Introduction:

If you have decided to sell your home, you will want to sell it as quickly as possible and for a good price. To do this it is important to drum up interest in your house. The more potential buyers you manage to attract, the better your chances of selling your property faster.

Decide How to Sell Your House

One of the greatest financial choices you’ll make when selling your house is whether to work with a real estate agent, list your house for sale by owner (FSBO), or sell it quickly to a cash buyer.

Here is a breakdown of your options, along with guidance on how to decide.

Option 1: Use a realtor to sell your home.

If you want to make the most out of your sale, hire an experienced listing agent with a successful track record.

The National Association of Realtors reports that in 2020, houses listed by agents sold for a median price of $318,000 while those listed by FSBO sold for $260,000.

One explanation is that professional listing agents frequently have several current listings and receive more calls from prospective customers.

Option 2: Sell your house without a real estate agent.

You can save thousands of dollars by selling your home yourself (FSBO), which eliminates the need to pay a listing agent commission.

However, you’ll have to manage all of the details an agent typically performs, such as:

Web promotion of your residence.

Negotiations.

Completing documentation and legal declarations.

Statistics show that even though you don’t pay a listing agent commission, your home might sell for less than if you had just hired an agent. And if you choose FSBO You must be aware of your legal obligations as a seller, including how to handle payments, complete disclosure papers, and transfer title at closing.

FSBO sellers run a significant legal risk by failing to complete a property disclosure form.

A good real estate agent is aware of disclosure requirements and will provide you with all the required disclosure forms.

Option 3: Sell to a cash buyer.

The quickest way to sell a house is to a cash buyer. You can close a deal as fast as a few days to a few weeks. However, you might compromise on your price somewhat with a cash buyer.

If speed and convenience are your main goals when selling your property, a cash offer is a good option. It’s best to assess your situation and goals with timing and financial goals.

Decide When to Sell Your Property

Ultimately you should sell your home when you feel ready.

However experienced agents believe that spring and summer will give you the best results.

Here are a few reasons why:

The warm weather is more pleasant for buyers to start looking at houses and attend home tours. 

Between May and June is when students finish their academic year, making it simpler for families to move to a new school district.

Spring and summer are the seasons with the most daylight. This allows for late-evening home tours.

Typically, buyers avoid looking at homes over the winter holidays.

However, some agents like to list homes during the winter months as there are fewer active listings, giving those listed more opportunity for showings. 

Moreover, winter is often the lowest inventory season, which gives the seller advantages by reducing competition.

For more detailed guidance on when to sell your home, speak with your real estate agent.

Set a Price

Overpricing a home is extremely risky. Asking for too much can turn off serious buyers and result in your property sitting on the market for a long period.

An overpriced home may also have a low appraisal; as a result, you might have to reduce the asking price, renegotiate the conditions of the contract, or put your house back on the market.

Based on your property’s essential characteristics such as recent home sales, current listings, neighborhood information, and local market trends, house value estimators may give you a quick general estimate of your home’s prospective value.

If you sell your house with a realtor they will be able to lend a helping hand with the pricing. 

Realtors usually offer a free comparative market analysis (CMA) report to assist you in determining a list price.

The analysis is based mostly on the most recent sales prices of similar or “comparable” homes in your neighborhood; a CMA provides an estimate of your home’s market value.

Selling on your own?

You can pay for a broker’s price opinion  (BPO) or rely on house value estimators as two of your possibilities.

A BPO and a CMA are quite similar. A professional real estate agent or broker offers a report on the value of a home based on similar home transactions.

The main distinction is that CMAs are often offered by a realtor for free as part of the listing process, whereas BPOs will cost you ($150-$250). But for FSBO sellers, the expense is probably justified.

What about an appraisal?

Obtaining a pre-listing appraisal from a qualified appraiser, who can offer an unbiased, third-party house valuation, is an additional choice.

On special properties or homes with a limited number of comparable home sales, pre-listing appraisals make the most sense.

However, keep in mind that appraisals can get pricey ($300-$500) and there may be a backup in scheduling it if you’re selling on a tight budget or schedule.

Prepare Your Home for Sale

It’s a good idea to acquire any paperwork that a potential buyer would need, such as:

  • utility bills.
  • home warranties
  • repair invoices
  • documents and contact details for the homeowners association
  • records and instructions for appliances

To avoid having to look for these documents later on when you’re under contract (and on a deadline), it’s ideal to have them on hand right away.

