No matter how many times you sell a house, there is a proper procedure to follow to insure top dollar. The first and foremost hurdle to climb is to make the decision to sell. The second is finding a real estate agent. The third is listing and showing your house. Finally, selling you house for as much profit as possible. By following the steps out-lined in this article, the process of selling your house will be o good experience.
After you decide to sell your house, you need to make the decision on whether to sell it privately or through a realtor. Many people choose to sell their house privately. Personally, we’ve always chosen to work with a realtor. They have more knowledge about the selling process. This has left us with less worry insuring everything will be completed promptly and correctly.
Now that you’ve decided to sell your house, how do you choose a real estate agent? Be prepared with questions to ask possible agents to see if their qualifications are what you desire. The website http://money.howstuffworks.com lists nine questions to interview a realtor. They are:
“What is your list-price-to-sales price ratio? (This is the ratio of what the agents properties were originally priced (or listed) compared to what they properties finally sold for. It should be close to 100 percent.)
How many have you sold in the last year?
How will you market my house? Direct Mail? Flyers? Online?
Are you familiar with my neighborhood?
How are you different from other agents?
Can you provide references?
Will you be able to help me find professionals and services I need?
What guarantees are offered, and what are your policies with cancelled agreements?
How much time will you be able to spend working on my house sale?” (http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/real-estate/house-selling.htm)
These questions are an excellent start for your interview question list. Don’t re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to. Use the listed questions and ad some of your own. Once you’ve settled on a realtor, it’s time to focus on your house.
The first thing you and your family need to start doing is disassociating your feelings from your home. It is important to begin looking at your home as a house. When this is done, you will be able to look more objectively at issues that need to be addressed.
Next, walk threw your house and make notes on what items need to be fixed, replaced or packed. Ask pertinent questions and set a priority list. The following questions will help you determine your next step:
- How much are we willing to invest on repairs? Make a list of priorities. Cosmetic repairs are important to get the most out of your house.
- Develop a time-line to do the repairs
- Begin de-personalization the house. Pack away family pictures and any items that are sentimental.
- De-clutter…de-clutter…de-clutter! Sort your belongings into four piles – sell at a garage sale, donate to charity, throw away, or keep. The items that you are planning on keeping, but are not using, should be packed away. In order to make a good impression the house needs to look fresh, open, and clean.
- Rearrange your furniture to optimize the living space.
- Rearrange and organize your closets and cabinets. There are some prospects that will look in those areas.
- Rent a storage unit to store packed boxes and extra furniture. DO NOT pile boxes in an unused or lightly used area. Get them out of the house for a better presentation.
- If you have light fixtures, window covering, mirrors, etc. that are permanently attached and you want to take those with you, now is the time to replace them. Fix any holes that are made from removing these items. Remember, presentation is everything.
- Do your spring-cleaning and then keep the house sparkling clean. Do such things as; sweep, dust and vacuum daily; remove all cobwebs; replace bad caulking; clean around sink, tub, and toilet; clean and polish all faucets; wax or oil floors; and wipe the front off of all appliances. Keep up with the cleaning, your house may be shown at anytime.
- With every person that views the house, including all realtor open houses, put new towels in the bathroom and kitchen, replace all worn rugs, put ¼ cup vanilla in a pie tin and place tin in the oven on law heat (250 degrees). The aroma is inviting and comforting to those individuals looking at the property.
- Make sure your house has “curb appeal”. Walk around the outside of your house. Pick up any trash or yard waste. Pull any weeds and trim bushes and trees. Add color where possible. Especially the color yellow. Yellow stimulates the brain by stimulating the buying emotion in a prospective buyer (marigolds and pansies are two very affordable yellow flowers). Either plant in the ground or place in several pots together to form a cluster by both house doors.
- Make sure your house numbers are easily read from the street.
- Anytime the house is going to be shown, plan on not being there. The prospects will feel more at ease if you are not present.
The following links are excellent Internet sources: