The 20-Day Plan to Selling Your Property
Whatever your motivation for selling, it’s natural to feel a range of emotions as you go through the process. Moving can be stressful because of the costs involved, the people you may have to leave behind, the possible changes in your children’s schools, and the exciting prospect of picking out the brand-new floor and window coverings.
You should think about the following when selling your current house:
Which do you value more, low cost or quick turnaround? Is it your preference to take care of every last aspect yourself, or have someone else do it? What is your budget for advertising the house? This booklet could prove helpful as you weigh your choices and determine the best way to achieve your goals.
When would it be preferable to sell your home promptly rather than for the highest possible price?
Many variables contribute to how quickly a home sells, such as the number of comparable homes for sale and their asking prices, the desirability of the surrounding area, and the size, condition, and features of your home compared to those of other comparable homes.
For various reasons, selling a home for less than the asking price may be preferable to get it off the market as soon as feasible. In the following scenarios, quick selling could be the most crucial consideration for homeowners.
Those who invested in a second home or a more significant residence than required saw their financial situation worsen during a recession. The once manageable bills are now a weight that is dragging you down financially.
People who purchased a fixer-upper because they could afford the mortgage payment are now drowning in repair costs.
Inherited property owners struggle to keep up with maintenance costs and tax obligations. Buying a second house to use for vacations or rent out may seem appealing, but then you consider how much time and effort will be required. If the house isn’t in your city, this is particularly crucial.
Landlords have had it up to here with renters who either don’t pay the rent or do damage to their properties.
Those whose insurance policies did not fully cover the costs of damage caused by a natural catastrophe.
Those who have taken a job offer in a different city or been transferred to work there.
Divorcing couples who need to liquidate house equity to pay for child support or other divorce-related expenses.
Those who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments are at risk of losing their home.
People who have located or built their ideal home must sell their current residence because their budget no longer allows for two mortgages.
The following quick sale tips may be helpful if you find yourself in any of these situations or want to sell your home quickly for whatever cause. All of these things are geared toward making your house more marketable. Looking at your house as if you were going to buy it is an excellent method to figure out what needs to be fixed up.
From the street, how does it appear? Is there enamel damage? Broken shutters? Overflowing, blocked gutters? Making some inexpensive cosmetic fixes to the outside of your home can increase the likelihood that potential buyers will pause to check it out. You may be able to deduct the cost of any renovations made to your house in preparation for sale.
Examine the interior of your home next. All homebuyers, regardless of their situation, want more room. Removing extraneous items is an easy method to make your home appear more prominent. You should make sure that potential purchasers focus on the attractive features of your home rather than the clutter that currently resides there. The garage, attic, cellar, and closets must be emptied as part of this process.
You probably know that it’s essential to have a clean home when prospective buyers are coming to look at it, but have you given any thought to the stains, pet hair, and dust that may have collected in those hard-to-reach places? Before listing your home for sale, devote one day per room to a comprehensive cleaning. This includes washing windows, rearranging furniture to reach corners, vacuuming upholstered pieces, wiping down wood, dusting ceiling fans, and checking that all light bulbs work. You could hire an expert cleaning service to steam clean the carpets and upholstery.
Remember that when showing your property to potential buyers, you want them to imagine themselves living there instead of you. Take the first step toward this goal by clearing off the walls of sentimental items like family photographs, your kid’s artwork, and posters.
Take the kids and the dog to Grandma’s during the movie. Your kids might get anxious if strangers poke around in their belongings, and you never know who might be sensitive to or afraid of the family pet. You want potential buyers to consider themselves part of the home, not the furniture.
Finally, think about the aromas in your house. You’ve been tidying up the house and hopefully eliminated any foul smells, but has it been given a fresh, inviting scent as well? You could bake some bread or pastries to serve at the screening. If you don’t have time, try using potpourri or scented lamps instead.
Don’t let your feelings into the negotiation.
If you’ve lived in your home for any length of time, you probably have fond memories of each room, from when you and your son built a birdhouse in the basement workshop to the romantic weekends you spent cuddling up in front of the fireplace. If a family is looking to purchase your home, they will likely walk through it together and call out what they don’t like or plan to change.
When you consider that they might alter the features that you value most in your home, it can be heartbreaking. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of selling the property. The family that purchases your house will add a new chapter to their history, but you will write a new chapter on your own in your new home. Negotiations should remain formal and on-topic at all times. Buyers will become more and more committed to purchasing your home as they discuss their intentions with others. Their hopes and ambitions can be your key to a lucrative sale.
If you plan on handling the sale of your home on your own, consider giving prospective buyers a tour while highlighting its many advantages, then letting them revisit the house on their own time so they can discuss it openly.
Price, financing, closing costs, repairs, move-in date, earnest money, and special conditions like whether the window coverings remain or go are all items that can be negotiated. Read a book on bargaining strategies if you have the opportunity. One side does not necessarily have to come out on top here. Finding some middle ground and negotiating a solution that leaves everyone feeling like they came out ahead is preferable.
There are essentially four ways you can go about selling your property. The amount of profit you want to keep, how much you know about the process, how quickly you need to sell, and the state of your house are all factors that should influence your decision. It’s important to weigh each sale option’s pros and drawbacks to determine the best fit. For most people, the sale of their primary residence represents their single most significant financial deal ever. It’s essential that you feel at ease with the approach you take.
One option is to work with a real estate representative. These experts will guide you through the entire sales process for a fee that ranges from 5 to 7 percent of the final selling price. A listing agreement usually prevents you from selling your property without paying the agent’s commission for a set period. The real estate agent is given a commission only if and when the property sells, and this is the case whether or not the buyer is known to the seller beforehand.
The agent will sell your house on the MLS so that other real estate agencies can show it to potential buyers. An agent may put up multiple listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the hopes of selling a few of them while disregarding the listings that are more difficult to deal with or are priced lower the agent will earn a lower fee. Your real estate agent should go above and beyond listing your home to find creative methods to get the word out.
Popular promotion methods include holding open houses, advertising in real estate periodicals, and asking other agents to view the property. The agent spends his or her own money to advertise your property, counting on a commission check to cover the costs. Your real estate representative might not put much time or money into marketing your home if they don’t think it will bring in a lot of money for them.
Having an experienced mediator and negotiator is the most significant benefit of working with a real estate agent to market your home. However, remember that the person is acting in his or her self-interest. This could be a massive boon if it doesn’t go against your goals. Another perk is that your agent will install a lockbox so that any real estate agent can show your property even when you’re not there. The agent’s lockbox system allows you to go about your day-to-day business or even move in without waiting around for showing appointments as long as you’re informed in advance.
The alternative is the “For Sale By Owner” approach (FSBO). Selling your home without the help of a real estate representative allows you to keep more of the sale’s proceeds and eliminates the need to pay a commission. However, it is your responsibility to handle every aspect of the transaction. You should pick and pay for advertisements that get your house in front of potential buyers. You’ll need to arrange showings, be present at all times during those showings, haggle over price, and sign a contract. Also, ensure no hiccups in the closing process by keeping tabs on the buyer’s credit application.
The flat-fee listing tool brings together both worlds’ best (and worst). Companies like BuyOwner.com, ListByOwnerOnMLS.com, and Owners.com will help you sell your house independently but will charge you a fee upfront. They’ll promote your home through their methods and recommend additional strategies. They can also help you draft a contract and counsel you during sales negotiations.
The problem with the first three approaches is that you cannot ensure a buyer will be located. Generally speaking, a real estate speculator is a buyer. The purchaser isn’t interested in facilitating a sale; rather, (s)he wants to make the purchase themselves. An investor will likely probe you with inquiries about your house and your motivation for selling. The purchaser will then develop a purchase proposal that meets your needs while still satisfying their own financial goals. Since investors don’t need to wait for a credit approval, they have more leeway in choosing a closing date. Some investors can close in as little as three days, making them a good option if you need to sell quickly for one of the reasons mentioned at the outset of this booklet. An investor can extend the closure date to give you more time to move out or finish packing.
If you go with a real estate investor, you won’t have to worry about advertising your property or having random people point out all the flaws. In most cases, investors will purchase a home “as is,” indicating that you won’t have to make any repairs before selling. An investor is well-equipped to handle the sale’s paperwork because that is what they do for a livelihood.
You won’t have to pay any upfront money when working with a real estate broker. You give them a call and inquire about an offer on your house. The next step is for you to evaluate whether or not it’s suitable for your purposes. If so, schedule a closure date and be there to receive your payment. Not all buyers will provide you with the return you expect. Look around until you find an investor who cares about your specific circumstance and will work with you to find a solution.
Philadelphia-based real estate speculator and advisor Joshua J. Weidman. Through his innovative problem-solving, he has assisted hundreds of residents in selling their homes. Josh can help if you’re considering selling your home and want free advice or a no-obligation cash offer.