There aren’t many people who live in one house for their entire lives. If you currently own a home, even if you love it to pieces, you never know whether you’ll stay there forever. It’s good to know what you’ll need to do before officially selling your home if you need to. While selling is typically easier than buying, sometimes selling can feel like a huge hassle if you aren’t prepared for what comes with it. Here are some things to consider before you sell your home!
What Have You Already Done to Your Home?
You’ve probably done some upgrades to your home throughout the years, so that’s always a plus when it comes to selling. However, most homebuyers are looking for one specific aspect that makes them jump to put in an offer. That’s why it’s important to upgrade your kitchen cabinets, renovate the master bath or plant fresh flowers in your yard prior to listing it. Some of the upgrades you’ve done might be under the surface, such as installing a new HVAC system or replacing the drywall. While those things are great, many buyers go by how the house looks or feels – that’s not saying all do, though. No matter what, it’s important you do some upgrades to your home prior to selling. Even if you’re attached to the sentimentality of the floor-to-ceiling wood paneling, most homebuyers aren’t looking for that these days.
Can You Afford Your Next Home?
You’ll want to ask yourself why you’re selling. If you’re selling because you got a raise and think you deserve a larger, nicer home, consider whether you really need to move. Could you instead invest in upgrading your current home? If you can currently afford where you live, even if you feel it doesn’t have all the amenities you desire, it might be a better idea to stay put. Trading up can cause you to run the risk of financial ruin or going beyond your means.
However, if you have to move across the country for work or have received a significant increase in income, selling is probably your best bet. The important thing is that you don’t overextend your means. While realtors and lenders can tell you how much you can buy, only you know how much you can truly afford. Don’t forget to factor in monthly utilities, insurance and maintenance expenses that aren’t included in your mortgage. You also still have lots of other bills to pay, too – your car payment, insurance, groceries. Being a responsible homeowner means keeping track of all your expenses!
How Much Is Your Home Worth?
Your home’s worth can have a serious effect on how well it sells. If your home is in a desirable neighborhood and has a lot of features buyers will love (such as quality white cabinets), then your home might be worth a lot more than you thought. Avoid inflating the price because you’re looking to get a large payout. Buyers will instantly know by looking at a couple of photos if they think your home is worth the price. Of course, you don’t want to under-price your home, either. That’s why it’s important to work with a real estate agent who knows the market and your neighborhood well. They can help you list your home for a price that isn’t going to keep it on the market for long.
When pricing your home, consider a few things:
- How old your home is
- The upgrades you’ve done over time
- Any features your home has
- The amount of land on your property
- The schools your neighborhood feeds into
- The selling prices of other homes in your neighborhood that have sold recently
- The amount your home is assessed at
Together, these factors can help you determine the best price for your home. If done right, your home will sell quickly once it hits the market!
When Was the Last Time You Did a Deep Clean?
Before taking any photos of your home, make sure you do a deep clean. We’re talking baseboards, washing the walls and wiping down the inside of your cabinets. When people come to tour your home, they will love how clean it is. A home that appears dirty doesn’t attract buyers, no matter the price. If they have to imagine themselves doing too much to it – especially buyers who are looking for move-in ready homes – then they’ll move on to a place where they don’t. The same goes for clean homes.
Another thing to consider is where you’ll be living while your home is on the market. Most people can’t afford to pay for two homes at once, so since you’ll probably be living in your home while you sell it, you’ll need to keep it as clean as possible. That means vacuuming every day, ensuring the kids have folded and put their clothes away and mopping the floors multiple times a day. It seems like a lot of hard work until your home sells, but keeping it clean and prepped for any tours can actually help it sell faster.
Are You Going to Use a Realtor or Sell It Yourself?
If you have the knowledge and ability to sell your home yourself, then consider selling it yourself to avoid paying the realtors their commissions. However, if you’ve never sold a home before or aren’t knowledgeable on the ins and outs of selling a home, it might be a good idea to hire a realtor.
Make sure you do your homework before hiring a realtor to sell your home. You’ll want someone who knows your neighborhood, doesn’t have a lot of other properties listed and has credible experience (or has learned from realtors who do!). A good seller’s agent will be someone who helps you market your home and, in turn, gets you top dollar.