Key Steps to Selling a House

You might be excited by the prospect of selling your house and moving on to bigger and better adventures, but then the whole idea of actually selling your house may be a little overwhelming. There’s a lot to be done to secure the most return on your investment when selling your house. Here are six steps for successfully selling your property.

couple sitting on rug while moving1. Hire a professional real estate agent you can trust. Your agent should be an expert in the type of property you’re selling, and should be familiar with all the nuances of your neighborhood. Your real estate agent should have clear communication skills. If you’re uncomfortable in your first conversation, that’s probably an indicator that you’ve not yet found the right agent. Consider working with the agent who sold you the property if possible because you already have a rapport, but if that’s not possible, interview several agents until you find the right one for your needs. Ask about the exit strategy in case you need to replace the agent after a period of time. Some realtors have clauses built into their contracts to prevent you from terminating the relationship prior to a certain date.

2. Price your home properly from the start, leaving room for negotiations. Your real estate agent will provide you with a CMA, a Comprehensive Market Analysis, which will give you a solid idea of what buyers are willing to pay in your area for houses that are similar to yours. You may also decide to check your property tax statements for an estimation of your property value, use an online valuation calculator for an estimate of what you’re home might be worth, and get out in your neighborhood and look at the other houses for sale to see how yours compares. You don’t want to price yourself out of the market, and you don’t want to sell yourself short, so price effectively with room for negotiation.

3. Stage your property. Staging is one of the most important things you can do to prepare your property for market. Staging means that you clean, repair, replace, and arrange your property so it’s attractive to potential buyers. Staging covers the inside of your home, and the outside. Clean first. Then minimize – pack away or eliminate anything you won’t be using for the next 60 days. Remove any personal items like photos, political paraphernalia, collections (like salt and pepper shakers), and neutralize the space with soft, warm colors. Remember to clean under the sinks, in the cabinets, cupboards, closets, and drawers. If something is broke, fix it! Your home will undergo an inspection which will reveal broken or malfunctioning areas in your house, such as roofing, air and heat, water heaters, and other major appliances. If carpets are stained and torn, replace them, and if necessary, add a fresh coat of paint to brighten things up. Make sure your yard is manicured, free of debris such as trash, toys, and ornaments.

couple celebrating move4. Be security conscious. Remove any valuable items or weapons from your property and store them in a secure location. You may also wish to remove your pets during home showings and open houses as potential buyers may be allergic, may be irritated with pet behavior, or worse, your pets may be confused and agitated by the activity from strangers in their house.

5. Your house, once an offer is accepted, will undergo an appraisal to make sure you house is worth the amount the buyer is borrowing, and a home inspection to make sure the property is in good condition. Remember, you should have everything in good order during the staging process. If you don’t, any faulty items will be disclosed here and could cause delays or furthered negotiations in your selling price.

6. The final stage is closing, at which point the title changes from seller to buyer, all professionals involved in the transaction, such as lending agent, appraisers, inspectors, and real estate agents get paid. By this point, you should have all of your belongings removed from the property because you will not be able to return after the closing, unless otherwise negotiated in writing in your contract.

Call Real Property Solutions at 504-237-2942.

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Things to Consider When Pricing Your House

Pricing your house to sell can be tricky. It’s not as easy as recognizing what you’ve paid into it, and then asking for that amount in return. The real estate market is flexible and your house may now be worth more, or less, than what you’ve paid. Naturally, you want to get the most out of your investment, but how do you know where to start? Here are some tips and tricks for properly pricing your house for the real estate market.

model house and calculator1. Understand that your emotional attachment to the memories formed in your house do not add to the value. Your memories are priceless, but sentimental value does not apply to real estate, so even though it may be hard for you to part with your memories, your memories do not escalate the value of your property. As hard as it may be to do, separate yourself from your emotions and attack the sale of your property as a business transaction.

2. A good place to start gauging the potential value of your property is by examining your property tax statements. Property taxes are based on a percentage of your home’s perceived value, so by calculating the property taxes, you may begin to form a picture of what your house is worth. Of course, property tax statements are lacking the human factor, so things like upgrades, landscaping, and general condition of your property are not considered.

3. There are ample resources online where you can get an estimate of your home’s value. Online calculators or valuation tools were designed to assist potential sellers in pricing their house to sell. On that same token, the human factor is still missing. Online tools can assess things such as size, number of rooms, and the general area in which your home is located, but they cannot adequately assess your home’s condition. However, when you add the online valuation estimates to the picture that began forming when you examined your property tax statements, that picture becomes a bit more clear.

Property Value Image4. Independent appraisers are another way to get an idea of what your home is worth, and will be more accurate than the estimate you garnered from your property tax statements and online valuation tools. And in this case, the human factor is present and working to your advantage. When you receive an offer on your house, your house will undergo an appraisal and an inspection as part of the closing process to determine that your property is worth what the buyer is borrowing. By having an independent appraisal done ahead of time, you’ll know what to expect. You may also be able to use that independent appraisal as a tool to aid in the sale of your property.

5. Your real estate agent is going to be your most accurate source of information when it comes to determining the list price for your house. Your real estate agent will provide you with a Comprehensive Market Analysis, or CMA. A CMA will demonstrate recently sold houses in your area that are similar to yours in terms of number of rooms, size, and house features such as garages or swimming pools. The reason it’s important to see what the houses sold for, instead of what they were listed for, is because negotiations often alter the price. The CMA shows what buyers in your area are actually willing to pay, as opposed to what buyers are hoping to get.

6. See for yourself. Tour your community and visit houses for sale. Get a deep understanding of the competition. Get a hands-on sense of the condition of the houses being sold, and the prices attached to them. Combine that information with your property tax statements, online valuation estimates, your independent appraisal, and your real estate agent’s suggested selling price. All of the numbers should point to a specific price range for your property.

When you are serious about listing your property for sale on the real estate market, contact Real Property Solutions at 504-237-2942, and let us use our expertise to aid you in the process of pricing your house to sell. Remember to leave room for negotiations! A little bit of prep and planning can add a lot of clarity to your home selling experience.

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