A Timeline For Selling Your Home
Selling your home isn’t something you do in a rush. It calls for planning and preparation. But, if you’re like most homeowners, you probably aren’t sure exactly where to start. Try following these steps:
1: Pick a date or time of year
Assuming you don’t have to get across country for a new job next month, you should first decide when you want to sell. The world is full of advice about the best and worst times to sell, often it’s contradictory. Generally, the time to sell is when you are ready. But, historically, some times of the year fair better than others due to the type of property you have. Give me a call and we will figure it out together!
Six weeks before listing
3: Hire an agent
Start interviewing Realtors now. Ask friends and family for recommendations and research agent reviews. Once you find someone you feel comfortable and confident with, you can sign a listing agreement and start working out a marketing plan. Discuss any additional fixes or remodeling work the agent believes will pay off.
4: Get your house ready
Start sprucing the place up. Fix any cosmetic or functional items that will turn off buyers. Be brutally honest with yourself. This probably isn’t the time to do an extensive kitchen remodel, but if you have cabinets that don’t close or an avocado green dishwasher in an otherwise modern kitchen, fix it. I can help you pinpoint items that need addressing at this time.
One month before listing
5: Start moving out – really
If you can, get a storage pod or unit and start packing up, a little at a time. Not only will this help you with the eventual move, but a home that isn’t overloaded with furniture and personal items just shows better. If you’ve been using rooms for storage, time to move the storage offsite. Pack up as many personal items as you can. Those wedding pictures on the wall may look great but potential buyers will want to envision their own wedding pictures up there, not yours.
Talk with your neighbors about your plans. Not only is it nice to give them a heads up that you’re leaving, but they can help market the property. They may have friends looking for a house who already love your neighborhood.
Two to three weeks before listing
6: Check your financial picture
Get your loan payout information for your mortgage. You’re going to need to know how much you owe so you can figure out what your sales proceeds will be – or if you are going to be doing a short sale in which the sales price won’t satisfy the mortgage. Clear up any liens on the property.
7: Keep cleaning and decluttering
Remember, you want it to look as much like a model home as possible. Remove personal items. Make sure furniture makes sense for the space. You don’t want potential buyers looking at a room and trying to figure out a function for it.
One week before listing
8: Lights, camera… marketing
Once you’ve got the house looking its best, time for pictures. I will hire a real estate photographer to do pictures and an interactive floorplan. No clutter should be visible. Shades should be open to let in as much flattering natural light as possible. These are your home’s glamour shots. You want them to look good enough to give you second thoughts about moving.
I will create an engaging, accurate and upbeat description of your home. Think about what made you fall in love (or at least in like) with it when you bought it.
Listing day and beyond
9: Go live
I will make sure we get your home listed on the major online sites and your marketing plan gets kicked into full gear!
10: Live in a perpetual state of clean
Agents will request to bring their buyers to see your home. You will be able to control when the showings can occur. But, some days you will have no showings and other days you will have lots of showings. Its best to try to maintain a acceptable level of clean to your home to reduce the stress of having to run around later to pick up.
11: Watch the offers roll in. Or not
If you’re working with an agent, you should get feedback after every showing. If you aren’t getting a lot of showings and it’s a hot market, an early price adjustment may be in order. Remember, in any market, the sooner you sell, the higher the price you’re likely to get. So in these early days, you want to be responsive to what the market has to say.
Of course, every home is different and requires different options and timelines. Give me a call and see what works for you!