There is much more involved with selling your home than you think. Just another reason why it’s important to work with a professional that will walk you through the process. So the first thing you should do is call your Realtor and explain your situation, and what your goals are.
Here is a list of things you should expect from your Realtor, and/or expect to happen along the way…
- Complete inspection of your property. As Realtors, we are required by law to do this. This also allows us to look for any red flags that may cause problems during an inspection. It’s always easier to address these problems ahead of time.
- Make recommendations. You want your house to show as good as possible to help ensure you get the best price. Here are some things I look for when walking through a home…
- Is it clean? If not, I will tell you. Not only should your home be spotlessly clean, it will need to stay clean throughout the process. Is this a big pain in the a**? You bet, but it’s necessary.
- Does it smell? Once again, if it does I will tell you. This is particularly true in cases of homes with pets, or with people who smoke. If you have a dog, make sure it’s bathed regularly. If you have a cat, make sure the litter box is clean at all times. If you smoke in your house, you have kind of screwed yourself. People hate that, and in most cases the slightest smell of smoke will send them running.
- Do you have too much clutter or furniture? Clutter makes a home appear messy, and smaller than it is. It is also a sign that it may not have enough storage. Pack it up. You are moving anyway, so this gives you a head start.
- Family pictures. Minimize the amount of family photos you have sitting out or hanging on the walls. It always irritates me when I’m showing a house and the prospective buyer stops to look at every photo wondering if they know the owners. They are supposed to be concentrating on the house itself.
- Touch it up. Are there nicks and dings in the walls? Are there unfinished projects? Touch up the paint and finish up those projects. Little things like this just give potential buyers a reason to discount the asking price.
- Prepare a Market Analysis. Why is this important? Because it will help you understand how your property compares to the competition. It will also give you insight into the current market, and help you gauge what your days on market might be. It’s also the best way to determine what your list price should be. When doing this, be realistic! We all thing our home is better than our neighbors, but in most cases it is not. Over pricing your home is the worst thing that you can do. This will result in more days on the market, and that equals less money.
- Get it listed. Once a list price has been determined, it’s time go get your house on the market. There will be some paper work involved with this that your Realtor should walk you through. From that point your Realtor will take care of taking measurements, photos, creating ads, etc.
- Showings should start. Like I said before these are a real pain in the a**, especially if you are living in the home. You need to keep the house clean at all times, and accommodate showing times the best you can. If you have a dog, make sure it’s removed from the home for showings. It would be nice if cats were not around either, but that tends to be a little harder to make happen. Be aware, that if someone sets up a showing for between 4:00 and 5:00 this does NOT mean they will be there at 4:00. This simply means they will be there sometime between 4:00 and 5:00. In most cases, buyers are looking at more than one home at a time. You should also understand that some buyers will spend 5 minutes in your home, and others will spend an hour. Don’t read too much into this, and don’t take offense if someone doesn’t like your home.
- An offer comes in. Congratulations! This means someone wants your home. Now is the time to sit down with your Realtor and go over all the details. You need to pay attention to everything, not just the price. Don’t be offended if someone comes in with a lower offer, this is just a starting point. If you don’t like their price, counter it. One thing that drives me nuts is when someone says “I’m not giving it away”. Really? Nobody asked you too.
- An offer is accepted. Don’t pack your bags just yet. This is only the beginning of the next phase. There are still multiple things that most likely need to happen. Inspections need to be scheduled and completed, appraisal needs to be done and accepted by the bank, financing needs to be approved, closing needs to be coordinated, etc. Multiple things can come up along the way, and no dates and deadlines are guaranteed. Lean on your Realtor to walk you through this process, it is their job to stay on top of everything.
- Closing. You made it, now get out! 🙂 The day of closing is the day you need to be completely out of the house (unless otherwise agreed upon in writing). This means EVERYTHING needs to be out of the house that was not included in the offer. A lot of people want to leave left over paint, trim, and miscellaneous items for the house. This is NOT okay unless the buyer agrees to it. Put yourself in their shoes, do you really want to walk into your new home and have to deal with someones crap they left behind? Doubtful.
This is just a quick glimpse at the process. There are so many things that can come up along the way. Trust me, we have seen it all. Issues arise from inspections, financing gets denied, buyers go bat-sh*t crazy, etc.
If you are interested in talking more about the process of selling your home, just let me know. As you can probably imagine by reading this, I will be brutally honest with you… No B.S!