You’ve heard countless times before that you need to prepare for a home sale way before you even think about selling. It’s true! You’ll need to prepare your home, your family (if applicable), and yourself for the selling process.
While it’s important to clean out the clutter and tell the kids “we’re moving to a new home!”, it’s equally important to ask yourself these five questions before putting your home on the market:
From “just thinking about selling” to “we needed to sell yesterday,” there are plenty of reasons you're selling your property. It’s important to know what YOUR goals are before exploring the market. Are you trying to get top dollar? Are you trying to sell quick? Both? This is where the mental preparation comes in. Figuring out your home selling goals is one of the most important steps before putting up that For Sale sign.
What date do you want to sell by? “I want to sell by _________.”
What’s the lowest offer you’ll consider? “I will accept an offer as low as $_______, but no lower.”
What is your plan? “If I don’t sell by _______, I will ____________.”
How much do you need to make from the sale of your home? “I need to net $______ with the sale of my home.”
What non-realty items are you willing to sell with the home? “I am willing to offer ______, ________, and ________ to the buyers, but not _________, __________, or __________."
In an ideal world, you’d have this all planned out way in advance, but we don’t always live in a perfect world, so things might be a bit rushed for you. If that’s the case, make sure to price your home right and you keep an open mind when buyers offer a different amount. If you have a longer timeline, you can be pickier. However, beware that your home might earn a few bad first impressions for accumulating days on the market. Often, if a home has been on the market for over 30 days, prospective buyers assume the property is overpriced or something is wrong with it. Peak seasonality for home-selling can vary by neighborhood-- but, generally speaking, anytime between May and August are hot home-buying months. A year before you list your home (yes, a full 365 days!), keep an eye on the market. Take note of a few things, including the following questionsWhen are homes flying off the shelves? When are they staying on the market longer? Take inventory in advance, as soon as possible, to make sure you’re listing at the ideal time that fits your timeline.
Okay, this is when the scrubbing, decluttering, depersonalizing, and all other “-ing’s” come into play. If you’ve lived on your property for more than a few months, it’s time to give it the ready-to-list shakedown. Instead of trying to do everything at once, create a game-plan and follow your timeline. Give yourself enough wiggle room to make sure your home is looking great for listing day. The to-do list will continue growing, and if you list your home before it’s ready, you run the risk of losing potential buyers. To avoid procrastination, try to upgrade and clean up about 6 months before you list. Although this isn’t an option for everyone, it’s definitely a good rule of thumb for those that know in advance that they want to sell.
If you’re motivated to sell, it’s important to set your limits of offer reasonability. This means you’ll need to decide on two offer amounts: the minimum price you’re willing to accept and the price you absolutely will not accept. If you have more room in your timeline, you can be a little bit pickier, but navigate the waters of offers cautiously.
Ideal List Price: ___________.
Lowest offer accepted: ___________.
There’s no shortage of ways to get your home on the market. Everyone you know has an opinion on the BEST way to sell (Trust us… everyone). Ultimately, it comes down to which way will best fit YOUR needs.