Whether you’ve sold your home ten times or you’re going to be selling your first, there are things that you need to know before listing your home for sale. There are many sellers who think the home selling process is very easy and doesn’t take much preparation. In most cases that is just not true. Any friend, family member, colleague, Realtor, or individual who says that selling a home is a fun filled experience is not being honest. The truth is that selling a home can be an inconvenience, create stress and anxiety. These feelings can be minimized if you prepare properly and when the right decisions are made along the way. So before you sell your home, there are several things that you need to know before beginning the journey for the first time or the tenth. Here are the top 10 things to know before selling a home.
1) Hiring A Great Realtor Is Extremely Important
Often the most overlooked step number one when selling a home is the importance of hiring a great real estate agent. You wonder, aren’t all real estate agents the same? The answer is absolutely not. When you sell a home, you should have high expectations of the real estate agent who you hire to sell your home. Top producing agents possess different qualities and have different skill sets etc.
How can you as the seller make sire that you hire a great Realtor? The answer is actually not that difficult. You need to know how to interview a Realtor when selling a home which will then provide the greatest probability that you’ve picked a great Realtor. While there is no guarantee that the top producing Realtor you hire will be the right one for you when selling a home, by asking the right questions and seeking the right answers, is important. Luckily you have found our website and are reading this blog. The Malinda Shelley Team is definitely the right choice when you look to sell your home. Let me walk you through the rest of the steps also.
2) Collect Information, Paperwork, and Documents
A great Realtor knows what information should be included in the information of the house they’re selling. What does this have to do with gathering paperwork and documents? Having information on the major mechanics of the home and also any updates that have been done to the home will be extremely helpful for your Realtor. A great Realtor is not going to just place a sign in the front of your home and wait for it to sell. They should know how to write compelling information about your home to attract potential buyers in addition to creatively marketing it online and offline.
What type of paperwork and documents should you be gathering when selling a home? Here are some examples of the kind of information, paperwork, and documents you should get before selling a home.
- Roof age & any warranty paperwork, if applicable
- Furnace age & any instruction manuals
- Central Air conditioning age & any instruction manuals
- Hot water heater age & any instruction manuals
- Any included appliance ages & any instruction manuals
- Dates of any home improvement projects, such as, kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, window installation, carpet installation, etc…
- Any certificate of compliance (permits) that apply, such as, deck permits, shed permits, fence permits, etc…
- Outstanding mortgage balance (if applicable) & pay-off balance
You probably understand that every real estate market is different. There are great times to sell and other times that may not be the most ideal. Generally speaking, the spring months (March, April, & May) are the months that a seller will receive top dollar when they sell a home. If you have no immediate rush to sell your home and you discuss with your Realtor in December about timing and they insist now is best time to sell to get you top dollar, you may want to reconsider hiring that Realtor. Certainly selling a home in the winter is possible, but in most cases, the spring months will be much better when you are looking for the the highest offers.
When selling a home, it’s important that you choose to sell your home when it’s most convenient for your individual situation. The spring months may not always be the best time to sell for everyone. There are several reasons why selling a home during the fall and winter months may actually be a better time for you to sell than waiting until spring.
It’s important that you evaluate all the pro’s and con’s of each selling time frame. A great Realtor should be able to give you both the positives and negatives of each time frame.
3) A Pre-Listing Inspection Is A Good Idea
Before putting your home on the market, it can be a good idea to have a professional home inspector perform an inspection on your home. You need to make sure that the inspector you hire to perform the inspection is a member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or NIBI (National Institute of Building Inspectors). Whether a buyer is purchasing their first home or their fifth, it’s extremely likely they will make their offer contingent on an acceptable home inspection. A home inspector should find at least some issues with the home they are inspecting, even in new construction. If they don’t find at least a couple of small issues, they maybe inexperienced or not a very reputable home inspector.
