Are you considering selling your home? If so, you’ll want to read this blog post! In it, we will describe the entire home selling process from start to finish. We’ll cover everything from getting your home ready for sale to finalizing the sale and receiving your profits. So whether you’re just starting to think about selling or you’re already in the thick of things, this post has something for you!
Hire a Good Realtor
Good real estate agents will have a wealth of experience and knowledge about the home selling process. They can help you with pricing, marketing, negotiating, paperwork, and more. Not to mention, they will also be able to handle the showings and open houses for your home. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of selling your home, consider hiring a listing agent. It’s one of the best decisions you can make!
If you don’t know anyone in the business, interview real estate agents. It sounds kind of funny, but realistically, you are hiring someone to do a very important job for you, so don’t be shy.
Get Your Home Ready for Sale
Once you’ve decided to sell your home, it’s time to get your home ready to sell. This means decluttering, deep cleaning, getting a pre-sale home inspection, making any necessary repairs or updates, and staging. Why do you need to do these things? Because, no one wants to walk into your dirty, cluttered house and try to imagine themselves taking over the space and living amongst your belongings and filth.
Staging Your Home
Staging your home can make a big difference in its curb appeal and how quickly it sells. It allows buyers to see your home in its best light and envision themselves living there. Even something as simple as decluttering and depersonalizing your space can make a big difference.
The reason this makes such a big difference is that no one wants to live in your home with your things. They don’t care bout your memories, family photos, or choice of home decor. Move those things to a storage unit. They want to visualize their own family moving in and making it their own. If it still seems like your territory, it will be a big turnoff for potential buyers. They won’t be able to see past your junk and see the potential for their family. For that reason, a clean, neutral environment is what you need to create using a professional staging company.
Set the Right Asking Price
It’s important to price your home accurately from the beginning in order to attract buyers quickly. You don’t want to overprice it and scare buyers away, but you also don’t want to underprice it and leave money on the table. Work with one of the top real estate agents in your area who can help you determine an accurate price for your home by deploying a comparative market analysis and other pricing strategies.
If you are extremely motivated to sell and you try to handle the transaction yourself, you might cave to price dropping faster than if you have a realtor guiding you on pricing strategy. This is another reason to hire the right real estate agent. They’ll deal directly with potential buyers and the buyer’s agent, and they won’t appear desperate the way you might if you are overwhelmed with trying to sell your house fast. This can save you money because if buyers can’t smell your desperation, they’ll have fewer reasons to lowball you.
If you want to know how much your home is worth, check out the home evaluation tool on TheMLSOnline.com. They offer fast and fair pricing on all Minnesota homes. They can also make you a guaranteed offer on your home within 72 hours if you need to sell right away!
Take Quality Photos
In today’s digital world, potential buyers will look at your property online before ever stepping foot inside. That is why it is critical to have high-resolution images that showcase your home in its finest light. If you’re able to, work with a professional photographer; or, at the very least, make sure you use a quality camera and take lots of photographs from various angles.
Most people can’t imagine themselves living in your house when you use poor lighting to take poor photographs. They want to see themselves in a bright, crisp, clean, neutral-looking environment. They don’t want to see dark, blurry, crooked photos. It’s a major turnoff.
Once you have your home staged and photographed, it’s time to start advertising it. This can be done in a variety of ways, from online listings to print ads. Make sure you target your advertising to the right audience and that you’re using the latest technology to reach buyers.
Your realtor will list your home on the MLS, which is the most powerful advertisement tool in your arsenal. If you were to list your home yourself, you would not have access to the MLS. That cuts a huge market of buyers from your immediate audience. This can lead to your home being on the market for an exponentially greater amount of time, which is definitely not ideal if you’re a motivated seller.
Once you start getting offers, it’s important to be selective and ensure you’re only accepting offers in your best interest. There’s no need to rush into a sale, so take your time and make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Your real estate agent will help you sift through the offers to make sure you’re not being swindled or haggled.
Other Helpful Tips
We have some additional tips for you here that will help keep you on your toes and make the most of your home-selling experience:
Don’t Discount Closing Costs
When you’re negotiating with buyers, be sure to keep closing costs in mind. These can add up quickly and eat into your profits if you’re not careful. There are title fees, loan origination fees, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, and more. Do your research so you’re not caught off-guard by these closing costs.
Ask for the Home Inspection Report
This is sort of a trade secret here. Just to give a little background: Usually, when someone puts in an offer on a home, they make it contingent on inspection, which means that before they have to commit to buying your home, they reserve the right to hire an inspector to come out to your house and assess for major structural issues.
