In the ideal world, selling your house would only take a bright smile and a firm handshake. But the world we live in isn’t perfect, and it takes careful planning, a thorough understanding of the process, and a lot of patience doing the paperwork to sell your house successfully.
Whether you plan to sell your house today or in the future, it is worth making sure you go prepared. Here are six fundamental business- and finance-related tips that will make your home-selling journey go much smoother.
Step 1: Have A Thorough Understanding of Your Costs And Responsibilities
Selling your house comes with a whole set of responsibilities and costs attached. One of the first decisions you will have to make when getting ready to sell your home is whether you want to hire a real estate agent or walk the selling path on your own.
If you decide to sell your house all by yourself, you should know that you will have many responsibilities to handle, including taking prospective buyers on house tours, completing all the paperwork, and more. Hence, it is always ideal to hire a real estate agent if you want to avoid hard work and legal issues.
They can help save a lot of time and energy by guiding you throughout the selling phase—from helping you find the right platform to list your house to preparing for the closing.
Generally, the costs associated with selling your home include the following:
• Listing the property for sale on property listing sites or MLS (This provides your property with maximum exposure in the market)
• Hiring and paying commission to the real estate agent
• Paying the agreed-upon closing costs, if any
• Making any repairs as requested by the buyer
Step 2: Setting the Right Price
Pricing your home for sale right can be considered part science, part marketing, and part instinct. Ideally, you should aim for the maximum price and the best terms during the time when your house is on the market.
Several factors contribute to finding the right price, including the market conditions, the interest rate, and more. But as a rule of thumb, the sale prices should be based on the following:
• The number of properties similar to your house in the same area that have been sold recently (this is called comparables)
• The fair market value of the home that is based on an appraisal
• The supply and demand of properties in your area, based on the local economy
• Your requirements—for instance, if you want to sell your house quickly, you might have to offer a lower price
Setting a price for your house that aligns with the market value is essential to selling your home within a reasonable time frame. Nevertheless, remember that it is always ideal to use your agent’s help and knowledge of your local area to find the right price for your house rather than reaching a decision on your own based on the valuations available online.
Step 3: Make Your Home Look Inviting
If your house is filled with personal mementos and large pieces of furniture, it might make it difficult for potential buyers to picture their life there. Consider moving pieces like family photos and massive furniture to the garage to help your house sell quicker.
Here are a few more simple and inexpensive ways to make your house look as inviting as possible to potential buyers.
• Give your house quick spruce up – When you are getting ready to give prospective buyers a house tour, you should ensure that a small mechanical or cosmetic flaw doesn’t become a huge issue. It could be as easy as fixing a squeaky front door or replacing the toilet paper holder.
• De-clutter – A lived-in look can be more of a distraction than a selling point for your house. Consider removing any clutter in your home by clearing off tables and cleaning out closets. This will help showcase the space your house offers.
• Safeguard your private information – If you have been living in the house you are planning to sell, the chances are that there is a lot of personal information lying around. As potential buyers will be parading your home, make sure you lock all the valuable items and personal information—mail, photos, private documents, etc. away.
Step 4: Negotiate Offers with Prospective Buyers
Being the seller, you have the right to accept or deny an offer or make a counteroffer indicating the changes that need to be made to make it acceptable. The buyer can then accept or refuse your counteroffer or make another counteroffer with respect to the terms you put forward.
Regardless of the situation, here are a few essential tips you should keep in mind when negotiating with potential buyers.
• The offer isn’t binding until both the parties agree to the terms and sign the ‘offer to purchase’ contract
• The ‘offer to purchase’ contract should contain the purchase price, buyer down payment, initial deposit, expiration date, financing terms, contingencies, warranties, and fees
• Typically, your sales contract must include a clause that allows the buyer to conduct a walk-through inspection of your house within 24 hours before the closing
Step 5: Getting Ready for The Closing
The closing includes many procedures that need to happen before you can close the sale of your house. The steps are as listed below.
• Home Inspection – An inspector should do a complete examination of the physical structure and systems of your house
• Title Search – It is conducted to verify that your house really belongs to you and there are no claims to the property
• Property Survey – A technical drawing of the property and the involved structures should be prepared
• Septic Certification and Well Testing – This only required by some states and is conducted to make sure your property has a septic tank or well
• Final Walk-Through – The buyer is allowed to inspect your house within 24 hours before the closing.
Step 6: Lastly, Attend the Closing
With the closing, you have reached the final step of your house selling process. During the closing, you will deliver the deed to the buyer, transfer the title, exchange the financing documents and title insurance policies, and pay the agreed-upon costs to third-party service providers—agent commission, loan fees, title insurance, recording filling fees, and transaction taxes.
Often, a few final documents like the deed and mortgage or deed of trust are signed at closing by the appropriate parties and then delivered to the county recorder.
Have Questions? Ask Pete Maver!
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Pete Maver a call today at 248-705-2753 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.