The thought of selling your home can be a tough decision but the act of actually selling it is another story. The decisions you make can either save you a lot of money or you could lose thousands. That is why it is important to know the process when you sell your house. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
The Home Selling Process
So you have finally decided to sell your house. You have thought about it for a while and now you have finally made the choice of selling it. What goes on during this process? Here’s what you should know:
- Put your finances in order
Before you sell your house, you must first put your finances in order. You must also know how much your house is worth and inform your mortgage provider that you are reconsidering to sell it. See if there are any penalties that you need to pay especially if you are paying back your mortgage early. If you want to purchase a new house, you must also think of the mortgage plan for that kind of transaction. You must ask your mortgage provider about the options you are qualified for so you know the best deal to take.
- Find and choose a real estate agent
Selling your home can be done by you or by a real estate agent. If you don’t want to bother with all the paperwork, you can always hire a real estate agent to do this for you. Before you choose one, make sure to search for local agents and explore online reviews about them. If you narrow the ones you would like to work with, give them a call for an interview. Make sure to take your time when interviewing these agents and choose the one that suits your needs best.
- Make repairs or replacements needed around your house
In this step, you will have to check your home for the repairs it needs. Walk around the house with your agent and make a list of things to clean and repair. You must also take note of the renovations needed before you can show your house to potential buyers. Note that you don’t have to replace or renovate anything. If your agent suggests areas that needs to be repaired then that’s the one you should focus on. See how much your house would sell if you make these repairs. This way you can decide which part of your house needs to be done within your own time frame.
- Set your home ready to be sold
After repairing certain areas, you must clean your house and remove the items that makes it uninviting. You must put and store away personal items and give each room of the house a fresh makeover. A cluttered house is a big turn off for potential buyers. This is why you must give it some new life so your buyers can imagine themselves living in your house and adapt it into their own liking. So make sure that you have it all cleaned and ready. Don’t forget to add new lights in your home too; a house that is well-lit is very inviting to buyers. Make sure to add a few new ones before you sell your house.
- Open your house for showing
There are two ways that you can showcase your house. One is through an appointment or through an access by lock box. If you are still residing in the house then an appointment is the best way to go. This also gives you time to get ready for the showing to your potential buyers. A lock box option on the other hand is done by allowing people to view your house by giving a key access to your realtor. This means that your agent has the access to let people in and show them around. This also gives your agent a good number of showings since he or she can bring people any time.
- Fill up a seller disclosure form
Back in 1978, all homes in the United States were subjected to lead-base paint disclosures. So if you have any materials or aware of any materials made of lead around your house, make sure to declare them by filling up this disclosure form. In case you have encountered any problem in the house, you must also provide full disclosure for this and explain what happened or how it was corrected. This way the next owner is aware of what happened and that they have nothing to worry about it any longer. If you have pets around the house or has been living in your house then this must disclosed as well. This information is important for potential buyers who are allergic to pets. If your home is part of a home owner’s association then you must declare this too. Any information regarding your house is should be declared generally.
- Market your house
In order to compile all your information, your agent will send a photographer to take pictures of your house. The photos will be needed for your listing and is also a part of advertising your property. There’s not much to do in this step but it is a good time to finish arranging your home and filling up your disclosure form.
- Negotiate any purchase offer
If your agent priced your house at a reasonable price, you will be getting multiple offers in a few weeks. If the offer is too low, don’t worry. Make a counteroffer or ask for the full price if needed. Keep in mind that these buyers are also smart and are testing the waters to see how you react or respond to their initial offer. They are also making a room for negotiation to take place. Always keep track of all the offers and counter-offers for potential buyers. However, you must work with one offer a time, this way you know how much people are willing to pay for your house. Once you have it, you can then adjust the price according to what you think. Asking a kick out clause or first right of refusal can be helpful too. This will can come handy if the buyer’s offer is contingent. Not only that, this clause can also help you avoid any bad situation or client.
- Get a title company
This is important if you have accepted an offer. You might be introduced to a few title companies by your agent but if you have someone else in mind then your agent must work with that title company so you can effectively get things done. Do your homework as well; see which title company can offer you with the best closing services and quotes. Make sure to select one that can help you on closing your home sale. A title company is also important when an interest buyer decides to purchase it and send a deposit money to your broker or deposit the fund as stated in your purchase agreement. And if by chance they pull out with no valid reason, the money deposit could be yours to keep.
- Appraisal and Inspection
Most of the time the buyer of your house will hire a home inspector to check the whole house. This will give them an idea if there are any damages in the house and at the same time gives them the information they need if they should buy the house or not. They could also ask you to make repairs or replace other things before moving forward with the closing sale. It is also during this step that the buyer can either back out if they find something they don’t like in your house or move onwards with the purchase.
If you ever did made some repairs, this is also the step where you should make a full disclosure about it. If the buyer is using a home financing to buy your house, it will be the lender’s job to order an inspector to appraise your house and see how much it’s worth in the current market. This appraisal will also be the lender’s basis on how much money they would allow the buyer to lend. If the appraisal is lower than expected, the buyer can use this to make negotiations with you. In case the buyer cancels, the house can be appraised at or more than the contract price. You must ask your lawyer about your rights on this so you are also informed.
Selling your house is doable as long as you know the process involved in it. Educating yourself on what to do and working with your real estate agent can even make the sale faster. Make sure you arm yourself with the information you need before deciding to sell, this way things can work on your favor.