Home Selling Process: Part 1 – Before the Home is Listed

What to Expect, When Selling My Home: Part 1

Before the Home is Listed

The Listing Appointment

After you decide to sell your home, you will want to meet with a Realtor.  Some people choose to do a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) for different reasons.  Some of those are successful.  Approximately 70% end up using a realtor for various reasons, but the #1 reason is that when you have a Realtor, there are approximately 7,000 agents that can see your listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  That’s 7,000 agents working to get your house sold. (Note the number of agents working to get your home sold will depend on your individual market area.  The 7000 is based on Virginia Beach)

The Realtor can do a Current Market Analysis (CMA) for you and tell you exactly what your home is worth.  If your home needs some TLC, they can tell you exactly what to do and not to do.  Some homeowners want to wait to put their home on the market so they can do some renovations, but they don’t put their money into the areas that they can get the most bang for their buck.  The goal is to get your home sold for top dollar.  By meeting with a Realtor before you even decide to put your home on the market, they can tell you want to do or work on as this usually takes a week to a few months.   There are some things they will definitely say:

  1. De-clutter your home! Pack up anything and everything you aren’t using.  Put away medication and valuables. This is important.
  2. Use Pinterest to see different decorating ideas, especially shelves. You can also look for staging ideas.  You can visit my Pinterest page for ideas:
  3. Remove family pictures from the walls. When buyers come in, we want them to image themselves in your home and it’s easier for them to do that if there are not photos of you and your family.
  4. Clean your home and keep it cleaned. If it’s dinner time and you get a call for a showing, DON’T put dirty dishes in the stove. For whatever reason, homeowners panic because they don’t have much time to clean them and put them in the stove.  They then forget about them and cook them next time they pre-heat the oven.  If this happens to you, have a box in the garage or somewhere else planned that you could quickly stash dirty dishes.
  5. If it’s Spring, Summer or Fall, make sure that your lawn is mowed and that there is good curb appeal. The first impression that buyers have of your home is the outside.  One thing that could be a good investment if a new front door.
  6. You may even consider having a preliminary inspection on the home so there aren’t any surprises and if there is anything that needs to be fixed, you can choose the contractor of your choice or fix it yourself. If you wait, the buyer will have the inspector of their choice and they will likely want to choose the contractor that fixes it as well.  One of the things the inspector will look at is the gutters, so it’s a good idea to get those cleaned out, if needed.  They also check to make sure all windows are operable.
  7. Another thing you might consider is having an appraisal, especially if you are going to do a FSBO. If you list your home for $300,000 and you get an offer for asking price, but it only appraises for $280,000, the buyer will only be able to get a loan for $280,000.  At this point, you have a few options
    • Decrease the asking to match the appraisal.
    • Keep your home and back out of the contract.
    • Ask the buyer to come up with the difference (if they are even able to do this – most aren’t able to or aren’t willing to pay more than it’s actually worth).
    • You can negotiate with the buyer where you will each pay part of the difference. Again, this may not work because many people don’t want to pay more than a home is worth.
  8. If walls are all different colors and you are open to the idea of painting, neutral colors will definitely help your home show well. You don’t have to paint, but if you’re looking to move quickly, this could help your home sell.  Buyers love neutral colors.
  9. Another area that can be helpful is to clean the carpets either yourself or professionally. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, the Rug Doctor at most grocery stores does a great job and is relatively inexpensive.
  10. If you really have a lot of extra furniture and personal belongings, get a storage unit. Many of them are free for the first month and hopefully you will only need it for a few months.

If you’re happy with the agent that visits, you would sign a listing agreement for a specific amount of time with all the details of the home.

A for sale sign will be placed in your yard.

See part 2 for more of the process!

If you would like additional information, please reach out to me on social media or fill out the contact form! 

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