here are four steps that may enhance your chances of success.
- Review Your Finances
Evaluate your finances to prepare for sale-related expenditures.
- Consider income and expenses related to selling and relocating - including the payoff from your current mortgage, closing costs on your new home, and changes in taxes
- Create a budget for inspections and repairs
- Draw up a timeline and plan for any financial consequences of unexpected delays
It's important to create a realistic budget; closings can be delayed due to disputes about last-minute repairs. If you're buying a new home, consider setting aside extra cash for unexpected costs.
- Inspect and Repair
Inspect your home carefully and make any necessary repairs that are within your budget. Homes in move-in condition attract more buyers and higher offers.
If you pay a home inspector to evaluate your house prior to listing, you'll have advance warning about what must be repaired before closing. A home inspector will visually evaluate:
- Roof, basement, foundation and outbuildings
- Heating, venting and air conditioning
- Plumbing and electrical
- Visible fire and safety hazards
Home inspections typically do not cover wells, septic tanks, underground pipes, appliances or swimming pools. To command top dollar for your home, make sure these are in working order. Most importantly, make cosmetic repairs that buyers will notice:
- Add fresh coats of paint where needed inside and out (neutral colors are best)
- Remove all mold and mildew
- Replace windows that are difficult to open or visibly worn
Flooring is also a big consideration. If you have hardwood floors under carpeting, make sure that is exposed or consider removing the carpet altogether and refinishing the floors.
- Clean, Organize and De-Personalize
- Doors, moldings, walls, lighting fixtures should be sparkly clean and dust-free
- Sweep sidewalks and driveways; rake leaves; fix bare spots in the lawn
- Remove clutter from all rooms including basement, attic and garage; pre-pack off-season items including coats; clean up evidence of pets
- Remove personal photos, memorabilia, and items that might turn off buyers
- Make the porch and/or entrance way inviting with fresh flowers or seasonal touches
- Get an Appraisal and Set the Price
If you are working with a real estate agent, they will do the legwork on pricing your home. An experienced real estate agent is knowledgeable about the properties in your local area and can help make your home selling process much smoother.
If you choose not to work with a real estate agent, you should pay for a certified Appraiser to assess your property to help you determine how to price your home. You'll also want to consider hiring an attorney who can supply and review purchase contract forms and outline contract terms.
If your buyer will be obtaining a mortgage, their lender will also order an appraisal. Be aware that closing can be delayed if this appraisal comes in much lower than the purchase price. Setting a realistic selling price can help you avoid this type of delay.
If you plan on closing on a new home after you sell your current property, contact Freedom Mortgage to learn more about home financing.