Just as there are first-time home buyers, there are also first-time sellers. For first-time sellers, it leaves them trying to figure out what to do with many unaddressed questions. If this is your first time wanting to put your house on the market, don’t fret! This handy guide will help get your ducks in a row. Learn what the selling process looks like and what it takes so you can sell your house fast!
Phase One: Initial Preparations Before Listing Your Home
Research the Housing Market
The housing market is always changing. Depending on the current market conditions, it can make it easier or more difficult to sell your house quickly. For instance, you want to consider present market factors like interest rates and the best types of homes being sold.
Find the Right Realtor For You
For your best interest, you want a realtor that’s experienced in helping first-time sellers and is up-to-date on housing market trends. But, with so many realtors out there: how do you know which is best? Like the housing market, you will want to do your research. Look online to see what they offer for real estate services, and read their reviews to see if they are a good fit.
Getting Logistics & Paperwork Done
You need to get a few things in order. Firstly, it’s talking to your mortgage lender about mortgage portability, penalties, bridge financing, and mortgage assumption to ensure everything is in your best interest. And, of course, a checklist of necessary paperwork such as:
- Utility bills
- Tax bills
- Details of any renovations or improvements
- Rental contracts
- Mortgage details
- Survey (if you have one)
- List any ongoing issues with the home for disclosure
Invest in Any Repairs & Upgrades
Nothing turns off a buyer more than damages in a home. Ensure there is nothing to worry about with a thorough house inspection and get any damages spotted fixed as soon as possible. Also, if your realtor recommends it, consider giving some upgrades to increase your home value. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint can make your home look new. Or go bigger with a home renovation project like a deck for a better ROI.
Set a Realistic Price For Your Home
Housing market research comes in handy here. Knowing what everyone else is listing for in your area and your type of house is imperative to price your home right. Be pragmatic about the value of your house. Too high or too low of a price have obvious drawbacks since they won’t accurately reflect your home’s value. Find a price by consulting with your realtor with these factors in mind.
Phase Two: Your House Has Hit the Market – Now What?
Clean House’s Interior & Exterior
The best way to present your home well is by cleaning your home’s interior and exterior. Inside, you will want to ensure there is no clutter or even go the extra mile and get a professional cleaner for deep, thorough cleaning. For outside, get rid of any debris and grime around the entryway, along with unruly weeds in your garden. These will help improve your curb appeal as well!
Stage Your Home Properly
More than a clean home is needed to wow home buyers. You must appeal to buyers by presenting your home in a certain way. Namely, it’s by depersonalizing everything in your house. From family photos and memorabilia to political or religious items, you want to tuck those away before photos and showings. Doing so makes it easier for home buyers to envision themselves living there.
Marketing Efforts Toward Your Home
When you list, you want to ensure you’re using the best photos and videos showcasing everything your house offers since it’s perfect for marketing it via social media. After all, how can you sell your house fast without putting it out there more for potential buyers? Also, don’t underestimate the influence of a greatly worded property description – it’s practically your home’s sales pitch!
Vetting Through Offers For the Right One
You’ve managed to find plenty of people putting in offers. But how do you know which one is best? Consider the following when vetting through offers:
- Form of payment
- Type of financing
- Down payment amount
- Requests for credits or personal property
- Proposed closing date
These will help you find the right one beyond choosing the highest offer.
Phase Three: What to Do Before Putting Up an Official Sold Sign
Consider Seller Closing Costs
The gains of selling your home aren’t without their costs. You need to account for closing costs such as:
- Government transfer tax
- Recording fees
- Outstanding liens
- Attorney fees
Gather Closing Sale Documents
There is plenty of paperwork once you’re ready to close the sale. The main documents you need are:
- Your home’s original purchase contract
- Property survey, certificate of occupancy & certificates of compliance with local codes
- Mortgage documents
- Tax records
- An appraisal from your home purchase
- Homeowners insurance
- Home inspection report
Hire a Real Estate Attorney
With all that paperwork, hiring an attorney specializing in real estate would be in your best interest. It might seem expensive, but it’s worth it for financial protection. An attorney’s keen eye can spot issues like:
- Outstanding liens or judgments or other encumbrances
- Trust issues
- Mortgage balances
- Tax issues
Selling your first home is exciting and daunting. Hopefully, this informative guide has given you the confidence to sell your home without too much stress and confusion.