Three things to do before you list your home

Preparing to list your home can be a time-consuming process. Many families spend weeks organizing closets, touching up paint and cleaning all the nooks and crannies to make sure their home is ready for potential buyers to visit. Preparing to list your home, especially if you have big plans to move, can be an exciting process! In all of that excitement, a few important steps might fall through the cracks. Here are three things to add to your to-do list that will help you get the most money out of your home as you prepare to sell:

 

    1. Hold your own inspection to identify any issues you might need to fix.

When you purchased your home, you likely enlisted a home inspector to examine the house before you closed. Traditionally, buyers hire home inspectors to ensure the home they’re purchasing doesn’t have any outstanding issues or problems that should be considered in the sale process. It is common for buyers to request sellers to make repairs to problems as part of their contract. Unfortunately, many sellers enter the process without knowing these problems exist. When sellers have to make repairs or lower their selling price, they ultimately cut into the money they take home after they sell.

Before you list your home, hire an inspector to come out and thoroughly review your home. This inspector should be able to identify issues that you should repair before your home goes on the market, giving you time to make updates before you list. Even if you don’t choose to make the repairs recommended by the inspector, you will go into the selling process with a better understanding of what a potential buyer might ask you to repair or fund as part of the sale. This can help you determine a fair asking price and set your expectations for profit.

 

      2. Research comparable home prices in your neighborhood.

A large part of the homebuying and selling process is setting personal expectations. You can save yourself a lot of heartache and struggle during the negotiating process if you base your asking price on research. In the months leading up to listing your home, track home prices in your neighborhood. You can do this online or using resources in the local newspaper. See how much money people are paying for homes comparable in size to your own within your zip code. Consider not only homes that have the same square footage as you, but also take into account how many bedrooms and bathrooms your home has compared to homes you’re watching. A house with more bedrooms or bathrooms than yours might sell for a higher price even if the square footage is comparable. If you use online sites like Zillow, Redfin or Trulia, you can also see the condition of homes in your neighborhood. Understanding how your home compares in terms of updates and renovations can give you a better understanding of your future asking price.

 

     3. Enlist the help of a reliable Realtor.

A lot of sellers are tempted to list their homes themselves because of the commission fees that Realtors take after the sale. But partnering with a Realtor can save you a lot of time and money, so we always recommend working with an agent you trust. A Realtor can help you make decisions that will impact your sale – like the time you list and whether or not you should have an open house. When they walk through your home, they can identify your home’s best assets based on market trends and can tout those in your listing language. They often have access to professional photographers who will make your home look exceptional in online listings. Though you should do your research in step two, after walking through your home and surveying your neighborhood, your Realtor can help you set a realistic asking price. All of these factors will ultimately help you get the most money out of your home when you finally sell.

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