Selling a home can be a stressful process. There’s a lot you should know about your home, the market, and the process before you make the decision to sell.
To help you with that decision, here are 10 things you need to know before you sell your home:
What’s your home worth?
This is less a question than it is a process. The process begins with researching your neighborhood’s comparable properties, which gives you a good starting point.
Then you need to decide how well your home stacks up against the homes you’re comparing against. A few factors include square footage, condition, location, and amenities.
Who will buy it?
Who is the most likely buyer of your home? Will it be a young couple? A growing family? Empty nesters? Single people?
The best way to know is to look around at your neighbors, and think about what life stage you were in when you bought the home.
This is an important step, since it will determine what kind of preparations, repairs, and staging on the property prior to listing it on the market.
What kind of market is it right now?
What is the housing market doing right now? Is it up? Is it down? Are houses flying off the market or are they sitting for weeks without offers?
More importantly, what’s causing the market to do what it’s doing? What’s the jobs situation in your area? Are there a lot of houses for sale? Are people moving in or moving away?
The better you can gauge the market, the more educated a seller you’ll be.
What improvements or repairs should you make?
Be honest with yourself. What kind of shape is your house in? What will buyers think of it?
If your home is in excellent condition, focus on cleanliness, odors, and lighting are inexpensive ways to ensure the buyer leaves your property with the best of impressions.
For properties in fair or poor condition, figure out what you need to fix and set a budget. You usually can get the most bang for your buck when you focus on improvements to curb appeal, kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring.
When’s the right time to sell?
If you find yourself with the luxury of choosing when to sell, be sure to focus on and research the seasonal swings in value that your location experiences. Statistically speaking, the nicer the weather, the more buyers you’ll get.
For most regions, this usually means spring.
What’s the total market picture?
Selling homes is like selling anything else. Supply and demand determine the price. How does your home fit into that picture?
First, the supply. Are there a lot of homes for sale in your price range, at your size, in your location, and with the features and amenities you offer?
Second, demand. How many buyers are looking for what you have to offer?
There is always a buyer to cater. First time buyers, luxury buyers, investors, retirees and others will all have differing goals and place importance on different areas of your property, as well as in the transaction terms.
As much as you can, make sure you’re tailoring your home where there is the greatest demand and, if possible, the least supply.
Who is your agent?
Nowadays, almost all homes listed on the market will also appear on a litany of Real Estate websites and databases. In this age of endless data, it can be more difficult to find the best agent.
Do your homework and take the time to research as many agents as you can. A seasoned and trustworthy agent will know your area and more importantly, understand how to maximize opportunities to deliver the best outcome at closing.