10 Important Steps to Take...
Before You Sell Your House
Essential Home Selling Preparations
The home selling process differs from state to state, but there are some important steps that most home sellers should take before listing a house with an agent or selling it for sale by owner. Every bit of prep work you do helps you get the most return from your investment.
Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
I've known sellers who signed a contract to sell
their house before they knew if they were qualified to buy another. Either
their financial circumstances had changed since their last purchase, and
they could no longer qualify for a loan, or they weren't able to sell at a
price that allowed them to buy the type of replacement house they wanted.
They ended up renting or buying something that was far from ideal.
Before you decide to sell the house, get
pre-approved by a lender you trust and research the housing market in the
area where you wish to live so that you have a good idea how much it will
take to buy a replacement.
Start looking for two types of real estate:
houses that seem to match the one you'd like to buy and houses that are
similar to your current home. How do the two categories compare in price?
Can you handle the difference if you're planning a step up?
2. Check Your Mortgage Payoff
Call your lender to check the payoff for your
current home mortgage. You'll need the figure to complete Step 6.
3. Determine How Much Your House Is Worth
Determine your home's fair market value. Real
estate agents will usually help you determine value as a courtesy, but you
might take it a step further and order an appraisal.
4. Estimate Your Costs to Sell
Real estate commission if you use an agency
Advertising costs, signs, other fees if you
plan to sell by owner.
Attorney, closing agent and other
Excise tax for the sale.
Prorated costs for your share of annual
expenses, such as property taxes, home owner association fees, and fuel
Any other fees typically paid by the seller
in your area (surveys, inspections, etc.).
Real estate agents deal with transactions every
day and can give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs.
5. Estimate Costs to Buy a New Home
Calculate moving expenses, loan costs,
downpayment, home inspections, title work and title policy, paying for a
new hazard insurance policy--all expenses related to buying a home. Your
lender should give you a disclosure of estimated costs when you apply
for loan pre-approval.
6. Calculate Your Estimated Proceeds
Deduct your mortgage payoff from your home's
fair market value.
Deduct your costs to sell from the remainder
to get an estimate of the proceeds you will be paid at closing.
Will your closing proceeds cover your costs to
buy a new home? If not, do you have cash or other funding to make up the
7. Make Necessary Repairs
Make all needed repairs unless you want the house
to be regarded as a fixer-upper. I'm not referring to cosmetic updates--just
items in need of repair. Anything that's obviously broken gives potential
buyers a reason to offer you a lower price, especially if it's one of
several repair hot spots that worry buyers the most.
8. Get the House Ready to Show
Most houses need at least a little spiffing up
before they are shown to potential buyers. Great curb appeal, fresh paint
indoors (and sometimes out), organized closets and cabinets, sparkling clean
windows and appliances and a clutter-free look are essential if you want the
house to appeal to buyers. Be sure to avoid the things buyers hate most
9. Get Psyched Up to Let People In
If you're listing with a real estate agent,
she'll ask you to leave when the house is shown. Why? Because lurking
sellers make buyers nervous--they don't feel comfortable inspecting the
house when they feel they are intruding in your personal space.
Unless there's a valid reason for it, don't ask
your agent to be present for all showings, because that requirement can be
the kiss of death for showing activity. Other agents want privacy with their
buyers and they don't usually have time to work around your agent's
Make the house accessible. That means it should always
be ready to show. Many agents won't bother showing a house that takes 24
hours to get into.
©Copyright 2016 Brenda Jones Real Estate Group
Licensed in the State of Vermont