Whether you've sold your home ten times or you're going to be selling your first, there are things that you need to know before listing your home for sale. There are many sellers who think the home selling process is very easy and doesn't take any preparation. This is not true, in most cases.
Any friend, family member, colleague, Realtor, or individual who says selling a home is a fun filled experience is not being honest. The truth is that selling a home can be an inconvenience, create stress and anxiety, and lead to thoughts of uncertainty. These feelings can however be minimized if the proper preparation is taken and well crafted decisions are made along the way.
So before you sell your home, there are several things that you need to know before beginning the journey for the first time or the tenth. Here are the top 10 things to know before selling a home.
Hiring A Great Realtor Is Extremely Important
Often the most overlooked step when selling a home is the importance of hiring a great real estate agent. Aren't all real estate agents the same? The answer is absolutely not. When selling a home, you should have high expectations of the real estate agent who you hire to sell your home. Top producing agents possess different qualities and have different skill sets, bottom line.
How does a seller ensure that a great Realtor is hired when selling a home? The answer is actually quite simple. Knowing how to interview a Realtor when selling a home will provide the greatest probability that a great Realtor is selected. While there is no guarantee that the top producing Realtor you hire will be the right one for you when selling a home, by asking the right questions and seeking the right answers, is important.
Gather Information, Paperwork, and Documents
A great Realtor knows what information should be included in the information of the house they're selling. What does this have to do with gathering paperwork and documents? Having information on the major mechanics of the home and also any updates that have been done to the home will be extremely helpful for your Realtor. A great Realtor is not going to just place a sign in the front of your home and wait for it to sell. They should know how to write compelling information about your home to attract potential buyers in addition to creatively marketing it online and offline.
What type of paperwork and documents should you be gathering when selling a home? Here are some examples of the kind of information, paperwork, and documents you should gather before selling a home.
- Roof age & any warranty paperwork, if applicable
- Furnace age & any instruction manuals
- Central Air conditioning age & any instruction manuals
- Hot water heater age & any instruction manuals
- Any included appliance ages & any instruction manuals
- Dates of any home improvement projects, such as, kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, window installation, carpet installation, etc:
- Any certificate of compliance (permits) that apply, such as, deck permits, shed permits, fence permits, etc:
- Outstanding mortgage balance (if applicable) & pay-off balance
- Instrument survey
Choosing When To Sell Is Different For Everyone
Every real estate market is different. There are great times to sell and other times that may not be the most ideal. Generally speaking, the spring months (March, April, & May) are the months that a seller will receive top dollar for their home. If you have no immediate rush to sell your home and you discuss with a Realtor in December about timing and they insist now is best time to sell to get you top dollar, you may want to reconsider hiring that Realtor. Certainly selling a home in the winter is possible, but in most cases, the spring months will yield the highest offers, for many reasons.
When selling a home, it's important that you choose to sell your home when it's most convenient for your individual situation. The spring months may not always be the best time to sell for everyone. There are several reasons why selling a home during the fall and winter months may actually be a better time to sell than waiting until spring.
It's important that you evaluate all the pro's and con's of each selling time frame. A great Realtor should be able to give you both the positives and negatives of each time frame.
A Pre-Listing Inspection Is A Good Idea
Before putting your home on the market, it can be a good idea to have a professional home inspector perform an inspection on your home. It's preferred that the inspector you hire to perform the inspection is a member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or NIBI (National Institute of Building Inspectors). Whether a buyer is purchasing their first home or their fifth, it's extremely likely they will make their offer contingent on an acceptable home inspection. A home inspector should find at least some issues with the home they are inspecting, even in new construction. If they don't find at least some small issues, they maybe inexperienced or not a very reputable home inspector.
By completing this pre-listing inspection, you can address the issues that the home inspector may note during his inspection. Make sure that the home inspector who does the pre-listing inspection will provide you with a detailed report and also pictures relating to anything they note in their report.
There are other inspections to consider before selling a home as well. Here are several other inspections that a buyer could possibly make their offer contingent upon and to consider performing prior to selling a home.
- Well Water
Preparing Your Home For Sale Is Crucial
Selling a home is not as simple as picking up the telephone, calling your local real estate office to speak with an agent, and it will be ready for the market, unfortunately. There are several things that should be examined before selling a home. A great Realtor should be able to point out during a walk-through of your home items that should be corrected or repaired. Items such as painting, cleaning, and de-cluttering are just a handful of low cost preparations that can be made, prior to selling a home.
