Selling Real Estate

Are you looking to get out of your current home and into the home of your dreams? Home Warranty Policy is here to help you though selling your real estate; directing you through the steps you should follow to sell your home. While it may seem like a complicated proposition, selling your home can be easier than you think. Also, for tips on buying your next home, check out our Buying Real Estate section.

Preparing Your Home:

The first step towards selling your home is to clean it up. Regardless of how neat your home is on a daily basis, it is always best to spruce it up. You never know where a potential buyer might look and giving your home a thorough cleaning will allow you to discover any issues in your home. Be sure to hit those rarely-cleaned areas like fans, blinds/curtains, baseboards, butters and window wells. If you don’t want to tackle this on your own, look into hiring a reputable cleaning service to come in.

Also, make sure your cleaning goes beyond just cleaning up dust. This is a good time to throw away or sell unused stuff and eliminate clutter. The more clutter you have in your home, the smaller it appears to potential buyers. You will be amazed how big your rooms and closets will look without half of the stuff that’s in there now. In this market, buyers want to get as much space as possible for the lowest cost. If you show them how big the room can feel even with furniture and items in it, they will become more attracted to the home.

In addition to helping you discover potential issues, a thorough cleaning allows buyers to picture themselves in the home. Additionally, buyers tend to equate a dirty home with poor maintenance practices when it comes to the home’s appliances and systems.

Valuate Your Home:

There is a science that you have to follow when it comes to valuing your home. As a result, many of those homeowners who try to sell their own property fail to actually sell it because they think their home is worth a lot more than the market value of it or they have a certain threshold they’re trying to net from the property. For this reason, it is heavily recommended that you obtain a professional to assess the true value of your home for a sale.

You might be saying, “Why can’t I just rely on the property tax assessment?” There is a simple reason for this, property tax assessments do not adjust with the housing market inflation meaning that what your taxes say your home is worth and the true value of the home are drastically different things. If you need more incentive to get a professional assessment, typically your home is worth more than the property taxes state.

Ensure that the appraiser you hire is licensed. They will typically come to your home, measure the property, make notes and take photos which they combine with research about the property to determine the true value. It is also recommended that you keep multiple copies of the appraisal, one for yourself and one for serious buyers.

As a homeowner, you need to realize that your neighborhood drastically affects the value of your home. If you have a multi-million dollar home next to a simple ranch with a load of junk outside, your property value is going to drop. Also, a large amount of short-sales or foreclosures in your area will also affect your property value so be sure to keep your eye out for that.

Inspect Your Home:

As your home grows older and older by the day, the odds are that it will begin to develop some issues. As a result, it is typically recommended that you get a home inspection before listing your home so you can repair any issues before potential buyers come in. As the seller, you should keep it to the basics of the inspection. If a buyer wants something more, that is something they generally look into.

Market Your Home:

The quickest and easiest way to sell your home is to do an exclusive listing agreement with a knowledgeable real estate broker or agent. They will handle all of the aspects of marketing your home to potential buyers using tools such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a custom website, “For Sale” signs, and other devices. They will also be tasked with finding a buyer and showing the home. In return, you pay a simple commission to the broker/agent as well as the buyer’s broker/agent if applicable. While your home is listed, be sure to keep it in shape by keeping it clean and continuing with routine maintenance and repairs. This will continue to make it marketable and an unclean home can turn off potential buyers during walk-throughs.

Negotiating a Contract:

First and foremost, you have to be willing to negotiate with the opposing party. This comes back to the appraisal for your home. While that is a good starting point, the market can fluctuate even over a short period of time. As a result, that number is a good starting guideline but you will rarely see anyone willing to pay full market value especially in the current buyer’s market. Also, don’t be afraid to throw things in to sweeten the deal like furniture or decorations or even a home warranty to cover potential appliance and system failures. Be sure to outline what is included in the deal in the contract so there is no confusion later. Buyers will typically seek some concessions in turn for meeting a higher price on the home.

Close As Quickly As Possible:

Once the contract is signed, it is in your best interest to close as quickly as possible. Your real estate broker/agent will provide you with a contract but that will not stop a buyer from backing out of the deal. Be sure to receive some form of earnest money and push for a quick closing to reduce buyer’s remorse.


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