Even after you’ve arrived at the important decision to sell your property, you still have a lot of preparation before you officially put your home on the market. Here are five important things to do before you let buyers know your home is available.
1. Hire a great realtor—they will make a difference in the success of your sale.
The benefits you gain by having a dedicated real estate expert and advocate to guide you through the process far outweigh the seeming advantage of putting your property on the market as For Sale By Owner (FSBO). Realtors provide you with solid advice, understanding of current housing trends, a network built around finding buyers, and much more. Hiring a realtor gives you a greater chance of finding the deal you deserve for your property in the time frame you want.
2. Have all of your information, paperwork, and documents ready before you list.
Potential buyers–as well as their brokers and attorneys–will have many questions about the property if they’re interested in buying it. Gather every document that pertains to the condition and status of the property well before you announce the listing, so you and your broker will be able to answer their questions promptly and thoroughly. Delayed answers and missing information can cost you a motivated buyer!
3. Take the time and effort to make your home look its best for prospective buyers.
It’s not possible to overstate the importance of first impressions. When buyers walk through your house for the first time, they want to know that the current owners have kept it clean and well-maintained, and they need to see the possibilities the home offers them if they should choose to move in. Think about what you loved most about the home when you first bought it and make sure you spotlight those features. Spend a little money on having the home professionally staged. The likelihood that you’ll command higher offers from buyers will make the investment worthwhile.
4. Decide on the best moment for your home to enter the market.
Housing markets run in cycles–sometimes one market heats up while another is cooling down, and vice versa. Your broker will help you review the trends for your area and type of home, as well as examine factors like current mortgage rates and lending practices. This will help you determine whether your property will be in higher demand if you list as soon as possible or if it’s worth it to wait for awhile.
5. Determine the right listing price to attract the buyers you want.
The price you and your broker decide upon when you first list your property will have an effect on many aspects of your sales experience, including how long your home remains on market and how many offers you receive. Depending on the market conditions, you and your broker will look to balance the initial listing price between your top number and the number that will bring buyers to take a closer look at your property. Other considerations–such as your own motivation to sell quickly–will also come into play.