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You’ve mastered the process of home buying, but are you ready to be a seller when it’s time to move out? Believe it or not, selling your home can be just as much work as buying. Here is a handy checklist to get your house ready to sell.
- Talk to a Realtor or agent. Unless you are well-versed in your local real estate market, working with a Relator or real estate agent can help immensely to price your home, advertise, and connect with potential buyers. A real estate professional has extensive knowledge of what other homes in your city and neighborhood are selling for and how long to expect it to be on the market. This first-hand knowledge can mean a faster, smoother sale for you.
- Finish repairs and upgrades. You can sell your house without doing any work to it, but if you want to get the best asking price, a few touch ups can go a long way. If you have a project that you started and never quite finished, this is the perfect time to wrap it up. Simple things like a fresh coat of paint, updated lighting, and new bathroom fixtures can go a long way to making your home attractive to potential buyers. You can also pay to have your home professionally staged to really make it shine.
- Advertise, advertise, advertise. If no one knows your home is for sale, it will be hard to find a buyer. Your real estate agent can handle all advertising and showings for you. If you are selling your home For Sale By Owner, take high quality photos and list your home on sites like Zillow to get it out in front of potential buyers.
- Negotiate an offer. If you receive an offer (or better yet, multiple offers) to purchase your home, there is usually room for negotiation unless it is a full-price offer. The buyer may offer a lower purchase price or ask for other concessions, such as assistance from the seller to pay for closing costs. If you like their proposed terms, you can accept the offer. If not, you can counter with your own terms. Once you and the buyer agree, you have an accepted offer!
- Get to closing. It can take 30 days or more to get from an accepted offer to the actual final sale of your home. During this period, the buyer provides financial documents to their lender. The home will also go through an inspection and appraisal to make sure that the lender is happy with the terms of the loan and that the buyer knows the condition of the property.
Working with a Realtor or real estate agent when selling your home can help with every single one of these steps. From pricing your home competitively to attract potential buyers to taking photos that show off your home’s best features, real estate professionals have gone through this process with many other clients and can help you navigate it with ease.