Selling your home can be a long and stressful process. It’s no easy thing preparing to move out of a home where you’ve lived for any number of years, researching the market, and trying to find buyers. It can be more stressful when you realize that there are even more steps to the process than that. Fortunately, it’s something that people do every day and it can be simplified. Just take things one step at a time. Go through this checklist in order to ensure that your home is ready to list.
Is Your Equity Positive?
Positive equity, meaning the value of your home is worth more than you owe on the mortgage, is everything in selling your home. With negative equity, the only sale you’ll get will be a short sale. It’s not ideal for buyers or sellers. You should at least be able to break even before you consider selling your house, but it’s better to have positive equity so you can get something out of the sale as well. Remember that home value fluctuates based on the market trends and home technology. Making recent updates of your home or energy efficient changes are a good way to boost the home value and put you on your way to positive equity.
Are You Out of Debt?
Remember, you’ll be buying a new home, too. You’ll need to get a mortgage loan from the bank and the size of that loan will determine how much you can afford in shopping for your new home. If you’re in debt or your credit is a mess, sellers and banks alike will be able to scout that out. Make sure that your financial situation is in good shape and that you can in fact afford to move before you consider putting your house on the market. Don’t expect your home sale to cover everything.
Have You Touched Up Your Curb Appeal?
Curb appeal is vital to attracting prospective buyers to your home. They should be able to see themselves in your home before they even see the inside of your home. The lawn should be mowed and raked, garden beds should be fresh, and trees should be trimmed so that they don’t overwhelm the house. This may be a good time to give your front door a fresh coat of paint or replace your front-facing windows. Another tip? Park down the street rather than in your driveway. This allows your curb to look more inviting to buyers.
Have You Researched the Market?
In large part, it’s your listing agent’s job to understand the housing market and help you get the best sale possible for your home. However, that doesn’t mean you should be ignorant. You need to at least have a decent understanding of the housing market before you list your home. What do similar homes go for? How is the market expected to change by the time you plan to list your home, if at all? The housing market is a fast fluctuating thing. Just because you understood it a few years ago doesn’t mean you’ll have a grasp on it now, so it’s a good idea to refresh your knowledge.
Are You Emotionally Ready?
The decision to list your home is more than just a financial decision. You probably spent multiple years of your life in this home. Significant moments in your life happened here. For a time, this was probably where you felt the most comfortable. People rarely live in one home forever, but even when you know it’s time to move on, it’s not an easy thing to just pack up your life and go. Selling your home can also be an emotional process in that it’s a time of high stress, whether in making home improvements to boost your ROI or in negotiations with buyers. Give yourself time to process and be gentle with yourself. Only when you feel truly ready for all those big changes should you list your home.
Have You Hired a Real Estate Agent?
Listing your home on your own and dealing with all of the sale negotiations and market research on your own can be overwhelming…which is why it doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to get the best sale possible and retain some peace of mind through the whole thing, it’s essential to hire a real estate agent. Remember, this is a real estate agent’s job. They do this every day. They’re expert negotiators with expert knowledge of the housing market – and they have your back in the sale. That’s the kind of support you’ll need to ensure before you sell your home.
Do you have everything checked off? Good for you! Go ahead and list your home. If you’re still searching for a real estate agent, consider the Barclay Team. We can draw up a comparative market analysis and help you get the wheels turning so you can sell your home successfully and move on to the next part of your life. Contact us today and tell us about the home you’re trying to sell.