When utilizing the traditional process, selling a home entails a whole lot more than just planting a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn or uploading a few photos to a website.
If you’re getting ready to sell your home, buckle up — because there is a long list of to-do’s before you hand over the keys. Putting your house on the market is a major undertaking that can take two to four months in total, or sometimes even longer depending on local market conditions. In fact, the average length of time to sell a house is 71 days, but that doesn’t even include your prep work.
The process has many moving parts — some which you can control and some that you can’t. The factors within your control can have a big impact on the bottom line. Hiring a great real estate agent and marketing your home well can convert effort into dollars, and a more seamless closing.
So before you put your house on the market, explore our checklist of everything you’ll need to do in the process. Some of these tips may be simple, while others can require a bit more exertion. Let’s dive in.
1. Get an Inspection
A detailed inspection report will help identify any problems with your home, both structurally or mechanically. Inspections can be pricey, but an inspection will alert you of issues that may come up when the buyers hire their own inspector.
By being ahead of the game, and disclosing any information about the home, you’ll ensure the buyer doesn’t drop out of the contract before closing. And furthermore, you’ll have the opportunity to fix major issues before listing your home.
2. Hire a Real Estate Agent
To find the right real estate agent, it may require a great deal of research. Make sure to hire someone who will keep your best interest in mind, negotiate the best deal, sell your house within your timeline, and most importantly, someone you trust. As tempting as it is to do it yourself, try to stick with a professional for the least amount of headaches.
3. Upgrades and Improvements
When buyers tour your home, they don’t want to see all the work or money they’re going to have to sink into it. Selling any home is an exhausting process, but selling a home with lots of little problems or small repair needs can be even more difficult. Even if you don’t have any repairs demanding immediate attention, it’s still important to go through your home and complete any minor repairs you’ve been putting off, including patching holes, repairing trim, and repainting.
In addition to upgrades, improvements, and repairs, you’ll also need to ensure your home is staged beautifully. Sometimes, you can use the furniture you already have. But to make your home as appealing as possible, furniture upgrades may be necessary. Plus, it’s a good idea to depersonalize your home. You’ll want to take down any family photos, for example, before listing your home online. These steps will help maximize profit on your home.
4. Have a Professional take Photos
Schedule a photo shoot with a professional photographer to capture inviting photos of your home. High-quality photos are critical, since many buyers’ first experience viewing your home will be virtual.
An experienced, knowledgeable photographer knows how to make rooms appear bigger and brighter. The same goes for the exterior of your home. Dimly lit, low-quality photos can turn off homebuyers and convince them not to come tour it in person, so well-taken photos can really make a difference.
5. List Your Home
It’s time! Set a realistic price, and keep your house clean for constant showings. During this phase of the process, it’s crucial to keep your home spotless for viewings that could take place at any given time.
And don’t forget about a possible open house. You’ll need to plan this with your real estate agent and set aside time to be out of the house while potential buyers view the property.
6. Review and Negotiate Offers
After your home officially hits the market, hopefully offers will start rolling in. If offers are slow to hit or not as high as you’d like, you may have to be open to negotiate.
When you receive an offer, you have a few choices: accept the offer as is, make a counteroffer, or reject the offer. It is important to look closely at all aspects of the offer, such as type of financing, down payment amount, contingencies, and closing date.
7. Prepare for seller closing costs
The home seller typically pays the real estate agent’s commission, government transfer tax, recording fees, and outstanding liens. If the buyer has negotiated any credits to be paid at closing for repairs, you’re on the line for those as well. Depending on your situation, further repairs may need to be made, costing even more.
8. Assemble closing paperwork
There’s a lot of paperwork needed to document the sale of your home. The main documents you’ll need to gather are your home’s original purchase contract, property survey, mortgage documents, tax records, appraisal, homeowners insurance, and the inspection report.
Skip Every Step and Choose HouseMax!
As you read through the list above, you may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the scope of work that is involved in the house selling process. Avoid every step (and every potential headache) by allowing HouseMax to buy your property for cash!
We keep our process straightforward, simple, and transparent. When you work with HouseMax, the hassle of real estate fees, commissions, repairs, and closing costs are all left at the door. Our team of professionals even handle the details involved in selling your property, including title and deed paperwork, repairs, clean-out, and leftover item donation, so you don’t have to.
Once you agree to sell with HouseMax, we can close quickly and handle any title issues. We want our home buying process to be seamless. We’re here for you.