From an outside perspective, selling a home in a booming market may seem simple. However, if you want to get top dollar for your home sale, it takes plenty of work and planning. If you want to walk away from your house sale with the best payout possible, read through our ultimate checklist.
Get the right agent
A great real estate agent will act as your advocate, confidant, and advisor. Before signing with a real estate agent, East Bay Management Company recommends that you check their:
· Knowledge of your destination
· What price point do they normally sell
· Other listings
· Fee structure
Choose an agent that you feel is honest, approachable, and willing to give you solid, constructive advice.
If you have time to show your home, are tech-savvy, and feel like you can be unemotional about your house sale, then putting a FSBO (for sale by owner) sign in your yard might be the best option for you. You can sell your house privately and keep more money in your pocket without paying an agent commission.
However, be aware that sometimes selling a house yourself can leave you open to liability, so we recommend you know the answer to ‘do you pay taxes when sell a house’, along with hiring a real estate attorney to draw up the final transaction documentation.
Invest in media
When hiring an agent to list your home, we highly recommend checking their advertising and media plan. Professional photographs, video walk-throughs, and drone footage of your property can not only bump up the price, but ensure interest from more potential buyers.
Know when to list
You might be planning what time of year to sell your home to get the best price and the quickest sale; however, did you know that homes listed on a Thursday usually sell quicker and for a higher price than on any other day of the week? Not everyone’s circumstances allow for selling during a particular period, but we recommend listing in spring, particularly in mid-March if you can plan. According to Zillow, this is typically when homes sold the fastest in recent years.
Consider the bigger picture
Don’t be so focused on your home that you forget it is part of a larger community. Potential buyers might be from out of town or emigrating from another country, so it is integral to showcase why they would want to live in your particular neighborhood. For example, a park within easy walking distance, nature trails, or excellent local restaurants could be the drawcard that pushes your home closer to being a buyer’s preferred choice.
Get the price right
Prices fluctuate in real estate throughout the year, so keeping your eye on the market is essential. If plenty of similar houses are available, then it might drive down prices, whereas if your home is one of the only ones fit for a specific demographic, then you might more easily get your asking price or more. However, if you aren’t in a rush to sell your home, then consider testing the waters and listing your house slightly above the market value. After all, if you drop it two weeks later, buyers will feel like they’re getting a bargain.
Keep asking for honest opinions
Selling your house can be incredibly emotional, especially when moving wouldn’t be your preferred outcome. Getting constructive criticism about a place that you hold dear can be gut-wrenching, but it is crucial to keep in mind that the opinions of your potential buyers are what matters. You don’t need to accommodate every grievance, but some issues with your property could be quickly fixed and ensure the next buyer is more likely to put in an offer.
Clutter makes a house appear smaller, dirtier, and less appealing. Start the process of moving early and get rid of as much clutter as possible. Now is the time to purge and have a garage sale or donate to charity. Don’t forget that potential buyers will be looking in closets and cupboards, and you want to show ample storage space.
We know that keeping your house in its best condition at all times is not easy, especially if you have children. However, you could get a last-minute phone call from a potential buyer at any time, so ideally, keep your house continuously clean rather than scrambling at the last moment. If your budget allows, consider hiring a cleaning service to thoroughly clean your home every Friday afternoon in anticipation of weekend viewings.
It is too easy to become lazy about minor home repairs when you live somewhere for a long time. However, from a potential buyer’s perspective, they might take this disregard for simple maintenance and extrapolate it to assuming it showcases a lack of keeping up with repairs.
Use rooms well
If you have started using your spare bedroom as a storeroom or your dining room as a kid’s play area, it can be difficult for buyers to look past this misuse of space and picture their own furniture in its place. It could also highlight your home’s lack of available facilities to accommodate the needs of a family. We recommend ensuring each room is staged for its intended purpose. After that, add the finishing touches such as fresh flowers, vibrant throw pillows, and a beautiful aroma.
Did you know that occupied homes tend to sell for a higher price than vacant ones? Buyers are more likely to offer lowball prices as they will assume you are a motivated seller, regardless of your financial circumstances. What’s more, it can be challenging for a buyer to picture themselves living in the space if there are no large furniture items for reference. Wherever possible, stay put and hold off on hiring movers so that the bulk of your items are in place until you sign on the dotted line.
You can sell something fast and cheap, or you can pay for quality. We urge you to work through our checklist, and you might find yourself with significantly higher home offers.