Five things to consider before selling your home

The following original blog has been written for Weston Title and Escrow, all rights reserved.

Weston Title & Escrow recommends not just put lipstick on the pig: Before showing the home begins take a good look around you.

Don’t put lipstick on the pig: Before showing your home take a good look around you.

If you have been thinking of selling your home, now is a good time to consider putting it on the market including these 5 things to consider before selling your home. Prices are up more than 10 percent from a year ago and they are expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future. 

In addition, inventory has remained tight and there have been reports of bidding wars breaking out in some areas. Add to that an improved job market, and you can see why now is a good time to sell.

If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, there are several things you need to consider.

Price to sell: This is one of the most important things because selling a home can be emotional. First, forget about what you paid. Prices are determined by market conditions. You may have purchased your home at the height of the real estate market and it likely may not sell for as much as you purchased it. Second, don’t let emotions get in the way. This may be the home your kids grew up in, and while it has a great deal of sentimental value to you, the buyer isn’t going to take that into consideration when negotiating a price.

Get a good Realtor or consult with us at Weston Title & Escrow or Oppenheim Law – we can provide you with the most reputable contacts when dealing in market value – what other homes are going for and have sold for in recent weeks or months. It’s often better to price it under market value to get the most traffic and offers. You may be surprised to find yourself at the center of a bidding war.

Hire the right real estate agent: Many people make the mistake of hiring a friend, relative or even an agent they used in the past, but who sells in a different zip code. Find an agent who knows the market in which you want to buy very well. Interview a couple of real estate agents and ask them about their successes. Find out how many days on the market they have had their other listings. How proactive are they? Do they just put your home on the multiple listing service (MLS) and wait? Feel comfortable with the answers they give you. Remember, they are your partner in the sale.

Make sure a move makes sense for you and your family: Has your family outgrown your existing house? Or, do you want to downsize? Can you live another year or so in your home? Were you underwater and now that home prices are on the rise, you feel like you can get the price you want. Have you found the home of your dreams? Will it be available once you sell your home? Should you buy first and then put your home on the market? All of these are questions you should take into consideration before the “for sale” sign goes up.

Consider paying for a home inspection: Although most buyers will have one done before they plunk down their hard-earned cash, spending a few hundred dollars on a home inspection can keep you ahead of the curve. If the home inspector finds some things that need to be taken care of, you can do it before you list your home and then not have to worry that it will scare away a potential buyer once you list. It also will save you a lot of time and grief once an offer comes in because it does and the buyer considers the repairs needed are too much, then you have lost valuable time and interest from other potential buyers who might be more willing to negotiate around the needed repairs.

Don’t just put lipstick on the pig: Before the showing begins take a good look around you. As you walk up to the house ask yourself about the curb appeal. Mow the lawn, replace dead plants, pressure clean the driveway, and make sure the entrance is clean and inviting.

Once inside, make sure everything is just as neat and clean. Make minor repairs, make sure the walls are clean and, if possible, remove wallpaper and paint in neutral colors. Clear away the clutter. Pack what you are not using, clear counters and make more floor space to make the home look bigger.

At the time of showings open all curtains and blinds to let in the natural light and make sure there are no offensive smells. If you have pets, try to make plans for them to be out of the way when showings are scheduled.

Following these few steps will help to make the process easier once you decide it’s time to pick up roots and move on.

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