The first impression is crucial when selling a home. By not preparing your home for sale, this can often lead to a poor first impression and also can cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. Take the extra time and effort to prepare your home, you'll be glad you did.
Pricing The Home Right From The Beginning Can Be The Difference
The most important factor to whether a home sells or doesn't, relates to pricing. If you price your home too high from the start, it can actually cost you lots of money in the future. The price a home enters the market at will do the majority of the marketing of the home. It's important to understand today's buyers and know they are very educated and have tons of information at their fingertips. Buyer's often will know a home is overpriced and will choose not to even look at it.
Sellers make the same pricing mistakes, over and over again, and it's important that you know what they are before selling a home. Mistakes such as hiring a Realtor because they suggest the highest price or because they offer the lowest commission can be a huge mistake, so it's important to educate yourself and avoid common real estate pricing mistakes.
Decide Whether Or Not To Offer A Home Warranty
Home warranties can be a great idea for some when selling a home and will make no difference for others when selling a home. Sellers commonly ask and wonder if offering a home warranty to a buyer is worth it.
In most cases, home warranties are a nice bonus to offer to a potential buyer and also a nice marketing tool for a Realtor to use when selling a home, assuming they know how to use the "tool." Before selling your home, decide whether or not you will offer a home warranty or not. Once you hire your Realtor, ask them their opinion as to whether they feel the cost of the warranty is worth it or not.
Staging Can Help Sell Your Home But Not The Only Reason It Sells
First and foremost, a real estate agent who tells you that the staging of your home will sell it, is not being truthful. Staging is not the only reason a home sells, period. There are many real estate agents who say their listings sell faster and for more money because they stage them but fail to mention the fact that price, location, condition, and several other things play apart in the sale.
Homes that are staged will normally show better, which can lead to a quicker sale. There are many simple staging tips that you can follow to help get the home sold quicker. Many of these tips do not require a real estate agent with a certification for staging, so do not hire a real estate agent solely because they have the certification. An experienced real estate agent, certification or not, can suggest many staging tips that will help your home show better and sell faster.
Preparing Your Home For Showings
When selling a home, you want to make your home appealing for potential buyers. What do you think the a potential buyer who walks through a home that has piles of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor or dirty pots and pans in the sink would think? Most buyers would be either distracted or disgusted, possibly leading to them not being interest in that home.
Preparing your home for showings can be a job in itself and an inconvenience. Making sure the clutter is minimized, pet odors are eliminated, and that the curb appeal is attractive are just a few tips that can help prepare your home for showings. It's possible that a home that is well prepared for showings will sell before an unprepared home just because the image that it portrays to potential buyers walking through the door.
Evaluate Whether Open Houses Are Worth It Or Not
This is a very controversial topic in the real estate industry. Some real estate agents will swear that open houses are worth it and others will swear they are a huge waste of time. Ultimately, the decision whether they are worth it or not is the home owners.
The fact of the matter is that there are potentially some major drawbacks of open houses. While there is a very small possibility that a home will sell as a result from an open house, you should determine whether you would like your home to be open, before selling it. Ask the real estate agent who will be selling your home what their thoughts on open houses are. They should provide both pro's and con's about open houses.
The above 10 things need to be known before selling. Selling a home is likely to bring added stress, anxiety, and unwanted uncertainty. These feelings though will be greatly reduced if the proper preparation is taken, before selling your home. Understanding the importance of these things and how to make the proper decisions can make the difference of your home selling experience being a disaster or a success.
Other Home Selling Resources
- How To Determine List Price via Frederick Real Estate Online
- 10 Tips For Selling Your Vacant Home
- 20 Cold, Hard, Facts in Real Estate Home Selling via Imagine Your House
- Top Real Estate Articles For Sellers & Real Estate Pricing
If you're thinking of selling a home in the Greater Rochester, NY or surrounding areas, be sure to read the above things before selling your home. We'd be happy to discuss in detail and share our knowledge on these topics and give you our honest evaluation of your individual situation. Contact us and we'd love to show you why we are one of the top real estate teams in Rochester, NY and the surrounding areas.
About the authors: The above article "Top 10 Things You Need To Know Before Selling A Home" was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock). With over 30 years combined experience, if you're thinking of selling or buying, we'd love to share our knowledge and expertise.
We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.