By completing this pre-listing inspection, you can address the issues that the home inspector may note during his inspection. Make sure that the home inspector who does the pre-listing inspection will provide you with a detailed report and also pictures relating to anything they note in their report.
There are other inspections to consider before selling a home as well. Here are a couple of other inspections that a buyer could possibly make their offer contingent upon and to consider performing prior to selling a home.
- Well Water
4) Preparing Your Home For Sale Is Crucial
Selling a home is not as simple as picking up your cellphone, calling your local real estate office to speak with an agent, and it will be ready for the market, unfortunately. There are quite a few things that you need to examine before selling a home. A great Realtor should be able to point out during a walk-through of your home items that should be corrected or repaired. Items such as painting, cleaning, and de-cluttering are just a handful of low cost preparations that can be made, prior to selling a home.
The first impression is crucial when selling a home. By not preparing your home for sale, this can often lead to a poor first impression and also can cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. Take the extra time and effort to prepare your home, you’ll be glad you did.
5) Pricing The Home Right From The Beginning Can Be The Difference
The most important factor to whether a home sells or doesn’t, relates to pricing. If you price your home too high from the start, it can actually cost you lots of money in the future. The price a home enters the market at will do the majority of the marketing of the home. It’s important to understand today’s buyers and know they are very educated and have tons of information at their fingertips. Buyer’s often will know a home is overpriced and will choose not to even look at it.
Sellers make the same pricing mistakes, over and over again, and it’s important that you know what they are before selling a home. Mistakes such as hiring a Realtor because they suggest the highest price or because they offer the lowest commission can be a huge mistake, so it’s important to educate yourself and avoid common real estate pricing mistakes.
7) Staging Can Help Sell Your Home But Not The Only Reason It Sells
First and foremost, a real estate agent who tells you that the staging of your home will sell it, is not being truthful. Staging is not the only reason a home sells, period. There are many real estate agents who say their listings sell faster and for more money because they stage them but fail to mention the fact that price, location, condition, and several other things play apart in the sale.
Homes that are staged will normally show better, which can lead to a quicker sale. There are many simple staging tips that you can follow to help get the home sold quicker. Many of these tips do not require a real estate agent with a certification for staging, so do not hire a real estate agent solely because they have the certification. An experienced real estate agent, certification or not, can suggest many staging tips that will help your home show better and sell faster.
7) Preparing Your Home For Showings
When selling a home, you want to make your home appealing for potential buyers. What do you think the a potential buyer who walks through a home that has piles of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor or dirty pots and pans in the sink would think? Most buyers would be either distracted or disgusted, possibly leading to them not being interest in that home.
Preparing your home for showings can be a job in itself and an inconvenience. Making sure the clutter is minimized, pet odors are eliminated, and that the curb appeal is attractive are just a few tips that can help prepare your home for showings. It’s possible that a home that is well prepared for showings will sell before an unprepared home just because the image that it portrays to potential buyers walking through the door.
8) Evaluate Whether Open Houses Are Worth It Or Not
This is a very controversial topic in the real estate industry. Some real estate agents will swear that open houses are worth it and others will swear they are a huge waste of time. Ultimately, the decision whether they are worth it or not is the home owners.
The fact of the matter is that there are potentially some major drawbacks of open houses. While there is a very small possibility that a home will sell as a result from an open house, you should determine whether you would like your home to be open, before selling it. Ask the real estate agent who will be selling your home what their thoughts on open houses are. They should provide both pro’s and con’s about open houses.
If you’re thinking of selling a home in the Atlanta area be sure to read the above 8 things before selling your home. If you do consider them they will make your life a whole lot easier and the selling process more enjoyable.
We’d be happy to discuss in detail and share our knowledge on these topics and give you our honest evaluation of your individual situation. Contact us and we’d love to show you why we are one of the top real estate teams in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding areas.
I am standing by to assist you with all your real estate needs. Please don’t hesitate to call me at 404-697-9817