Now, if you’re the seller, you can ask for a copy of that inspection report. Buyers won’t always share it because it takes away leverage, but hey, if they don’t think about it carefully enough, they might just end up sharing it with you, and then you’ll have an idea of what they might be basing their offer on. Therefore, you can make a well-educated counteroffer.
Request a Good Closing Date
When a house is exchanging hands from one person to another, there are bills and property taxes that also need to be transferred. Most often, these bills and taxes are prorated, unless some other arrangement is worked into the deal as leverage for one party or the other. As a seller, try to request a closing date at the beginning of a month and at a time that’s before you pay your property taxes (before May 15 or October 15 for Minnesotans) so that the prorated amounts are of potentially less cost to you.
Be Wary of Contingencies
Buyers will often try to include contingencies in their offers to protect themselves in case something goes wrong. While this is understandable, you should be aware that these contingencies can often lead to a lower sale price or the buyer backing out entirely. If you’re not comfortable with a contingency, don’t be afraid to negotiate or counteroffer.
Prepare To Pay Both Sides’ Realtor Fees
In most cases, the buyer’s and seller’s agent will expect to be paid a commission out of your profits. This is typically around 2.7 percent. You should also be prepared to pay your own listing agent fees, which are usually around 3.3 percent.
Keep Tabs on Your Competition
If you’re serious about selling your home fast, it’s important to keep an eye on the competition. This means regularly checking online listings and driving by homes that are similar to yours in order to see how they’re priced and marketed. By doing this, you can adjust your own listing accordingly.
What Can Go Wrong?
A lot… BUT, we are here to prepare you so you’ll be ready for anything! In this section, we will pose common issues that occur during the sales process, and how to handle them effectively.
The Urge To Remodel
One of the most common problems is that people often misjudge how much it will cost to fix up their homes before listing them, and then they don’t get as much out of the asking price as they should. This can lead to financial trouble down the road if you’re not careful.
The prevention technique we recommend for this is to get free remodeling estimates from a few local contractors before entering into the selling process, so you can gauge what a low to high-end remodel would cost. So many people fall into the trap of wanting to make their house shine right before they move out because they don’t want to be ashamed of how outdated they think their house is. Don’t take the leap unit you know how much it will cost, realistically.
Also, try not to make assumptions about what you need to update without first asking your realtor for their opinion, and looking at other comparable homes online. See what everyone else is doing, and ask your realtor what they think. While you might think there’s no way you can sell your home as-is with that hideous paint job in the living room, a good real estate agent might clue you in that it’s really not a big deal with current market conditions. You never know until you ask, so just do a little homework before taking a deep dive into the remodeling hole.
Is Your Market Full of Buyers Or Sellers?
Does your local market call for buyers or sellers? It’s also important to be aware of your local real estate market conditions. If you’re in an area where there are more buyers than sellers, you’ll likely have a lot of interest in your home and multiple offers. However, if you’re in an area with more sellers than buyers, it might take longer to sell your home and you might have to accept a lower offer than you were hoping for.
The way you can verify this information is by asking your realtor to check how many homes have sold in your area over the past 30-60 days, so you can get a better idea of if people are interested in buying in your neighborhood.
Finally, make sure you understand all of the paperwork involved in selling a home. This includes the sales contract, disclosures, closing documents, title and escrow documents, and other documents that must be signed by both the buyer and seller. These documents can be complex, so it’s important to have a real estate agent who can help you navigate them. Title and escrow documents usually aren’t that bad, but a purchase agreement can be especially tricky.
This one is a little tricky if you are simply having trouble understanding the document. Legally, it’s your realtor’s obligation to make sure you understand the documentation, so ask them to go through the tough parts with you carefully and slowly. If you want additional assistance, you can also ask a real estate attorney to go through them with you because they’re supposed to be on your side as well. Don’t let an intimidating contract scare you away from listing your home, but just take your time reading, and try your best to understand what’s in it.
You Got This!
It doesn’t have to be a drawn-out, lengthy process to sell your house. If you take the appropriate measures, you can sell your property swiftly and for a high sales price. Hire a professional real estate agent, stage your home, and price it correctly to entice purchasers. Accept only offers that are in your best interests by utilizing the most up-to-date technology to advertise your property. You have the potential to sell your home quickly and get top dollar if you follow these suggestions.
Ever heard the saying, “Do it right the first time”? The process we discussed above is the best approach to sell your property quickly for top dollar. It’s not a fad or a shortcut. It’s a tried-and-true technique that works best for sellers who are motivated.