Have you heard? It’s a seller’s market. Well, in most zip codes at least. But a hopping home buying season doesn’t necessarily mean your home will go well over asking price just by putting up a ‘For Sale’ sign. There’s still plenty a seller must do if they want to get the best price for their soon-to-be-former digs.
Here are 50 things to do if you plan to sell your home this spring.
50 Things To Do To Get Top Dollar Selling Your House
#1. Learn The Market
The reports of a seller’s market are greatly exaggerated, which is to say every zip code is different. If you want to expedite a sale, your “property has to be marketed properly and be priced appropriately,” said Glenn S. Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty. “The feeding frenzy of a few years ago has not returned, and buyers are better informed than ever.” So take some time to understand what is and what isn’t selling in your neck of the woods and for what prices.
#2. Avoid Over-Pricing
Gradual price drops signal to house hunters that more decreases are to come, Phillips says. Plus, if your home sits on the market long enough, prospective buyers will wonder what’s wrong with it. “In the end, most homes that start overpriced sell at a price lower than a home priced [appropriately] from the start,” he said. “And the deal happens much faster and without the pain of months trying to sell.”
#3. Hire A Realtor
Yes, you’ll have to pay them a commission. (Side note: You’ll be expected to cover the buyer’s agent, too.) Still, a good Realtor can be instrumental when it comes to the whole “learn-the-market, price-it-right” stuff. Plus, they’ll do the heavy lifting when showing the house and negotiating offers.
#4. Vet Prospective Agents
“Find someone who is in the business full time and who can demonstrate their skill at listing a house,” Reba Haas, CEO of Team Reba at RE/MAX Metro Inc. in Seattle, said. “This will show up in their print materials, online photos, services provided marketing presentation and ability to find the right price range to help you sell in a reasonable amount of time.”
#5. Get A Home Estimate
Yes, your real estate agent can help you set the right price on your home, but it doesn’t hurt to get a general idea of the pricing in your area on your own. There are plenty of sites online that can help you get an idea of your home’s current value.
#6. Or Better Yet, Get A Pre-Listing Appraisal
That’ll help preclude any problems during the bank appraisal. “An independent appraisal performed prior to listing can determine the value that a lender would assign your home,” Bruce Elliott, president of the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, said. “While the process is never scientific, many buyers do find an independent appraisal to be a credible source for judging a home’s value.”
#7. Determine How Much The Sale Will Cost You
Because there are plenty of expenses associated with selling a home. “A lot of sellers are not aware of what their costs are, including attorney, commission to broker and any other closing costs, including potential repairs before putting the home on the market,” says Kobi Lahav, managing director, Mdrn. Residential, a real estate brokerage in New York City. Fortunately, your broker or listing agent can help you pin down a rough estimate of what you might have to shell out.
#8. Hire An Attorney
They’ll be instrumental when it comes time to negotiate the purchase contract with your chosen buyer.
#9. Research Their Reputations (& Fees)
Ask friends and family for recommendations, or do a search online to find an affordable real estate attorney you can trust.
#10. Ask For A Mortgage Pay Off Quote
You may think you know how much you owe on your mortgage. However, “it is not always what you see on your lender’s website,” Denise Supplee, co-founder of SparkRental and Pennsylvania Realtor, says. “And it is a good idea to have that information, especially if the money from your sale is going towards another sale.”