How to Prepare for Selling Your Home

Are you looking to sell your home? You’re probably hoping for a fast sale and a reasonable profit – which is not always guaranteed. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, houses spent an average of 75 days on the market in January 2023. The time taken to sell the home can be longer when you factor in the time to prepare your property, negotiations, escrow closing, etc.

Unfortunately, the longer your house stays on the market, the more likely you’ll sell it for less than you had planned. So, how can you sell your home fast and get the best price? Below are tips on preparing your home before listing it, which can help you get a fast offer that leaves you with a good profit margin.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

According to The Close, 92% of American property owners who sold homes in 2021 used a real estate agent or a broker, and there’s a good reason for this. Real estate agents have many connections and resources, which they can leverage to increase the exposure of your home, leading to a fast offer. They can also use their negotiating skills to get you a better selling price.

Therefore, the first thing to do when preparing to sell your home is to hire a real estate management company. However, you shouldn’t just go for any agent you come across. Instead, you should look for an agent or real estate firm that is trustworthy, reputable, and can look out for your best interest during the selling process.

Lastly, the real estate agent you hire should help you navigate the selling process with as few hassles as possible. Therefore, you should ask them as many questions as possible to ensure you understand the process.

Some top things to ask your agent include how they came up with the asking price, how they will market your home, the escrow process, their commission, their experience, etc. You can also ask them for tips to help you sell your home faster and for a better price.

Choose the Best Season to Sell Your Home

Timing is another vital factor to consider when selling your home. It can affect how long your property stays on the market and the selling price. According to data from ATTOM, homeowners enjoy the highest premiums – up to 18.3% above market price – during the spring and summer seasons. On the other hand, premiums drop as low as 5 to 6% during the fall and winter seasons.

Therefore, if you want to receive a better and fast offer for your home, you should schedule to list your property during the high seasons. You can also talk to your real estate agent to find out the hottest months in your region when your home will likely sell faster and at a higher asking price.

Timing is also important when selling a vacation home. Usually, the best time to sell is during the tourist season, when the increase in visitors in the region can drive up real estate sales. Also, if you’re selling vacation rentals, you should consider listing the property before or early into the tourist season – which can help attract buyers looking to start renting out the property right away.

Schedule a Home Inspection

According to a survey conducted by Porch, 86% of buyers who hired a home inspector found issues in the homes they were planning to buy. Unfortunately, as a seller, a buyer discovering problems with your home can spell doom for your sale. The buyer can back out of the deal or ask you to lower the asking price. They can also insist you fix the problem first before they make the deal – leading to delays.

Therefore, you should schedule a seller’s pre-inspection if you want a fast offer on your home. The inspection can unearth hidden issues with your home, for example, mold, radon, roofing, electrical, and plumbing problems. This allows you to make timely repairs, saving you money and time when listing your home. Furthermore, you can use the inspection report to put buyers at ease, leading to a faster sale.

During a home inspection, it’s also a good idea to perform other audits on your home, which can influence the sale. For example, a home energy audit can help you discover issues with your home energy efficiency that need fixing. Therefore, when you list your property, it will be in perfect condition, guaranteeing a fast sale.

Make the Necessary Repairs

According to a survey by Business Insider, several things can make your home unattractive to buyers, including poor maintenance, structural issues, mold, etc. Therefore, you need to make the necessary repairs before listing your home. Fixing up your house can guarantee a fast offer – attracting buyers and preventing delays in closing the deal. It can also lead to a higher selling price, leaving you with a good profit.

If you’ve conducted a seller’s pre-inspection, the report from your home inspector will give you an idea of issues that need fixing. Some top areas to pay attention to include safety and environmental hazards like mold, radon, lead, asbestos, etc., which can scare buyers away. You should also pay attention to problems with the foundation and the roof – as buyers are unlikely to purchase a home with structural issues.

Electrical and plumbing issues are other top deal killers when selling a home. Therefore, before listing your property, you should hire a residential electrician and a plumbing contractor to repair and update your electrical and plumbing systems. Lastly, you should fix issues with appliances such as the HVAC unit, dishwasher, refrigerators, water heaters, boilers, etc.

Invest in Home Improvements

According to a remodeling impact report by NAR, various home improvements can add value to your property. This can attract more buyers for your home and lead to a higher selling price. Therefore, if you want a fast offer, consider making various upgrades and renovations to your house before listing it.

You can consider several interior home improvements that add value to your home and help you sell faster. The top ones include painting, kitchen upgrades, bathroom renovations, basement and attic finishing, and garage remodeling. You can also consider updating, upgrading, or replacing the doors, windows, light fixtures, and home appliances.

