Analyze your Market
Do you live in a buyer’s or seller’s market? What are comparable homes in your area selling for?
Realtor® or FSBO
Some sellers start out by listing their home as for “sale by owner” then hire an agent if they aren’t successful. This can end up costing you both time and money, especially if you end up having to discount your price.
Set a Competitive Price
Determine what you can net from the sale, including marketing, closing costs, and any possible broker commissions. Avoid overpricing your home, as the time your property stays on the market can ultimately reduce the value.
Market your Property
You want to make a great impression for your home from the start, whether it be from catalog-worthy photos or compelling listing descriptions.
Get Ready to Negotiate
Real estate agents can add a lot of value to your home by negotiating with buyers, especially in the instance that your home receives multiple offers.
Prepare for the Loan Closing
Be prepared to deal with any contingencies you may have, as well as needed repairs identified by the home inspection.
Plan Your Move
There may not be much time to celebrate your sale as you pack up and move, so plan ahead of time to avoid being overwhelmed.
Ask Your Agent
Be prepared with a list of questions for potential listing agents during interviews. You want to see which agents are qualified and have the right amount of experience, not just to market your home well, but also to sell it for top dollar as quickly as possible.
What are the comparable listings in my neighborhood?
If you perform a well-done comparative market analysis, it will show current listings, and sales done in the past few months that are similar to your home in size and amenities.
What do you think my home is worth and why?
Either before or during a listing presentation, most agents will ask for a walk-through of your home to take notes on what they’ll have to work with. It also helps them compare your house to others on the market to give you an asking price that’s in line with both your goals and the market.
What would your marketing plan for my home include?
Good real estate agents will have strong plans for promoting your listing to find the right set of buyers. Factors that may go into a marketing plan include open houses, virtual tours, “just listed” postcards, professional photography, and broker tours for buyers’ agents.
Be sure to remove items that clutter the rooms in your house, such as toys, knickknacks, and other belonging,s to make spaces seem larger and feel more open. This will also provide less distractions for buyers as they walk through the home.
Repair Damaged Items
Now is the time to fix any small issues in your home like lights that don’t work or holes in walls. You’ll also want to correct any major issues that a buyer may not see from a short walk-through of the house, such as problems with the A/C system, before you place your house on the market.
Clean beyond your normal routine. Every surface a potential buyer can see needs to be clean. This means going through such measures as shampooing carpets, cleaning tile grout, and washing windows. Take special care with bathrooms; make sure the fixtures are sparkling clean and clean any dirt rings or mold patches.
Keep the cleaning routine going while your home is still on the market. If you’re short on time, consider hiring a cleaning service.
Add fragrances around your home, like in the kitchen and bathrooms for a nicer aroma. Freshly-baked cookies is a pleasant smell for many people, buyers included. If you bake a batch of cookies right before a showing,and offer them to the buyer, you could make your home stand out. A few well-placed flowers or cinnamon sticks can also give off a refreshing smell.
Stage Your Home
Your home’s decor expresses your personality, but keep in mind that buyers may have different tastes. You may want to consider changing the decor so it can appeal to a larger number of shoppers. This can involve moving furniture, replacing dramatic wall paint with neutral colors, or even renting furniture until the home is sold.
You can also ask your real estate agent for design tips and stage your home by yourself. If you prefer more specialized home staging, your agent can likely recommend a professional.