Are you getting your house ready to sell? Selling a home is stressful with lots of parties involved. I remember when I sold my first home and let me tell you: it was a headache and extremely time-consuming. Not only did I have to fix up my home for resale, but I also had to hire inspectors, contractors, real estate agents, etc.
That said, we know most people don’t have a lot of time. In fact, many have less than even a month (about 30 days). Lucky for them, it’s a seller’s market right now (at the time of this writing). This means selling your home quickly shouldn’t be too much trouble (depending on what market you’re in).
Of course, you don’t have to do it as I did it. I took my time and made sure each step was done correctly. You could simply list your house online by yourself, you don’t even need an agent! I don’t recommend it, but it’s possible.
Lucky for you, whether you are in a rush or going slow, I’ve put together my checklist of items that I relied on when I was selling my home. A lot of this is based on my home seller fact sheet. Some of these are new, some are old but overall, this should give you a strong sense of what is required to sell your home.
- Be an informed seller. Don’t go into the sale blindfolded — do as much research as you can. We have a ton of resources here on Our Family Place but I recommend searching the dozens of websites, books, and social accounts that provide sellers with the info they need to be best equipped for selling their home. For example, Zillow and Trulia are both great resources for neighborhood comps. I also like Rocket Mortgage’s blog.
- Decide if you want to do For Sale By Owner or you plan to hire a good listing agent (home seller’s agent). We used an agent and I highly recommend it. These days, real estate agents do so much more than just help you market your home; they help you handle all your paperwork and get you through so many of the jumps and hoops with selling. For example, they’ll help you with your prelist inspection. If you also decide to hire an agent, make sure they come highly recommended or at least have phenomenal reviews online. Check yelp and Angieslist for their profiles. It may be worth also finding their website to see their past sales and marketing and advertising plan.
- I also familiarized myself with market comps so I could know how to price my home for sale. Selling a home is too important (and too competitive) to pull a price out of the air. Knowing how much my home was worth was one of the first steps in beginning to market the property. Of course, your real estate agent will help with this (by creating a Comparative Market Analysis) but it’s always good to have a sense for yourself what your own home is worth. Lastly, on this topic, one tip worth mentioning is that the sale value of single single-family homes vs condos vs townhomes is always going to differ. Keep this in mind when creating your market comp!
- I then looked for ways to add value to my home so that I could guarantee I sold at the top of my price range. I did all the necessary house prep work possible, including upgrading the exterior. I primarily focused on factors that affected my home value. One thing you should for sure focus on is improving your bathroom increase your home’s resale value — we’ve learned over the years that this is one of the biggest upgrades homebuyers care about.
- Sell yo shit! Honestly, get rid of much stuff as you can. Host a yard sale, donate and tell your friends. I promise you that you do not want to find out a week before you move that you still have grandma’s old cabinets and clothing stuck in your basement. This home sale checklist item was one we glad we included because it made the move so much less stressful knowing we were only taking with us the items we loved the most.
- Fix all the things. Literally… anything that is broken should be fixed. You can be frugal and fix a lot before selling. For example, I wrote about a few fixes to your bathroom that are affordable. If you have a lot of broken issues, these upgrades will increase the appraisal value of your home if you forget to.
- Once everything above is lined up, you’re ready for showtime! My wife even added homemade DIY scents to put all over the house for the Sundays when buyers came to visit.
- As you approach a sale, consider if you want to offer a home warranty. Furthermore, when it is time to negotiate, learn how to deal with offers and familiarize yourself with contracts.
- Know what is involved at closing and settlement.
- Now let’s talk about planning your move. One of the best things we did was start early to avoid last-minute fast packs during the move. The next thing we did was create a printable home moving checklist (which you can download)! This helped us stay organized and made moving easier.
- Last but not least: Smile and breathe a sigh of relief… it is over!
As mentioned previously, you could take it one step at a time and go slow or you can rush through it and sell your home within as short as 30 days. It’s up to you! I highly recommend taking your time but also understand many folks need to move quickly.