Thursday, October 31, 2019 / by Heather Schelling
So you’ve decided to sell your house…is it ready? Are you ready?
Before you think about how much your home is worth or how much you’ll pocket after the sale, you should be looking at the financial picture first. If you have a loan and don’t know the current balance, take a look at your last statement. It costs money to sell your home and the last thing you want is to have to bring money to the closing table. Yes…that does happen!
Next, look at any possible liens against the property. Besides the current mortgage, do you have any assessments? Are you current on your property taxes? How about your personal taxes? If you owe money to the IRS, they have first lien position. Any court settlements can also be attached to the property. Knowing how much it will cost to sell will help you make the best decision.
Do you have a marketable title? Meaning, do you have the sole authority to sell the property? If there is another person or entity on the deed, you need to make sure all parties are available to sign those important documents. If it’s an estate sale, you’ll need to work closely with an attorney to establish the legal authority to sell.
Interview up to three Realtors. We can all list your home in the MLS which gets automatically fed to all the public sites but what sets that agent apart from the rest? Are they all about themselves (number of sales, awards, designations, likes on Facebook) or are they most concerned with you and your property? Do they hire a professional photographer? Will they host an open house? How do they handle showings? Knowing what is most important to you and finding the agent that is the most responsive to your needs is key to a smooth home-selling process.
Deep clean and declutter - don’t forget the ceilings and baseboards and those corners that your rarely see. Buyers will judge the rest of your home on the overall cleanliness and clutter. You’re moving so now is the perfect time to start packing. Don’t wait!
Finish any projects left undone. If you can’t do them yourself, consider hiring a professional or asking a friend or family member to help.
Spiffy up the outside too! Rake those leaves, mow, weed, and anything else that needs attention. If you’ve ‘been meaning to’ do something, now is the time! It will pay off in the end.
Don’t worry too much about upgrades. It’s possible that while it may help your home be more desirable, it probably won’t make you any extra money. I recommend replacing light bulbs so that your home is bright and cherry. Painting is always a good idea – especially the front door – but don’t do it yourself unless you are a perfectionist! Buyers are turned off by overpaint and general sloppiness.
Finally, focus on why you’re selling. Keeping that reason at the forefront of your mind will help motivate you to press hard to the finish line. Before you know it, your home will be sold, and you’ll be on your way to your next adventure!