When potential homebuyers visit your neighborhood, or Realtors are highlighting homes for their clients, what do they look for? In this market, you can get a few chances to make a good impression, but to make sure your home has The Wow Factor: Seven Quick Curb Appeal Tips that make people say “Woah.” Take a walk around the property right away—front to back. The front especially. Pretend you’re a buyer prospecting. Do you like what’s in front of you?
As you plan your exterior makeover, keep in mind your neighborhood, competing homes that are on the market, and your budget. Most of these How To Maximize Your Selling Price With Low-Cost Cosmetics and DIY. And even if you have to spend a few dollars for professional help, the investment will pay off by attracting more buyers more quickly.
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Especially if you’ve never done it, selling your home is a challenging and complicated process; it is very different from buying! So much goes into even just the decision to sell your house. With this checklist, though, you can be sure that you handle everything properly, and get the most money and least number of headaches from being a home seller.
- Decide If Selling Is Right for You
There are a lot of good reasons to sell your home. It’s possible that your family is growing and you need more space. Your lifestyle might be changing in another way, or maybe you’re making more money and want something bigger and better. It could also be time to relocate.
Whatever the reason, here are a few things to think about before moving ahead with listing:
– The market: is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? For how much money can you reasonably expect to sell your home? In Denver Colorado’s booming economy, we feel this is an easy answer.
– What you owe: can you sell the house for enough money to pay off the mortgage? Will you end up losing some of your initial investment, or have enough left over to move?
– What can you reasonably expect from the market over the next few years? Might it be better to wait?
Can you remodel instead?
– One thing that you absolutely must do is consider your expenses associated with selling. The list price will not be what you leave the table with.
- Hire an Agent You Trust and Make a Plan
If it’s the right time to sell your house, hiring a real estate agent at this stage of the game might seem a bit premature. After all, you’re still several steps away from actually listing and showing your home, but their expertise can help you through all the rest of the way.
Ask friends and family for recommendations for a realtor. Look for a real estate agent with experience in your neighborhood and with houses of similar size and type as yours. Feel free to ask questions and even formally interview potential agents. Remember that this person will represent you in negotiations and throughout the whole process, so you need someone you trust.
Once you hire a real estate agent, they’ll come and take a look at your home. They’ll point out easy and not-so-easy things that you can do to boost your home’s value and marketability. They’ll pull information about recent sales in your general area to get a better sense of the current market. Together, you’ll make a plan for preparing, listing, and selling your home. It is also a good idea to have your home appraised and inspected at this point to avoid any surprises down the line.
- Boost Your Curb Appeal and Make Essential Repairs
Remember that plan your agent helped you make? It comes with a to-do list. The ideal situation for a home seller is to get as many offers as possible as close together as you can. There are probably many little things that you can do to entice homebuyers through the door, dramatically increasing the likelihood that you’ll get your full asking price or even more.
Most of the time, these repairs are pretty basic: take care of the lawn, paint walls neutral colors, work on removing old stains from carpets, and more. But sometimes repairs can be more complicated, depending on the age of your home. It might need a new roof, windows, or more drastic updates before you sell your house. Consider whether making these kinds of changes could result in a higher profit margin after the sale.
- Price and List Your Home
It’s just about ready, so now it’s time to finalize the price and formally list your home. The price should be based on the elements that you and your realtor covered, including the current market, your hopeful timeline, and other factors. Your agent will also handle most of the necessary paperwork associated with getting the house formally listed for sale. You will have quite a few documents to sign, but you can usually do so digitally.
- Get it Ready to Show (and Keep it That Way)
You’ve prepared the house to be listed, now it’s time to get it ready for its close-up. Put away personal items such as photos, or very unique design elements. Lock up or hide valuables, especially jewelry and small electronics. Minimize decorations; the house needs to be furnished, but it should still look like a blank slate so potential buyers can imagine themselves living in the space.
Keep the house tidy and clean during the entire time it’s listed for sale and being shown. Eliminate clutter, keep things picked up, and vacuum and do other basic chores even more regularly. Very often, packing and preparing to move is part of this process.
Finally, if you’re struggling to get offers or want to be more aggressive, consider holding an open house. Your realtor can walk you through all that entails.
Note: If you have the resources to purchase in transition, stage your home before you move. We have professional photographers to help create these fancy easels. (Pictured) This is a Highlands Ranch home.
- Negotiate an Offer or Offers
In a perfect world, you’ll have multiple offers within days of listing. But depending on the market, it’s more likely that you’ll have one or two hopeful buyers and will go back and forth negotiating price, repairs, and other elements of the sale.
Once you reach an agreement, the sale moves into escrow. Part of your agreement is not to allow any more potential buyers to tour the home or make an offer, since you’ve agreed on terms and they have put up earnest money (usually 1% to 3% of the sale price). If the deal falls through because of you, they get that money back, but if they back out for any reason, you keep it.
- Navigate Escrow
You’re far less likely to encounter any surprises at this stage if you had an appraisal and inspection conducted on your own before listing. If not, this can be a very anxiety-producing time, since the buyers’ inspector might find issues that the buyers request or require you to repair. Responsibility for these repairs is part of the final phase of negotiations.
An escrow company will order a title search. They’ll also request a number of documents from you as they prepare for closing when ownership of the property will formally transfer from you to the seller. As the closing date approaches, you’ll be updated periodically with financial information, particularly how much money with which you stand to walk away.
At this point, you should also be well into the process of moving out of your home, since the closing date is imminent. If you need to stay in your home longer, you can negotiate a “rent back” clause in the contracts.
- Close the Sale and Move
You will need to be available and present on the day of the closing to sign certain documents and present identification. Alternatively, some people appoint a lawyer or other representative to act as their power of attorney for the day. This is especially important to do if you’ve already moved and left the area.
Hopefully, you’re onto something better, whether it’s a new city, a bigger house to accommodate a growing family or a smaller space for your well-earned retirement years.
Interested in seeing what’s for sale in the Littleton area today?
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