Guide to Selling Your Home

Should You Sell?

As your family and lifestyle evolve, consider whether you need to update your home as well. You may need an additional bedroom or bathroom to accommodate children, or when your kids leave or you retire, to downsize to a lower-maintenance property. If you don't like your neighbors or your neighborhood, and interest rates still at historic lows, you can afford to consider your happiness as well.

Hiring a Realtor

Your choice of real estate agent affects every aspect of the home-selling process. Choose a full-time professional who is a licensed Realtor, and has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Your ideal Realtor should have a good track-record of selling houses in your neighborhood and be acquainted with the most recent technology for home sales, including use of social media.

Comparable Market Analysis

Your Realtor's first step in marketing your home is doing a comparable market analysis or CMA. This starts with looking at statistics, including the size of your home and lot, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, age of the homes, and amenities. Next, your Realtor assembles a list of the prices at which similar homes in your neighborhood have actually sold, rather than just asking prices. Armed with this information, your Realtor will work with you to decide on the best listing price for your home.

Avoid Overpricing

Buyers have budgets. Especially with internet searches becoming an integral part of the buying process, many buyers won't look at houses that don't fit their planned budgets. If someone is searching for a house under $1,000,000, and yours is on the market for $1,000,001, it may not show up on an internet search. Even worse, if overpricing increases the number of days a home is on the market, it can become stale. When people see a house that has gone unsold for several months, they may wonder what is wrong with it.

Home Staging and Photography

Before you list your home, you need to "stage" it, getting it ready to shown. This means doing minor repairs, removing clutter, enhancing your home exterior and lawn, and cleaning meticulously. Repainting the interior in a light neutral color and move excess furniture and belongings to a storage unit if needed to give buyers a sense of space. Have a professional photograph the exterior of your house and every room and important feature, and also create a short video tour. The more potential buyers can actually see of your house as search the internet, the more likely they are to visit.

Open House

Your Realtor will organize an open house, so potential buyers and local real estate agents can visit your house without appointments. Open Houses often bring in buyers who might not otherwise visit the house.

Getting Ready to Move

Plan your move before you list your house, so you are ready to complete the sale as soon as you find a buyer, and don't lose out on buyers who need a home within a limited time frame.

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