So its time to sell your house? This can be a very stressful time for many homeowners. Finding an agent, making all the necessary repairs, and the constant showings can be a very tedious process.
It’s no wonder why according to a Daily Mail poll shows that selling a home is more stressful than bankruptcy, divorce or even the death of a loved one. The good news is that by reading this article you can be prepared and avoid many of the stresses and setbacks that most homeowners experience.
Making Repairs Before Selling.
Often times when you are living in your home it’s easy to let a lot of wear and tear go unrepaired but when it comes to selling your home these things tend to come to the surface.
On the other hand, you can sometimes get so caught up in making repairs and updating your home that you spend more time and money than you will ever get back when you sell the house. Taking care of the most important things to repair before selling a house will put more money in your pocket!
Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to update the look of your house before selling. This is a job that you can definitely tackle without the help of a professional painter. Just watch a few videos pick your favorite color and get started.
When picking your colors, it’s better to pick light and neutral colors because they make the rooms feel a little bigger and gives the house a cleaner look. These colors will also appeal to the majority of home buyers and will help you sell your house faster.
You won’t necessarily need to paint every room in the house. Just walk through your home and pick out the rooms with darker colors or chipped and faded paint.
Buyers in this market love big open kitchens with all new appliances so if your kitchen has these amenities your home will likely sell that much quicker. If your home doesn’t have these upgrades it doesn’t necessarily mean you need a full remodel.
There are plenty of little things that you can do to upgrade the look of your kitchen. Things like paint on the walls and cabinet is a great start. Next look to the countertops if they scream 70’s you might want to look into replacing them. Buyers are going to expect all of the appliances to function properly so if your appliances are broken or in terrible shape replace them.
This is one of the most important steps because it’s the first thing the buyer sees when they pull up to your home. You will never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
So make sure your grass is mowed and your bushes and trees are trimmed. If you have siding or a fence that is in need of repair you will need to take care of that. You may need to pressure wash the brick\siding. If you think it still needs more a fresh coat of exterior paint will work wonders for the look of your house.
A clean bathroom (one where everything works as it should) is a necessity. If you have a problem with a running toilet or a leaky faucet, make repairs as necessary (If you need help with these repairs you can call in some help from a pro).
Flooring is another essential repair that makes a huge difference on the sale price when done right. It can also be very expensive so it’s important to make sure you are spending your budget wisely.
Some of the things you can do to stretch your budget the furthest are refinishing existing hardwood floors rather than replacing them. Same with carpet instead of replacing it consult with a professional carpet cleaning service.
When you do decide to go ahead and replace flooring make sure you choose a flooring that will appeal to the buyer.
Go through your house and make sure everything is in good working order. Make sure the appliances work, all the doors open correctly, electrical outlet work, etc. When selling your house, a home inspection is typically done within the first couple of weeks after an offer has been submitted by the buyer and accepted by the seller so make sure your prepared.
Hiring An Agent To Sell Your Home.
Now it’s time to choose your real estate agent. This is a very important step that should not be taken lightly. It is said that 10% of the agents sell 90% of the houses making it very easy to hire an agent that can’t sell your house. But with a few simple tips and tricks, you can avoid the headache of hiring the wrong agent.
Don’t choose an agent because of their suggested list price.
The real estate industry is a very competitive industry. Agents are always competing for business and will often do just about anything to get your business.
One of the more effective strategies that agents use is telling you that they can get you more for your house than other agents. By suggesting a higher listing price they get their clients to sign the listing agreement that gives them an exclusive right to sell the house. Once they can’t get the price that they told you, they will suggest a reduction.
When potential buyers see that the price has been reduced they tend to be cautious of your house.
Don’t go with an agent because they are the cheapest.
In your search for a real estate agent, it may seem appealing to go with the agent with the lowest commission. However, it may end up costing you. There is no substitute for experience in real estate and agents that have that experience can often cost a bit more than agents that don’t.
