The Complete and Only Home Selling Checklist You’ll Ever Need
If you’ve been paying attention to the real estate market at all, you know that many locations in the US have hot seller’s markets. This is for a number of reasons, including low-interest rates, low inventory, and people feeling motivated to move because of the impact of the pandemic.
If you’re going to sell your house, it can be hard to keep all the necessary steps straight. Selling a house is incredibly stressful, but being organized is your best antidote against this.
Are you wondering what home selling entails?
Check out this checklist of everything you need to know.
Before You List Your Home
There’s a lot that can be done before your house is listed on the MLS. Here are the steps you’ll want to take to ensure the quickest possible sale.
Hire the Best Real Estate Agent
Many people are tempted to sell their home FSBO (for sale by owner) in order to save money on real estate commissions. While this might sound like a great idea, even an incredibly smart homeowner might not realize just how time-consuming and complicated it is to market and sell a house. For this reason, it makes sense to hire a highly qualified real estate agent to do the job, as you’ll probably end up making more money even with the commission than if you went the FSBO route.
If selling your home fast is a priority, consider looking for a cash buyer. Since cash buyers aren’t dependent on a financial institution for lending, the closing can happen a lot faster. On top of that, these buyers typically buy homes “as-is,” meaning that you won’t have to deal with the tedious tasks of repairing the house, getting it ready for sale, decluttering, and so much more.
Understand Your Home’s Value
It can be a good idea to run your own analysis of the housing market in your area. Real estate agents do comparative marketing analysis (CMA) to help find the right price for your home, but there’s no reason you couldn’t do this too.
Take a look at real estate listing websites to see what houses in your area with similar features are selling for. It’s good to be realistic about how much your home is worth. Otherwise, you can end up with an overpriced on the market that grows stale on listing services.
Learn the Costs of Selling
Even though you’ll hopefully make money on the house, the process still costs money when you sell on the open market. You’ll want to create a budget that you stick to as a part of the process. Some of the things you should be prepared for include:
- Capital gains tax
- Transfer tax
- Mortgage payoff
- Mortgage payoff fee
- Title insurance
- Broker commission/fee
- Home inspection
- Repairs and projects
- Real estate attorney fees
Your real estate agent can help you understand the different costs to expect.
Prepare Your Home
To get your house ready for the market, you’ll want to put some time and money into sprucing the place up. Some of the things you’ll need to do are:
- Make all necessary repairs
- Consider getting a pre-sale inspection
- Pick the right price for your home
- Pass all inspections
- Boost your curb appeal
Next, it’s time to get your house ready for open houses and showings.
Getting Your House Ready For Showings
Having people constantly in and out of your house for showings can be a real drag, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Here’s what you can do to hopefully sell your house faster:
- Refresh the walls with a new coat of paint
- Keep your home smelling fresh and clean
- Consider making upgrades that have good ROI
- Hire a staging company
- Remove excess furniture and put it in storage to make the home seem bigger
- Hide or remove your personal items
Being flexible for showings will ultimately help you sell your house faster. While it can interrupt your daily life and routine, it’s definitely worth the trouble.
While Your House Is on the Market
Keeping your house in good shape for last-minute showings can be incredibly stressful. You can adopt these habits to make it easier on yourself and your whole family:
- Take the trash out regularly
- Make your bed every day
- Put things away right after you use them
- Do laundry regularly and always put clothes in the hamper
- Have a plan for where you can go if there’s a last-minute showing
Buyers can be psychologically impacted by even little things, so keeping your house in tip-top shape can ensure prospective buyers don’t bounce off your home just because of something as small as an odd smell.
Once You Accept an Offer
So, you’ve received an offer you’re happy with… congratulations! The job isn’t over yet, but you can see the light at the end. Before closing, you’ll need to:
- Agree on an escrow agent
- Prepare for a final walkthrough
- Request final utility readings
When it’s time for the closing, make sure you show up prepared. Be sure to bring these things with you:
- ID/driver’s license
- The deed to your home
- The purchase contract
- Your keys
- Your checkbook
- Final utility bills that need to be paid/settled
Before the closing, you’ll want to close up shop at your house. Sometimes selling a house can feel like it’s such a long time coming that it’s hard to believe the process is really over when the closing ends. If you’ve made it this far, though, congratulations: you sold your house!
Home Selling: Is It the Right Time For You?
In this market, you might be able to make a pretty penny selling your home. However, you’ll want to make sure that you have a plan for where you’ll go after your home is sold. Remember, if you sell your house in a seller’s market and plan on buying a new home, you’ll end up being in the unfavorable position of being a buyer in a seller’s market.
Did you find this article on home selling interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more fascinating and informative content!
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