You home is likely your largest and most important asset. Thus, the sale of this asset will likely be among the most important decisions of your life.
To ensure you understand the home selling process, this important guide has been created based on insider reports. By reading these tips, you will learn how to protect and capitalize on your investment, reduce the stress typically associated with the process, be in control of the process, and also make as much on the sale of your home as possible.
Determine for Yourself Why You Are Selling Your Home
Why you wish to sell your home determines how you approach the selling process. Your motivation has an affect on every aspect of the process, from the price you ask to how many resources (time, effort, and money) you are ready to invest in the selling process. For example, if you wish for a quick sale you might take different steps than someone motivated by making a huge profit.
Do Research Before Setting a Price
An asking price is considered the maximum a buyer should have to pay for your home. Your aim should be to acquire a sale price as close to your list price as possible. Asking too high a price might signal to buyers that you are not serious while asking too low a price can result in a disappointing sale for you.
View Other Open Houses
By viewing the open houses of comparable homes, you will learn about your competition and why some homes do or do not sell. Make a list of items to consider, including the floor plan, condition, and location of the home as well as the lot size and other features you think are important. Make note of both the asking price and the sale price as these two figures may be markedly different. If you are a motivated seller, be sure not to price your home higher than comparable homes for sale in your neighbourhood.
Understand the Benefits of a Home Appraisal
Having a home appraisal conducted can serve as an excellent marketing tool. It signals to prospective buyers that your property will not be rejected for financing. Keep in mind, however, three important points about home appraisals: it does cost money, is only valid for a limited time, and your home may be appraised at a value you are not pleased with.
Understand Tax Assessments
Tax assessments are not always the best indicator of the value of your home. The tax assessment is based on a number of factors that are not necessarily connected to the property value. As such a tax assessment may not point to the true value of a home.
Select a Realtor
The National Association of Realtors reports that two thirds of home sellers who sold their property independently would hire a realtor the next time. Indeed, an individual wishing to sell their own home may find that they are inexperienced or have other difficulties setting a price, concerns with liability, time constraints, and limited marketing experience. If you wish to employ a realtor to navigate these issues be wary of quotes that seem far too high, or far too low.
Importantly, realtors are not all cut from the same cloth. A professional realtor understands the housing market and is prepared with information about previous sales and listings currently for sale. He or she will also present you with a marketing plan and provide references and background information. Evaluate a potential realtor's previous experience, qualifications, personality, and enthusiasm. Select a person you can be sure will do their best on your behalf.
The Appearance of Your Home Matters
It is imperative that your home have a welcoming appearance. Pay attention to both the look, and "feel" of your home. Paying attention to these details will benefit you as the look and feel of a home can generate the greatest emotional response in potential buyers. Potential buyers pay attention to what they can see, feel, hear and even smell.
Enlist the Opinion of Others
Do not rely solely on your own judgement when preparing your home for sale. Ask others what they honestly think so that you can be objective about your property's strengths and weaknesses. A good realtor will provide you with an honest opinion about what steps need to be taken to make your home as sellable as possible.
Clean and Fix Everything in Sight
Ensure that every possible area of your home is spotlessly clean and free of damage. View your home with fresh eyes and tackle every nook and cranny. Be sure to scrub your floors, clear the clutter, repair squeaky stairs and broken light switches. What might seem inconsequential to you may be a deal breaker for a prospective buyer. Keep in mind that your home is in competition not only with other resale homes, but with new builds as well.
Help Potential Buyers Visualize Themselves in Your House
No buyer wants to enter a home, only to feel as if they are intruding upon the lives of its occupants. Depersonalize your home by de-cluttering, beginning with knick knacks and an abundance of photos. Decorate your home in neutral colours (think white or beige) to appeal to as many buyers as possible. Accessorize with a few carefully planned items that highlight your home's character. Make your home even more attractive to the other senses by purchasing fresh flowers and placing some potpourri in your bathroom. Home decorating magazines can provide a wealth of information about desirable decor.
Eliminate Odours That Can Cost You a Sale
You may be accustomed to the smell of your home, but prospective buyers will immediately respond to the lingering odour of cigarette smoke, pets, and even food. If a potential buyer realizes you smoke or have a pet, he or she may judge your home based on this knowledge, even "finding" other smells or stains that do not exist. Rid your home of any smells that can jeopardize the sale of your home.
Be a smart seller and be proactive about revealing any and all defects in writing to your buyer. Doing so reduces your liability and can prevent a lawsuit.
Attract More Buyers
You can attract numerous potential buyers by maximizing your home's marketability. If more than one person has fallen in love with your property, they might compete with one another to purchase your home. If only one person wants to buy, he or she will compete only with you.
Control Your Emotions
People can grow emotionally attached to a home, but it is important to set aside this attachment when trying to sell. Approach the sale of your home as a business transaction and conduct yourself in a business-like way. This approach will provide you with an advantage over sellers who are emotionally driven during the sale.
Setting a Deadline is a Disadvantage
Setting a deadline by which to sell your home adds unnecessary pressure and can prove to be a disadvantage during the negotiation process.
Don't Be Offended by Low Offers
You and the buyer both know that the initial offer presented is below what he or she is willing to pay. Though the number may offend you, consider the offer objectively. Consider other factors and make sure it outlines the offered price, deposit, down payment, mortgage amount, closing date and additional requests. The initial offer marks a starting point and begins negotiations, so do not reject it outright.
Counter a Low Offer
You can counter an offer, whether it is markedly lower than, or just slightly below, your asking price. Your counter offer signals to the potential buyer that you aren't interested in offers that are not serious, but will consider those that are.
Find Out if the Buyer is Qualified
If you are presented with a very low offer, find out if the buyers will even be approved for the size of mortgage your asking price requires. Find out why they offered what they offered and suggest that they research the asking and selling price of comparables.