6 Tips Everyone Must Know Before Selling A Home

6 Tips Everyone Must Know Before Selling A Home

When homeowners traverse the logical minefield to list their home for sale, there is often a period of brief uncertainty.  Most first time home sellers have no idea where or how to start the home selling process. Should you market the property yourself? Use your aunt or brother as a realtor? Make home improvements before selling your house? The questions are endless.

It’s crucial that people considering selling there home fully understand what the home selling process, the costs associated with selling a home, and many other important factors of the home selling process.

  1. Preparing Your Home For The Market

One of the best ideas for any first time home seller is to have a home inspection completed before the house is listed for sale. The likelihood that the home buyer will choose to have a home inspection is high. Today’s potential home buyers are scared away relatively easily from potential home purchases and fixing problems that an inspector finds before listing your home for sale can greatly decrease the chance that a deal may fall apart due to a buyer getting cold feet.

Another excellent point for a first time home sellers is to prepare their home for the market through making low-cost home improvements before listing the home on the market. Just a few of the most popular low-cost home improvements to consider making before offering your home on the market are to;

  • Apply fresh coat of paint to rooms
  • Professionally cleaning flooring surfaces and/or carpeting
  • Replacing obsolete light fixtures
  • Replacing out of date hardware on cabinetry

It is necessary that first time home sellers understand the value of making a great first impression on potential home buyers. By not properly preparing a home for sale, a first time home seller could potentially be leaving thousands of dollars on the closing table and also valuable time, in the event their home takes longer to sell than anticipated.

2. Hire A Top Realtor When Selling A Home For The First Time!

This should go without saying, but sometime common sense is not so common. IMPORTANT, First time home sellers must comprehend the value of having a seasoned real estate agent representing them during the sale of their home.  Selling a home is not as easy as putting a home on the MLS and signing documents at the closing table, so please do not attempt to sell your home by yourself or with aunt Pam the realtor!  For sale by owners, also known as FSBOs, have a failure rate of 85%-95%.

In the Houston real estate market, there are several hundred to several thousand real estate agents who have the ability to list your home for sale.  It’a huge benefit to the home seller to understand that not all real estate agents are created equal. Some real estate agents are part time real estate agents, some are primarily buyers agents, and other agents may only have had their real estate license for a few. Run far, far away from these types of realtors. Trust me when I say this, you do not want to be a first time realtor’s “guinea pig or learning experience.”

So you’re probably asking yourself, “How can a first time home seller ensure they are working with a top producing listing agent?”  It’s actually a fairly simple answer if you know how to properly interview real estate agents.  A home seller who knows how to properly interview prospective real estate agents will have a much greater chance that they hire a top producer and not the opposite. Ask them, how long have you been in the Houston real estate market? What marketing plans separate you from the other agents? How big is your networking sphere? How many homes are you currently listing? These few questions will help you weed out the inexperience form the experienced agents.

3. Understand Your Local Real Estate Market

Areas can vary significantly from one neighborhood to another. Home sellers need to understand what the current state is of their local {housing market|market}. Generally speaking there are three “states” of a real {property|house|real estate} market, a sellers market, a buyers market, and a balanced market.

A lot of real estate markets will differ depending on time of the year. For example, typically throughout the spring time of April, May, and June, the Houston, TEXAS real estate market is a strong sellers market during this period. Considering that the spring months are typically better months to sell a home. Many home owners have to determine whether they should list their house in the fall and winter periods or wait until springtime.

4. Decide What Your Next Move Is

First time home sellers often neglect to determine what their next move is after selling the current home they’re living in. Is an apartment your next move? Are you going to be buying a new home? Or is building a new home your next step? It’s absolutely necessary when selling your home that you have a solid game plan for your next move.

If your strategy is to acquire another home, a home seller needs to determine whether they can get pre-approved for a home loan without being contingent on someone else buy of their current home. While it’s actually uncommon in most circumstances that a buyer is able to acquire a home without selling their current home, it’s essential to know. Buying and selling a home simultaneously can be tricky and it’s important that a fool proof strategy is in place if this your next move!

5. Price Your Home Correctly

The most common reason why a home will not sell in a hot or average real estate market is due to the agent incorrectly pricing the home. Generally speaking, there are a number of explanations why a home owners |inaccurately price their house. And it’s absolutely critical that first time home sellers don’t make those common real estate pricing blunders.

First time home sellers frequently have no clue how to properly or accurately determine the list price of their home in their real estate market. There are many different ways a list price can be determined and it’s essential that you understand the various ways. The most common real estate pricing practice is a comparative market analysis or CMA that is completed by an experienced real estate professional. A comparative market analysis can be summarized as an assessment on local active homes for sale, past home sales within a set timeline, and also listings that have expired. A premier producing real estate agent will be able to determine a probable sale price of a home by completing an in depth market analysis report. While a CMA is the most frequent and reliable way to determine the price of a home, another accurate way to generate a listing price of a home is by having an appraisal completed on the home in question.

It’s critical that first time home sellers avoid some of the erroneous ways to price a home, such as using the homes assessed value or using an online home valuation estimate, such as Zillow “Zestimates.” There is no possible way an online website using algorithms and equations, based out of San Diego, CA can effectively determine the price of your home in Houston, TX.. You need a warm blooded, seasoned real estate agent who knows the local market like the back of his/her hand and can obtain the best value for your home

6. Know What Your Closing Expenses Are When Selling Your Home

Home sellers are often shocked when they learn about the seller expenses that they traditionally are responsible for.  One of the hardest pills to swallow for a first time home seller are brokerage fees.  First and foremost, real estate commissions are negotiable.  First time home sellers often forget that the previous owner of their current home paid the brokerage fees when they purchased their home.  Brokerage fees are normally the largest expense incurred by a home seller.

Other home selling expenses that home sellers need to consider include the cost of an instrument survey, re-dating of an abstract, transfer taxes, and also the possibility of helping a buyer out by contributing a seller concession towards their closing expenses.

When selling a home for the first time it’s important to keep an updated mortgage pay-off balance handy, if applicable, so when a purchase offer is received you can determine what your closing expenses will be and there are no surprises a few days before closing.

Parting Thoughts

It can be extremely overwhelming and daunting for someone to attempt to sell their home by themselves.  With CMA’s, closing table issues, and negotiating with other real estate agents, a home seller must have a top producing agent in their corner to have a much greater chance of a smooth and successful home sale.