Selling the home you’ve lived in for years is never an easy decision. Anyone would want to make the best out of this difficult decision to also avoid having any regrets when they start life in a new place.
That said, there are certain steps you can take to make get the best offer for your home. From pricing to adding value, here are the ways you can make the most out of your home sale.
Price It Right
Plenty of sellers price their home too high in hopes of getting as much money as possible for their home sale, but it doesn’t work a lot of times and only serves to alienate some buyers. One of the keys to selling your house for the most money is to price it right from the start. You can’t price it too low, or buyers will think that the house has some hidden problems. Too high, and it will outright discourage interested customers. If you price it right, you can find yourself in a spot where you do a super quick sale and everyone wins.
Your tax appraisal will give you a general idea of your home’s value. You can use that figure as a baseline for your sale price, so you have to do your research to find the price that hits the sweet spot of the housing market.
Look up comparable properties—homes with similar qualities and features as those of yours—and the prices they sold for. You also have to factor in the renovations and improvements (with permit) that you’ve done on your home although you don’t expect to get a full return of your renovation cost on your sale.
If you’re still uncertain about how to price your property, talk to a professional real estate agent. They can guide you through the process and give you inside information that you likely won’t find on the internet.
Find the Right Timing to Sell Your Home
Like with everything else, selling your home needs the right timing. It’s a huge decision to leave your familiar neighborhood, uproot your whole family, and move into an entirely new place. You have to give it a good think before you put up your home for sale.
There are several factors you need to consider (e.g., personal finances, life changes, lifestyle needs, and changes in the housing market ) to be 100 percent sure that it’s the right time to sell your home.
Selling a home will cost money. You have to pay for renovations to ensure that you can sell your home at the best price. You also have to continue paying for property taxes, insurance, and utilities until your sale closes.
On top of that, there’s also the cost of staging fees, concessions, and the realty broker’s commission to consider. That said, you have to be financially ready to shoulder the cost of selling a home and to pay a deposit for your new place.
As for the housing market, it’s generally more active in the spring and summer, so you’ll find more interested buyers in these months. However, the level of market activities can vary depending on geography. In Phoenix, where the climate is warmer, home sales are relatively steady all year round, with spikes happening in March and May.
Learn about the trends in your local real estate market, and talk to professionals to know what you need to determine the right timing to put your home on the market.
Decide How to Sell Your Home
There are several ways you can sell your home. One way is to find an agent to handle everything for you, from marketing to negotiation. When the agent successfully closes the deal with a buyer, they will receive between 3 to 6 percent commission as payment.
Another method is to sell the home yourself, a method known as for-sale-by-owner, or FSBO. This means that you do all the work, from listing your property and finding buyers to negotiating with the buyer and closing the deal.
The number of FSBO sales has declined as it’s been proven that sellers typically earn less when they sell their home solo as opposed to hiring an agent. FSBO homes lose as much as 16 percent of the sale price, according to a study by the National Association of Realtors.
A third method eliminates much of the hassle and months of wait of home sales. This method involves selling your home to a direct buyer, like Zillow Group, Opendoo, OfferPad, and Redfin.
If you sell your home to a direct buyer, they give you an offer, calculating factors such as estimated repair costs, staging cost, property tax, comps, etc. They take care of the whole process, so all you have to do is decide on the closing date and move to your new place.
Give Your Home an Update
Update and renovations can add value to your home, but you have to be careful about choosing which work to do. In Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost versus Value Report, data on renovation projects in nine US regions showed that you don’t get a 100 percent return on investment on most renovation projects.
Among the listed renovations, fiberglass attic insulation was the only one where the seller got 100 percent return or more of their investment. However, the data isn’t conclusive to all markets. Some markets may put more value on certain renovations over others.
Since there’s no guarantee that you will get a full return on investment on your renovation, why not skip it altogether? You can skip upgrades that don’t add much value to your home, but you shouldn’t sell your house without repairing important things or doing simple things like power washing the siding or painting the front porch rails.
Burned-out light, leaky faucets, and a running toilet will subtract from the value of your home and turn off buyers. Check your home thoroughly, and take note of all the repairs that need to be done.
Before you do any repairs, though, make sure that you’re not losing more money by paying for them yourself. Weigh in the cost of the project against the market value of your home after the repairs and enhancements.
Even if you’re not willing to invest in a huge project, you can still do simple fixes to avoid losing too much. Replacing old lighting fixtures with LED lights and installing water-efficient faucets and showerheads won’t cost as much as other updates will, but they can help add value.
If you’re still using an old toilet, you should also consider upgrading to a water-efficient model with a macerating pump, like the Saniflo upflush toilets. These toilets use less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush (the standard), and the macerating pump further breaks down wastewater to prevent clogs and facilitate better drainage.
Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal
While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, most home buyers will judge a home based on the exterior. If they don’t like what they see outside, they won’t be to check out what’s inside. You can skip on fancy kitchen upgrades, extensive professional landscaping, and other expensive updates, but you can’t leave the front in a sorry state.
Give the exterior a complete makeover. Clean the entire front, mow the lawn, trim trees and shrubs, repaint the exterior, fix broken steps, get rid of personal effects on the porch and driveway, and make everything look brand-new again. If you have furniture in the porch and plan to leave them to the next owner, clean them and give them a new polish.
Hire a Professional Stager
You want to put your home’s best foot forward when you sell it, so you should hire a professional stager to establish a positive first impression with buyers. A professional stager arranges your home to make it look appealing to buyers.
They can also give your home a fresh, new look and bring new pieces if you don’t have the right furniture and decor to bring out the beauty of your home. Staging allows buyers to see the potential of a home, and it can provide the last push to convince them to buy the property.
Make It Clean and Ready for Occupancy
If you haven’t realized it yet, how your home looks is vital in getting the most out of your home sale. A clean, beautiful home makes one feel at ease, giving off a positive first impression. And home buyers are more willing to give a home chance, even if it doesn’t have everything they need or it’s out a little of their budget.
Creating a positive impression will depend on how you prepare your home for the sale. Part of prepping your home is removing all personal belongings and cleaning every nook and cranny. Everything that’s not part of the sale should be cleared by the time you put up the For Sale sign outside.
Share Details about Life in the Neighborhood
The neighborhood is part of the major considerations when moving into a new home. A buyer will likely inquire about the area when they buy a house. They would want to know the neighborhood is safe and accessible, if there are good schools in the area, and if there are commercial establishments nearby.
Some buyers may also ask about the kind of neighbors you have as the people can dictate the kind of neighborhood environment. Good neighbors are more willing and invested in maintaining a safe and healthy neighborhood.
Whether you need to relocate for a new job or promotion, are upsizing, or just want a change of environment, leaving the home you’ve built for yourself is one of the biggest (and possibly hardest) decisions you will ever make in your life.
After you’ve thought it through and determined that you’re ready to move on, the next step is to put up your home for sale. The steps above will help you get the most out of your home sale, so you can start life in your new home without worries and regrets.