I’m thinking of Selling My House: What should I know?
Getting Ready to List your house for sale?
-Staging your home: Clean out clutter, get rid of any extra furniture, clothing, and personal photos you don’t want everyone to see. Make sure your furniture is placed to show off views. Make sure any other features you may have are highlighted too. For example if you have beautiful kitchen counters, clear everything off of them and make sure they are shiny clean. The same things that attracted you to the house will most likely bring in a buyer. Make sure they can easily see any selling features! Saying “behind that dresser is a laundry chute” doesn’t cut it. Move the dresser and let the buyer get excited by opening the chute!
-Pay for a deep cleaning which will include baseboards and windows. Clean houses sell better than dirty ones. Even if you’ve done an excellent job cleaning a new set of eyes can usually find something you’ve missed and make the house feel even better. You want your house to look and feel its best.
-Do any touch up paint or small repairs that may be visible to a buyer. This will add to the overall condition and quality of your home.
Choosing your List Price
-Most buyers have agents that are actively watching for new listings. If you price too high they may not want to show it, and if you later reduce the price you have probably already lost their attention. Price to sell if you want to sell. I’m not saying give the place away, but listen to your agent. If you want a second opinion hire an appraiser! $400 for an appraisal could save or make you thousands of dollars. An appraisal can also be a selling point for a buyer. Listing a property too high sends the market the message the Seller may not be reasonable and it sets the property up to become “stale”.
-When determining how much you need to sell the home for to make it worth your while, take into consideration commissions as well as closing costs! Here are a few items some sellers are completely unaware of:
-Closing costs! In addition to commissions, closing costs can run about 1% of the selling price. These costs include Title Insurance, Wire Fees, County Transfer Tax, Escrow Fee, Document Prep Fee’s, Natural Hazard Report Fee, Statement Fee’s from the HOA, if you are part of an association, Statement/Demand Fee’s from your lender/s, Re-conveyance Fees from your lender.
-Property Taxes. Even if you have an impound account for your mortgage Escrow will collect pro-rated property taxes and need to pay those out of the COE (close of escrow). You can expect a refund from your mortgage company for the balance of your escrow account; usual about 10 days after you close escrow.
-Same goes for loan interest. Did you know that each month you are paying interest for the prior month? Unlike say a rent payment which pays the month in advance, mortgage interest is paid in arrears. It was the first I’d ever heard of that; or the term. Here’s a helpful article on understanding mortgage interest: http://homebuying.about.com/od/financingadvice/f/051509_Mortgage-Payment.htm
Things Buyers Love
-When your house is on the market, make showings as easy as possible. Time is money for an agent. If they can’t easily get into your place, they will show and sell someone else’s house if they can’t get into yours. It’s that simple. When I sold my house it’s only because the agent couldn’t get them into the first place they wanted to show.
-Make sure your house smells good and is relatively clean at all times. It’s OK to look slightly lived in but the point is to let a buyer imagine themselves in your house.
-Offer a home warranty! Offering a warranty for the buyer is only a couple hundred dollars and a major selling point for a buyer!
After it’s in Escrow
-Having a backup offer never hurts. Until the buyer removes all contingencies from their contract nothing is a done deal.
-Be prepared for more showings. Not only to the buyer but for the buyer’s appraiser, home inspector, and contractors if there is any work they want to get done to the house as soon as it closes.
-Be aware of any repair items that may come up during the inspection, and be prepared to address how you’ll handle them should the buyer’s agent put in a request for repairs. Most purchase contracts include a home inspection clause so pick your battles should anything come up. You don’t want to lose a whole deal over a $200 repair item.
Most importantly, choose a seasoned agent who can answer all your questions and serve all your needs! Call us today if you’re interested in listing!