10 Important Things To Know Before Listing Your House For Sale
Putting up your house for sale puts you in a place of responsibility as the owner, because of course; we all know that earning profit is not that easy. But rest assured that after this experience, you will have gained more skills, insights, and tricks!
1. Do your homework: research on the price range of properties in your area – Doing this saves you from overpricing or under pricing your house. Look into houses within your area that are of similar feature to yours in terms of lot size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and parking capacity. If you have time to spare, visit these homes yourself during their open houses. Checking competition will also help you evaluate not just the right price for your home, but also things that you could improve on your house to make it look more marketable.
2. Make your house market-ready – With all the available (free) information for everyone today, buyers have higher standards in choosing a house. They may have envisioned the perfect home on their mind through browsing magazines or photos on Instagram or Pinterest, and it would be of an advantage to your property if you at least try to make it look as if it's straight from their dream. If you’re willing to spare extra cash and effort, you could hire a team of professionals composed of a home stager, landscaper, painter, and handyman. Just make sure that you account these expenses for your final pricing. No budget? You can opt to go DIY. Also, the cheapest way to make your home market-ready is to make sure that it’s clean and free from clutter at all times.
3. Hire a reliable agent – You shouldn’t just hire an agent from a pool of names and faces listed in your directory; ask trusted friends for referrals on agents and interview them before hiring. Ask the right questions to your prospective agent so that you know how selling your house will be handled.
4. Have a professional inspect your house before pre-listing – Buyers might make their offer contingent upon certain inspections such as pest and septic, so it might be a good idea to hire a professional home inspector in order to tend to the issues you may not have spotted on your house. Ask for a detailed report from your home inspector and have them include photos for proof.
5. Any season is a peak season for selling a house, except winter – As most people are busy with Holiday errands and out-of-town, out-of-country trips and social gatherings, there wouldn’t be much buyers on the hunt for houses. You could put your listing on hold until spring comes, but if you’re taking your chances, you could still try during winter, as there are also fewer sellers. That means less competition!
6. Prepare necessary documents – Your agent will notify you of the necessary documents needed once the selling transaction begins. This may include documents on title of property and outstanding balance on mortgage (if any) & pay-off balance. Gathering these documents ahead of time will ease the way for a faster transaction.
7. Yup, it may not sell like hot cakes – Despite countless preparations (including the emotional one) and seeing your house as The Best Ever in the Market, it may not sell as quickly as you thought and wanted it to be. Relax, a house is a huge investment on the part of the buyer, and they may be nitpicky on the average and flaky at worst.
8. You could be your own salesperson, too – Don’t rely solely on your agent to do all the marketing – you could ask a photographer friend (or if you know how to take good photos yourself) to capture your home as beautiful as possible. You could use social media to your advantage by putting up ads on Facebook and Instagram (it’s actually cheap), or just by simply posting it in your social media accounts and asking friends and family to share it.
9. Have a gauge on your potential profit (or loss) – Reduce the selling price to the following expenses that will be incurred throughout the selling process:
- Title charges
- Government recording and transfer changes
- Real estate agent sales commissions
- Additional settlement charges
- Debt obligations that needs to paid off on an ongoing mortgage
- Home repairs and enhancements prior to listing
10. Research on current tax laws – You could have your agent explain this to you as they may be knowledgeable and updated on tax laws, but it's good to also do some research on your own. It could also help you when estimating your potential profits after selling.