Likewise, several exterior remodels can help you sell your home more quickly. For example, hiring roofing contractors to upgrade or replace your roof can improve your property’s value and curb appeal, attracting more buyers. Other improvements include upgrading or replacing the fence, hiring landscaping services, painting the walls, installing new siding, etc.

However, not all remodeling projects will help you sell your home more quickly. Some renovations have a low return on investment and can lead to you wasting money. On the other hand, other home upgrades can turn away buyers, delaying your sale. Therefore, it’s a good idea to consult with your real estate agent to help identify the best home improvements to focus on.

Get your Insurance in Order

According to a report by PwC, climate change is a serious problem for the real estate market. It has led to an increase in severe weather disasters that often significantly impact property owners. Therefore, insurance is another essential item you must sort out before listing your home for sale.

While it might not seem like it, insurance is vital when selling a home. This is because the property is considered yours until the deal is closed; hence you’re liable for any damages that occur. Additionally, your property can sustain damages in the sale phase, for example, during inspections or home showings. Therefore, you need to be adequately protected until you close the deal.

Besides homeowner’s insurance, title insurance is another vital tool that can guarantee you a fast offer. For example, it can help ensure that no surprise liens come up during the sale of your home – which could significantly delay the closing. Title insurance can also protect your interest against defects that arise after selling your home. Lastly, a title insurance calculator can be a valuable tool in the valuation of your property.

Price Your Home Right

According to Knowledge at Wharton, many homeowners set a high listing price to make profits. Unfortunately, this often tends to backfire, as it can scare away potential buyers, causing the house to stay on the market longer. Therefore, if you’re wondering, ‘How can I Sell My Home Fast?’ pricing is one thing you’ll need to get right.

Unfortunately, setting a listing price can sometimes take a lot of work to navigate. As already seen above, a pricing list that is too high will reduce the likelihood of selling your home more quickly. On the other hand, a low asking price can lead to you losing money. Fortunately, using a reputable real estate agent can help you set the right price for your home. A good agent can even negotiate a higher asking price, helping you make a profit.

You can also use several other pricing tactics when listing your home to sell it more quickly. For example, setting a listing price slightly below similar properties can help you get a fast offer. An asking price relatively lower than the market value can also attract more buyers, leading to a quick sale.

Additionally, you can list your property without an asking price, which can make your property appear exclusive and potentially lead to a selling price higher than the market value. This is an excellent tactic when selling vacation homes, luxurious properties, or desirable houses.

Consider Cash Offers

According to ATTOM, cash offer purchases are one of the latest emerging trends in real estate. One of the main reasons for this is the rising mortgage rates, meaning buyers have to contend with high loan interests when buying a home. However, cash offers are not only beneficial to buyers – they can also be helpful when you’re selling a home.

One of the top benefits of accepting a cash offer is that it can help you close the deal faster. A buyer who pays in cash can immediately close the deal. However, a buyer paying through mortgage financing or a bank loan might need more time to prepare the funds.

Another benefit of cash is that it has fewer risks, as mortgage and bank loan financing deals can fall through, further delaying your sale. Therefore, selling in cash is a great idea, especially when you want a fast offer due to an urgent situation. For example, it can save you a lot of hassles if you’re going through a divorce, relocating, facing foreclosure, or filing for bankruptcy.

Cash sales are also popular when selling properties like mobile homes. Since these properties are cheaper than most homes, you can find more buyers willing to pay the total price in cash. Additionally, with a cash offer, you can sell the house ‘as is,’ eliminating the need for inspections and appraisals.

Talk To Other Professionals

Selling a home can be an overwhelming experience. It involves complex real estate transactions, such as contracts, negotiations, escrow, appraisals, inspections, etc. Usually, a real estate agent can help you navigate these processes. However, it also helps to have other professionals look out for your best interests.

Besides a real estate agent, a real estate attorney is one of the top professionals you can hire when selling a home. One of the benefits of using an attorney is that they can handle the paperwork and contracts. They are also good negotiators, which can lead to a fast offer on your home – and a better profit margin.

Another benefit of using a real estate lawyer is that they can look out for your interests without any hidden agenda. Therefore, they can represent you in the entire process even if you are not there physically, for example, when selling a vacation home in another location. Additionally, an attorney can better handle any dispute during the process, further protecting your interests.

An accountant is another professional who can assist you when selling your home. Just like with the attorney, they will protect your interests and can offer you valuable advice on the financial side of the transaction. Additionally, they will help you navigate other processes, such as filing taxes after closing the sale.

Selling a home can be frustrating, especially if you want to sell more quickly. However, with proper planning, you can get your house ready for listing and avoid many of the hassles of closing on a home. If you plan on selling your property, the tips above can help you land a fast offer, increase your asking price, and ensure a smooth sale.

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