Wondering how to prepare to sell your home in 2019? Don’t worry-we’re here to help! We’ve created this 10 point planning checklist so that you can stop worrying about what needs to get done and just do it.
Most "preparing your home for sale" checklists only address staging, decluttering and cleaning up your home. As important as those items are, they are only part of the process of preparing your home for sale. Other important items include making repairs and prepping HOA or Condo Association documents-items that most sellers aren’t thinking about. If you want to stop stressing and start making progress, then check out our list below.
Preparing Your Home for Sale
1. Declutter, clean up and stage your home
Yes, you do need to declutter, clean up and stage your home. This is obvious; we live one way but we want to show off our home another way. Prospective buyers want to see a neutral and clutter free home. This helps them envision what the space would look like as theirs.
So start organizing, decluttering, and cleaning to make your home look as nice as possible. Not only will this make your home more appealing for showings, more importantly, it will make the marketing photos of your home look fantastic. With buyers searching online for homes to purchase, it is vital that your home shows well in photos. If you’re home looks messy in your marketing photos then prospective buyers may not even set up a showing at all.
2. Look for your original home purchase paperwork
Do you have copies of inspections in your original home purchase paperwork? You will need to provide your Realtor with lead paint inspection reports, plans of the property lines, radon reports and anything else that may be helpful for a smooth transaction.
If there are gaps in your home owner paperwork, it is better for you to fill them in now prior to having a nervous buyer on your hands. Compiling this paperwork now will save everyone stress in the long run.
3. Schedule home repairs that you have been putting off
Now is the time to schedule all of those home repairs that you have been putting off for awhile. Don't go for the cheapest guy in town. Be sure to hire licensed and insured contractors and provide those receipts to your Realtor to give to your buyer.
4. Consider scheduling pre-sale home inspections
Most people don’t want to spend the money on pre-sale home inspections-we get it! However, it is so much better to know ahead of time what is going to come up in a home inspection so you can fix everything before you are in a home purchase contract.
Once you are in a contract and repairs come up on an inspection, you will have to deal with nervous home buyers, dramatic agents, lender scrutiny, appraisers, etc. And you will be on a deadline for repairs so you may not be able to shop for pricing and do things to your satisfaction.
Once again, taking care of issues ahead of time means less stress for you and everyone else involved in the transaction.
5. Know your home mortgage payoff amount
Contact your lender, either online or on the phone, and know your mortgage payoff information. Make sure you are current on your mortgage and that there are no outstanding issues.
By knowing your numbers, once you receive an offer, you and your Realtor can quickly calculate your net proceeds and decide how to move forward.
6. Contact your HOA and your Condo management company
When you contact your Home Owner Association and/or your condominium management company, you can order updated rules and restrictions, make sure that you are up to date on your fees and find out whether there are any lawsuits or major issues in the community.
Did you know that per Maryland law, a buyer must receive these documents or they have a right to back out of the contract? There is nothing worse than a seller finding out about lawsuits or outstanding issues while in the middle of a contract. A lot of sellers don’t think to do this ahead of time and it can cause issues in a transaction later on causing buyers to back out.
7. Find a great Realtor and get knowledgeable on the current real estate market
Find a great Realtor, like those at Yaffe Real Estate, who can give you a realistic picture on pricing, days on market and what you can expect in the Anne Arundel County area real estate market.
Check pending home sales not actives, be realistic, and find a local expert who knows what they are doing. So many people get "sucked in" to those Realtors who tell them what they "want to hear" not what they "need to hear".
Better to know the truth now rather than have your home sit on the market or have an appraiser bring your price down. A fantastic agent will be realistic with you-they are the professionals and should be providing you with the numbers and information that will help you price your home correctly.
8. Strategize your move
Do you know where you are going once you sell your home? Have you planned your move? Work with your Realtor to see the "big picture."
Sometimes sales move very fast and not always on your time table. By planning ahead, you can greatly reduce your stress.
9. Listen to your Realtor!
Once you have chosen a great real estate agent, listen to them, that’s why you decided to work with them in the first place. There is so much to do in the process of selling your home, that it is so important to be on the same page with your agent. If you focus on packing, cleaning up, and where you are going, your agent can work on pricing, marketing, showings and negotiating. Turn it over to the experts and, if you don't feel good about your Realtor, you need to find a new one asap.
10. Sit back and relax… as much as possible
Yes, moving is stressful. However, once you have done all of your homework and addressed all 10 points on this planning checklist, enjoy those small moments of peace until your Realtor calls and says…"Congratulations, you have an offer to buy your home! Can you be out of the house in 2 weeks?!"
Want more advice on selling your home? Contact us today!