Selling your home can be a bittersweet time for every homeowner. It is exciting to start a new adventure in life whether it is growing your family, starting a new job or moving to a new location. It can also be a little upsetting thinking of the memories that were made or downsizing to fit your new lifestyle. The positive thing is the memories will always be with you! If you are thinking of selling here is a checklist to help with the process
Focus On Curb Appeal
Now is time to take care of all of the outside projects you planned on fixing up. The exterior of your home is the first thing homebuyers see so having great curb appeal will help you receive interest in your property. A few suggestions that are affordable and extra eye catching are:
- Paint the siding and front door if it is looking warn
- Power wash windows, patios, decks and siding if it is vinyl or aluminum
- Make sure your property is well manicured
- Mow and clear weeds
- Plant Flowers Or Bushes
- Go minimal on lawn decorations
- Fix anything outside that may look warn or broken
These quick and easy steps will make your home more appealing for home buyers giving you a leg up on other homes that may have skipped them.
De clutter The Interior And Think About Staging
The exterior of your property is all setup and looking beautiful, now you will want to start working on the interior. While the lived in look is fine when you live in the home it is hard for potential home buyers to envision themselves living the space. A de cluttered home is the easiest way to make your home feel welcome and inviting to potential buyers. If you are not living in the home or only use it occasionally you may want to look into having it staged. Having everything perfectly set makes home selling easier.
Remove Personal Items On Display
Similar to de cluttering and staging, removing any personal items helps potential home buyers picture themselves living in the space. If you are getting ready for a move pack up personal photos and items first. Large items like couches and chairs help buyer picture the space or ways they may layout a space a little differently.
Hire A Real Estate Agent
While selling your property by yourself might seem appetizing you need to consider the availability that is needed to sell your property. If you are busy with work and personal life you can miss out on potential buyers. Hiring the correct real estate agent will give you more free time as well as more opportunities to reach potential buyers. Real estate agents are also knowledgeable about the current market so they might be able to sell your home faster and possibly for more. Choosing an international brand like Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices promotes your property throughout the entire network giving you one of the largest visibilities that is on the market.
Communicate With Your Real Estate Agent
Your property might not sell right away so communication will be key between you and your agent. If you live in the home full time this will be even more important. You might be sick or have a family event going on where you need showings to be adjusted to fit your schedule. Letting agents know what times work best for showings will be key in selling your property. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the process, an agent is there to help and guide! Agents will also let you know about any changes in the market, so you are able to adjust accordingly.
Keep Everything Clean (If Living At The Property)
The home is cleaned and staged, now is the tricky part keeping it that way or as close to it as you can. Keeping your property neat and tidy helps potential home buyers envision living in the space so if you have properties make sure everything is cleaned up and put away.
The real estate market ebbs and flows so being patient while your property is listed will make life less stressful for you. There are high seasons and low season depending on when you choose to list it may take longer then what it might take during the higher and busier times for real estate. Another reason it may take longer is a seller’s market turning into a buyer’s market where there is a lot of inventory for potential home buyers to purchase.
Sign Purchase Agreement & Inspections
Congratulations! You accepted an offer on your property. Now is the time to sign the purchase agreement so you can begin the process of selling your property. The agreement may contain contingencies what may include an inspection leading to some repairs of your property before closing.
Repair Any Issues If Necessary
This step may not be necessary but depending on what agreement you signed. If the inspections came back with issues the home buyer may ask for credit or for repairs to your property. Now is the time to contact a professional to fix any issues that may have come up if the home buyer is requesting the repairs be done before they close on the property.
Offers accepted, inspections and repairs are done, now is time to start packing you things up. Make sure you start this after inspections and repairs are done and you are fully in contract to sell your home. Things can happen during a real estate deal where it may fall apart so making sure you are fully in contract will save you from packing, to unpacking and then packing again. It is a lot nicer to take your time packing instead of rushing the week before.
Prepare Your Selling Documents & Objects
Time to finalize all of your paper work. This paper work could include documents showing repairs were done, any codes or garage door openers for the home, utility bills, property tax documents, warranties on home appliances and instructions if there are security systems or if it is a smart home. Preparing this ahead of the closing will make the process easier.
Hire Cleaning Crew
Depending on how confident you are on your cleaning skills you may want to hire a professional cleaning crew to deep clean your home. You will want to have this done before the final walk through of the property. This will ensure that there are no complaints from the new homeowner on the cleanliness of the property when they move in.
Do Final Walk-through
Your documents are together and the house is clean, now is the time to do one final walk-through before selling to make sure everything is in place according to the contract. It is customary for buyers to do a final walk-through within a business day prior to closing where they are able to test the systems before closing. We suggest doing a final walk-through yourself before the buyers to make sure all the systems are working properly.
Shut Off The Utilities
Depending on what day the new owners plan on moving in to the property you will need to turn off the utilities for the property. This may be the day of the closing or the day after. Contact your gas, water, sewer, electrical and cable/internet companies to terminate your services to that property or move the service to your new home. Utility companies won’t allow the new buyers to set up their services until yours are ended. This is why it is good to end them the day of or the day after the property closes so they can set up as soon as possible.
Selling your property can be frustrating but using the checklist above will keep this normally lengthy process organized and hopefully reduce some stress in the process. If you have any questions during the selling process we recommend asking your real estate agent or attorney depending on what stage you are on. Your attorney will generally handle most of the paperwork from signing of the agreement to the closing while the agent will handle showings and any real estate-based questions that you may have.