Selling Your Home
People sell homes for many reasons. For some, they’ve taken their first home and built enough equity to move on to #2. Others may be sick of crawling over their kids and spouses as they try to get out of the house in the morning. And for many, those kids have moved on to homes of their own, and it’s time to shrink the footprint a little bit. Regardless of why you’re selling your home there is a right time, place and process that a good REALTOR can guide you through. You’ll want to be prepared, follow the rules, and (along with your agent) put your best foot forward when the home hits the market. Here are a couple of tips to get your started.
Is it the right time to sell your house? Conventional wisdom would tell you market conditions in 2017 DEMAND that you sell your home. Low lending rates and high rental costs have buyers flooding into the market! Wanna meet people? Find an open house on a Sunday in Mac-Groveland. Assuming the home is well priced and well presented, you should be able to make a bunch of new friends. The inventory of homes for sale - across the board - is at historic lows. Slide back into your Economics 101 days and look at the supply and demand curve – what happens when demand is high and supply is low? Consumers are willing to spend more! So throw that house on the market and wait for the big money to come in right? Wrong! It’s important to have your arms around the homes’ value. You may be able to sell your home for $300,000 but if your buyers’ lender appraises the home at $275,000, someone has to make up the difference or the deal falls apart. When that happens you’ve lost time and lost patience for the process. Let your favorite REALTOR run a market analysis so all parties have an idea of the homes’ worth, and an estimate of net proceeds from the sale. Use those figures as a guideline to determine whether you’ll be able to take enough cash out of the transaction to purchase your next home or meet your financial goals.
Start cleaning, clearing, and disclosing! – Look around your home. If it’s like mine, every available space is used to store stuff (“stuff” being a term used to describe all the things a family of four can acquire and tuck away out of sight once it’s outlived its usefulness). If you have a “stuff” problem, fix it. Sell it, donate it, toss it, do whatever you can to unclutter your home. Once you’ve cleared out the space, you may notice a home that needs a little TLC. We’re all guilty of living in our space and looking at it through a prism of familiarity. By that I mean if you walk past a wall that needs a coat of paint long enough, you stop thinking about that coat of paint. Clean the home thoroughly, touch up paint, make repairs and talk to your favorite REALTOR about how you can maximize the value while minimizing your spending. I NEVER suggest clients dump a bunch of money into a home unless the R.O.I. is worth the dollars and hassle. Finally, get ready to disclose everything you know about the home. As a seller, you are obligated to tell potential buyers everything you can. You’ll fill out a Sellers’ Property Disclosure, and (if the home was built before 1978) a Lead Based Paint Disclosure. Does the home have a well or septic system? There are disclosures for those too. Finally, depending on your location you may be obligated to have a Truth in Sale of Housing or city inspection conducted. Some municipalities place a premium on managing their housing stock, and as such want to ensure that each home sold meets their standards for safety and livability. Your favorite REALTOR will tell you if you’re in a TISH city or need to have an inspection completed prior to closing and he’ll make sure you have all of the proper documentation available and get you ready for the next step!
Get ‘er on the market and get ‘er sold! – All the pieces of the puzzle are in place, you’ve prepared the home for sale and it’s time to get the home listed. You’ll work with your favorite REALTOR to establish a price point that can maximize your revenue, and attract as many potential buyers as possible. You’ll sign the appropriate listing documents, A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER (paid for by the listing agent) will take pictures inside and out to be used on the listing (please, please, please insist that a pro does the shooting, the difference in presentation is profound), and your home will be listed on the Northstar MLS….which in turn will distribute the listing to real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, and REALTOR.com. If all goes according to plan, your agents’ office will be calling to schedule showings right away!
This is really just a snapshot of the process, we haven’t even touched on marketing, open houses (REALTOR and public), lock-boxes, buyer feedback, offers, the appraisal process, getting to the closing table and walking away with a nice check in your hand!
What’s important to know is this…your favorite REALTOR should always keep you informed when it comes to documents, showings, offers, and feedback. If you’re not getting communication, chances are you’re not getting the house sold.
So if you’re thinking of selling, there’s no time like the present. Let’s have a conversation about how to get you from that first cleanup to cashing the check!