It is also important to remember that an agent’s commission is negotiable and in certain circumstances, an agent may be willing to take less commission. If you plan to use the same agent to help you purchase your next property, they may agree to give you a break on the commission.
Finding the right agent.
Now that we’ve gone over what to avoid let’s go over some tips for finding the right agent.
When finding an agent you need to find someone that you can trust and that is knowledgeable about the local real estate market. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or look up their reviews.
It’s also a good idea to ask the agent for a personal guarantee. If an agent is unwilling to guarantee performance they are probably unsure about something that they told you. Whether it be the price, timeline or other details of the sale.
Once you have chosen the agent you want to list your property, they will have you sign a listing agreement giving them the exclusive right to sell your property. They may also have some suggestions for you about repair that you should make to get the most money for your property.
Finding The Value Of Your Home.
Now that you’ve made repairs and hired an agent you’re almost ready to list your property. All that’s left is finding a good list price.
When it comes time to list your home there will be plenty of people telling you what they think your home is worth. Buyers will naturally tell you your home is worth less and real estate agents who want you to list the property will tell you they can get you more. With all these opposing numbers being thrown around it’s important to find the true value of your property.
Tips for finding the value of your home
There are tons of ways to find the true value of your home and this is perhaps the most important part of selling your house. So it’s important that you take no shortcuts during this process. Here are some tips and tricks to finding the true value of your home.
- Do some looking online you will find online comparative valuation tools (such as Zillow) that use the info they have on your home to make a rough estimate. These estimates are not very accurate but can be helpful when trying to determine the value.
- Check for comparable properties. This is where you essentially find other properties like yours in your area that have recently sold and use the sales prices from these properties to make an estimation of what your property is worth. You may need to make adjustments for differences in the properties. For example, if the comparable has an extra bathroom that your home does not you will need to account for that.
- Get a copy of the property tax assessment. This is the value that the tax assessors put on the property and it is the value that your property is then taxed on. These are not the most accurate valuation but it can be a helpful tool.
- Get an appraisal done. This is one of the more accurate ways to estimate the value of your home. It will cost you between about $200 and $600 dollars depending on the size of your home. More expensive homes may also cost more. The appraiser will spend some time inspecting your property and afterward you will receive a full report of their findings.
Many factors contribute to the market value of your home that is why it’s important to do all the research that you can. It’s also important that you don’t use only one source when finding the value of your home, a combination of all of these methods will give you a good idea of what your home is worth.
Listing Your House And Having Showings.
After you have decided on a listing price for your house and given the final go-ahead to your agent they will list your house on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). They will also provide you with a sign for the front of your house.
Once your home is listed for sale, your agent may also encourage you to hold an open house. An open house is an opportunity to walk through a house that’s for sale without the need to bring along a realtor. It is a common practice for real estate agents to hold open houses but is it actually an effective way to sell a house? Here are some things to consider before having an open house.
1. Who does an open house really benefit?
The primary reason real estate agents have open houses has less to do with actually selling your home than it has to do with connecting with new potential clients. Because most of the people going to open houses are not working with an agent it is a perfect opportunity for a real estate agent to try to connect with someone who may have a home to sell or need buyer representation.
2. Do open houses actually sell houses?
According to the National Association of Realtors, just 4% of buyers visited open houses. Many of the buyers who attend open houses aren’t working with an agent so most of the time these buyers won’t be very far along in the buying process. Many times they aren’t pre-approved by the lender so unless they are a cash buyer they aren’t prepared to purchase a property.
3. Who really comes to open houses?
Open houses are open invitation this means anyone can come into your home. It could be a nosy neighbor or someone completely unqualified to pay your asking price. They don’t even have to be in the market for a home.
4. How often do open houses really produce buyers?
The 2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that 9 percent of buyers found the home they purchased from a yard sign or open house, down from 15 percent in 2001. The fact is this may have been effective in the past but modern homebuyers don’t need to go to open houses making them useless for selling your house.
5. The internet kills open houses.
According to the 2014 National Association of Realtors, 90 percent of buyers start their search online. Thanks to the Internet, the days of driving around from one open house to the next are over. Buyers do most of their research online, narrowing down their options before they even contact a real estate agent.
