While selling your home can be emotional and exhausting, following some simple guidelines can make the process smoother and more enjoyable.
In this section we’ll help you address the many questions you’ll encounter when selling a home:
* How can I prepare to sell my home?
* Should I work with a REALTOR®?
* What are buyers looking for?
* How much should I sell my home for?
* How can I let people know about my home?
If you are planning on buying a new home or selling your existing home in the near future:
Place your home on the market as far in advance as possible.
If you wait to place your home on the market until after you have found a new one, you may end up paying two mortgages until you find a buyer for your home.
Remember, closing and moving dates need to be coordinated.
More than likely, the buyer of your property is selling their current home as well. Make sure all parties involved commit to a specific time period for the closing dates. Put your closing date agreement in writing and negotiate monetary penalties for failure to comply.
Start preparing your current residence for the market.
Clean out attics and basements of any unwanted or unused items. Your house will show better and you’ll save time when you begin to pack for your big move. See Preparing to Sell Your Home for more information.
Consider Hiring a Real Estate Agent.
While selling your home on your own may sound tempting, there are many benefits to hiring a seller’s agent. Make sure to read through the Choosing an Agent page to learn the critical role an agent plays in the selling process.
Setting a Price for Your Home
Determining an asking price for your home is the next big step. Finding the balance between getting the best price and selling it in a reasonable amount of time can be a challenge. Overpricing it may cause your home to remain on the market for an extended period of time.
An agent can guide you in setting an appropriate price. Your Adcock & Associates agent, or a licensed appraiser, can complete a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on your home. A CMA compares your home with similar properties that have sold within a specified period of time. Your agent can also compare your home to others on the market, which will help you assess the competition and select an asking price that will enable the home to sell in a reasonable amount of time.
Other factors to consider when setting a price for your home
* Economic conditions of your community
* The supply and demand ratio in your local housing market
* The location of your property (school districts and subdivisions)
* Your home’s special features (garage, pool, fireplace, in-law or guest quarters)
* The age and condition of your home
* Seasonal influences (the housing market may be stronger during certain times of the year).
Preparing Your Home to Sell
Remember, you have only one chance to make a first impression to potential buyers. Even minor changes to your home can make a big impact and enhance its marketability. Below is a list of things you can do to increase the value of your home:
Make a List of Special Features
Write down the fantastic and unique features of your property. What are some of the characteristics you truly love? What improvements have you made to your property recently? Be as descriptive as possible. Gather information such as the age of the roof, water heater, air conditioner, and furnace. These are important details to a prospective buyer. Your agent will use this information to design flyers and other marketing materials about your home to distribute to potential buyers.
Consider Curb Appeal
Many homes are sold before the buyers even get out of their car. Stand across the street from your house and review the curb appeal.
* Keep the lawn mowed and raked, shrubs trimmed, and the sidewalk swept.
* Plant shrubs or install fencing to block unpleasant views.
* Clean the exterior of your home. Wash off dirt and mold. Clear away cobwebs.
* Clean oil stains from the driveway and garage.
* Repair and/or paint exterior siding, trim, gutters, shutters, glazing, and window frames.
* Repair or replace the street numbers on the house.
* Make sure all exterior lighting is working.
Garages, Carports, and Sheds
* Replace burned out lights.
* Clear away cobwebs.
* Keep areas clean and uncluttered. Organize and put away tools.
* Lubricate, adjust, or repair garage door.
Prior to placing your home on the market spend some time removing clutter. You want the prospective buyer to remember the architectural features of the house and not the furnishings you have in it. Potential buyers also need to be able to envision themselves and their own things in your home. For this reason, consider putting away family photos and other personal items.
* Hire professionals to do a deep cleaning. Cleanliness is a sign to buyers that the home has been well cared for.
* Clear out, clean and organize all storage areas, closets and cabinets.
* Clean and vacuum carpets. Replace worn carpet and use area rugs as needed.
* Apply a fresh coat of paint.
* Wash curtains and draperies.
* Clean ceiling fans and light fixtures. Check for cobwebs in all corners.
* Lubricate window slides. Make sure doors and windows close smoothly.
* Remove any items you do not want included in the sale. Examples include window coverings, light fixtures, or other items you intend to take with you.
Your agent may advise you on other changes that will make your home more appealing to buyers.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
Ensure kitchens and bathrooms are spotless. These two rooms alone can sell a home.
* Clean all appliances inside and out.
* Replace all light bulbs (appliances included).
* Clean floors and light fixtures.
* Deodorize the disposal, dishwasher, and refrigerator.
* Neutralize odors and remove all mold and mildew.
* Repair leaky faucets. Make sure toilets flush properly.
* Test all electrical outlets.
* Unclutter counters and cabinets.
* Clean shower door or replace curtain.
* Remove soap residue and lime deposits from sink, shower, and bathtub.
* Put out fresh towels.
Create a Pleasant Atmosphere
For showings and open houses, create an inviting atmosphere for visitors. Potential buyers should have a pleasant experience which encourages them to remember your home’s positive attributes.
* Turn on all lights. Open drapes to allow natural light, as well.
* Light candles and put out fresh flowers.
* Play quiet background music.
* Turn on the air conditioner or heater so that your home is at a pleasant temperature.
* Be absent during showings and keep pets outside or take them with you when you leave.
Marketing Your Home
Once you and your Adcock & Associates agent have decided to sell your home and have determined a fair market price, it is time to market your home to potential buyers. The goal is to increase the exposure of your home to the buyers’ market.
Your agent will coordinate and incur the costs of the majority of your home’s marketing needs, using the most up-to-date and effective advertising methods. In addition, they have access to a network of other real estate offices and agents within their Multiple Listing Service. Networking is key when trying to sell a home!
Below are some of the ways your Adcock & Associates agent will market your home.
Real Estate Publications
There are many magazines and publications that feature homes currently on the market. Your agent will use their market knowledge and advertise your home in publications that will be most effective in reaching the appropriate target audience.
Your agent will place a For Sale sign on your front lawn for additional exposure. It will include contact information (phone, website, etc.), so interested buyers are able to schedule a showing. If you live off of a main thoroughfare, your agent may use directional signs to point interested parties towards the location of your property.
Real Estate Flyers
Your agent will work with you to design professional looking flyers to distribute throughout the community. Color photos highlighting unique features and details of your property will be included to intrigue potential buyers. Flyers placed in an information box on your front lawn will allow passers-by to learn more about your home.
Tell friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers you are placing your home on the market. They may know someone who is currently looking to buy. Also, your Adcock & Associates agent has a network of real estate offices and agents who are members of their Multiple Listing Service. Your agent can also send out announcements to their customers to let them know you have listed your home. Even if their customers aren’t interested, they may know someone else who is.
Your agent may suggest you host an open house at your home. Make sure your home is in immaculate condition as you will have many people wandering your house looking through closets and cabinets.
The Internet and Social Media
The Internet is a great way to market your home. Zillo, Trulia, Realtor.com, and personal agent websites are just a few of the internet options your Adcock & Associates agent may use in their marketing efforts. In addition, your property will be included in a database where potential buyers can search for listings meeting their specific home criteria. Last, but not least, your agent will use social media and the latest technology to showcase your home to potential buyers.
A virtual tour is video or moving photographs of your property. Your agent can create a virtual tour of your home to include on their website. Virtual tours are a great way to show potential buyers the special features of your house. The moving photography enables buyers to get a feel for the atmosphere of your home so they can decide if it matches their needs.