What to Know Before Selling Your House

By | 06/17/2015

Though the housing market has been in recovery, it’s still a tough time to try to sell a house. If you are considering putting your house on the market or you are in the midst of it, it pays to know a few things about what it takes to successfully sell and move out of your house. To really make your house competitive on the market, make sure you are doing all of the following things.

A Realistic Picture

When you bought your house, you may have done so under the pretense that its value would increase and that you would end up making money on the sale of your house. However, as many people experienced during the housing bubble, you can’t rely on early predictions as a definite measure of the future value of your house. You may not end up getting as much for your house as you might have at one point hoped, but that doesn’t mean you should be prepared to take a low offer. Before putting your house on the market, talk with at least three real estate agents about the value of your house to make sure you are getting a fair and realistic evaluation.

Finding the Right Realtor

In order to sell your house, you will of course need someone who is going to do a good job representing and selling your house. Consider using an accredited and professional real estate agency. Here are a few guidelines on making sure you pick the right realtor:

  • Talk to several before you settle. Get a good feel for their histories and qualifications. You will probably want to choose a realtor who gives you a middle-ground number on your home, not too high or low.
  • Read up on their qualifications. Recognize that, just like doctors, realtors have specialties. For example, some are accredited to work with seniors in particular. You should also look into their history of sales and see how long they’ve been doing business. See what other listings they currently have on the market and see if those are similar to your own. Pay attention to any awards they have received from their company for most sales or best service.
  • Talk to other sellers currently working with that realtor to see if they recommend them or can give any other insight.
  • Do not work with a friend or relative. You want an objective experience when trying to get an expectation on the value of your home. You should also avoid anyone who has not been in business long, is a part-time realtor, or who has never sold homes in your area.

Making Your House Attractive

Once you’ve started to work with a realtor on selling your home, it’s time to start thinking about making your house attractive. You may want to hire a professional to take photos and video or ask the realtor to help you. Make sure your home is clean and organized. If you are anticipating moving soon, regardless of the sale of your home, you may want to start moving clutter out of your house. This will make it easier for prospective buyers to start to imagine your space as their future home.

Make sure you also attend to any inspections and repairs right away. Have the results of these inspections available on hand should prospective buyers want to see them, and keep a record of recent repairs performed.

Your realtor will probably help you organize an open house, but you can help expedite the process by keeping your home clean and organized and making your areas especially presentable. Set up a table by the front door with a sign-in book for prospective buyers and a book of photos or a video. Make their experience as pleasant and welcoming as possible.

And don’t forget to market your home! Place a sign on your lawn, separate from the one your realtor may put up, to advertise that your home is for sale. And while your realtor will likely take care of most of the online and print marketing, it does not hurt to advertise among friends and coworkers who may know people looking to move.

Preparing to Move

It’s the last step of the house selling process! Actually completing the move! While the process of moving could easily take up its own article, here are a few brief things to keep in mind about moving. Make sure you work out a schedule in advance with the realtor and buyer to make sure you aren’t without a place to stay for a period of time. Make sure to settle quickly and efficiently to avoid losing a sale. But don’t forget to take your time to do what you need to do in your home! Take photos or videos to help you remember your home. Leave a little house warming present for your buyers. Hire professional cleaners to clean up when you’re done moving out. Make sure you have all your paperwork organized for tax season. And finally, enjoy your new home!

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