Get your house checked out.

Do you suspect that your house has a significant problem that might prevent it from selling or ruin a deal? To be sure, think about getting a home inspection before the closing.

Find a reliable inspector on your own or ask your agent for recommendations. Pre-sale inspections vary in cost, but start in the $300 and $400 range.

Hire a professional photographer

Wide-angle views and top-notch, professional images with natural lighting will make your online listing stand out from the competition.

According to The National Association of Realtors (NAR), 89% of people believe that a property listing’s images are its most crucial component.

It’s been reported that properties with professional photographs sell for 47% more than listings without them.

Find out if your realtor uses a professional photographer and if the cost of the images is included in the commission fee (or taking the photos themselves).

List Your Property and Host Potential Buyers

List your property on the MLS.

The multiple listing service (MLS), is a database that most realtors use to market and sell properties.

To find properties for sale, realtors mostly consult the MLS. 

According to experts, publishing it online should accelerate and increase the price at which you sell your home.

Get ready for showings.

It could be challenging, but try examining the house as if you were a potential buyer.

What looks good? Bad? Do you see anything out of the ordinary?

Although you won’t catch everything, if something doesn’t appear right to you, it probably won’t look right to anyone else either. It is a good idea to clean and declutter the house before showings. Make sure you highlight key areas such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Review and Negotiate Offers

Real estate deals are a two-way street when it comes to negotiations. Home sellers have a lot of negotiation power in addition to potential buyers who are trying to acquire the highest price for their financial situation. Sellers can use a range of strategies with the assistance of a professional real estate agent to increase the ultimate buying price for their house. Strategies to take into account include, but are not restricted to:

  • Expiration dates on counter-offers
  • Bidding wars
  • “Highest and best offer” bids
  • Rejecting offers outright

Go through all the offers carefully and pick the one that suits you best.

Sing an Offer.

Typically, your agent will email you the offer digitally 

Keep an eye out for emails!

When you’re on a deadline and signing documents electronically, it’s simple to quickly scan an offer and sign it.

However, if it’s on paper make sure you read the pages carefully. It’s wise to read everything completely before signing anything, especially if there are any crucial details.

Get Ready for Buyer Inspections.

A week or so after the offer is accepted, the buyer’s house inspection is often completed. To arrange a convenient time and date for the inspection, their representative should get in touch with you or your agent.

The buyer can request that you address a serious problem highlighted in the report. In that case, make sure your agent asks for a copy of the report so they can determine the problem.

To find out more about your responsibilities, including any problems you could be obliged to remedy as per the sales contract, speak with your agent.

Close on Your Home Sell

You’re so close to the finish line now! Here are the typical things that occur in the days or weeks before your closing date.

Examine and affirm the closing disclosure (CD)

This paperwork should be delivered a few days before closing by your agent. Each closing-related expense as well as your anticipated net proceeds are listed on the CD. Ensure the figures are accurate.

Give your spare keys

If you haven’t already, give your realtor or closing attorney any house keys or garage door openers make sure you hand them over, the buyer will need them.

Obtaining the Money From the Sale.

Last but not least, you might be wondering how and when you will get your money from the sale.

Your home sale will be finalized once you and the buyer have signed the closing papers.

Within 24-48 hours of closing, your closing agent or lawyer may wire your net proceeds into your bank account.

Nevertheless, depending on your bank, it can take a few days or more for your money to show up in your account.

Consult your agent, attorney, and bank for more information regarding how and when you will be paid.

You have made it to the end! Selling a house might look complicated and stressful at first but with the right set of knowledge and a little help you can close the deal successfully without any troubles.

Greg Bilbro

Greg Bilbro is the CEO and co-founder of Fair Property Buyers. After 20 years as a residential Realtor, Greg founded Fair Property Buyers, a nationwide group of real estate professionals committed to helping homeowners sell their problem properties quickly and easily. Fair Property Buyers helps people across the U.S. sell their homes for a fair cash price, without the hassles. Prior to starting Fair Property Buyers, Greg was a Series 7 and 63 securities and registered investment advisor with New York Life and NYLife Securities, where he was named “Rookie of the Year,” and named the youngest Partner in the U.S. Greg is a native of Texas and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of New Mexico. He currently hangs his hat in Scottsdale, Arizona with his sidekick Frenchie, “Bity".

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