Regardless of whether you decide to have open houses or not your agent will set up real showings for qualified buyers that expressed interest in your home.
You may need to have multiple showings before receiving your first offer, but if your house is listed at the right price you will eventually receive an offer.
Negotiating The Contract.
Once your agent presents you with an offer from the buyer you have a few options. You can accept, decline, or counter the offer. Remember the offer will not just address the price there are other terms and conditions that will be written into the offer.
Accepting an offer.
If the price and terms are favorable to you you can choose to accept the offer. If you accept the offer your agent will have you sign it and it will become a contract. It is important to note that you may not change anything about the offer before signing it. If you wish to change any of the terms you will need to write a counteroffer.
Declining an offer.
If you do not agree with all the terms of the contract and you don’t feel like you will be able to reach an agreement, you can choose to decline the offer. If you do decline the offer your agent will let the buyer know and they can choose to write a new offer with more favorable terms for you. It is also important to note that these offers are valid for 3 days unless otherwise specified.
You have one final option if the offer is not agreeable to you and that is to counteroffer. Your agent will assist you in filling out a new offer to the buyer with the terms that you need to sell the house. This is one of the benefits of hiring an experienced agent. They will always be there to assist you through the entire selling process.
After the new offer has been sent to the buyer they have the same 3 options to accept, decline, or counter the offer. You may have some back and forth with the buyer before a final offer is accepted. Once the offer is signed by both parties it becomes a contract.
Once you have a signed contract your agent will open escrow and the title company will begin the title search to ensure there are no outstanding loans or other ownership discrepancies. There are also some costs associated with closing known as closing costs.
Closing costs refer to different kinds of fees that are either paid by the buyer or the seller or borne by both for the successful completion of the real estate transaction. These closing costs are nearly 3-7% of the total value of the deal. Out of these costs, more than half is generally paid by the seller. Here is a list of closing costs that you must be prepared for when selling your house in DFW.
Title of the house is insured at the time of closing to protect the interests of the buyer against any claims made by third parties in future. As a seller, you are expected to make payment for this kind of insurance. The cost of this insurance varies from one location to another and the charges of the insurance company that you use for insurance.
Loan prepayment charge
If you are still paying the mortgage of your house and pay the outstanding amount, the lender usually charges a prepayment fee that is generally a percentage of the balance amount. As a seller, you have to pay this penalty so that the deal can be closed.
Real estate transaction recording fee
This is a small fee that is charged form the seller by the authorities for recording the details of the transaction. It is the process of getting the transaction recorded in the documents of the local or state government.
A transfer of HOA fee
If your property comes under a homeowners’ association, you must pay the unpaid HOA amount as well as transfer fee so that your buyer becomes a member of the HOA after the close of the deal.
Fee of the attorney
Attorneys are optional but are recommended to help you through the transaction as well as making sure no mistakes are made by any real estate agents or title company. Regardless of who is paying closing costs, you are required to pay for your own attorney.
Closing costs vary depending upon the location as well as the value of transactions, it is important to learn about them before entering a deal with your buyer because they are negotiable.
A closing date will have been set on the contract. On that day there will be a final walkthrough of your house. You will also need to go to the title company to sign paperwork. After the paperwork is signed the title company will wire the funds and just like that your house is sold. It’s important to stay flexible during this process because there may be delays.
Selling your house can be a long process but following these tips and tricks, you can make sure there are minimal setbacks and delays. If this process seems overwhelming just take it one step at a time and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your agent is there to guide you through the entire process.
If you don’t feel comfortable with this process don’t worry there is still another option. You can sell your house to Savvi Buys Houses. Savvi Buys Houses will pay cash for your house and skip this long and tedious process. Not only will you be able to close faster, but there is also no real estate agent fees because you won’t need to hire one. Savvi Buys Houses will also pay all of the closing cost so the price that you are told is exactly what you will receive at closing. Call now to schedule your free consultation.