The housing market has experienced plenty of highs and lows throughout the past decade, and, luckily, we are experiencing a resurgence in home values.
With home values on the rise and interest rates remaining low, this could be a great time to put your house on the market in many parts of the country. There are plenty of steps to prepare your home and yourself for this experience. If you are ready to start the selling process, know what will have the biggest impact on your home’s appeal.
The Right Look
The first step in selling is honestly evaluating your home’s condition. It’s a good idea to look at the home from a buyer’s perspective and consider what they will find important.
Cleaning up is one of the most obvious steps a seller should take, but is often neglected. If every room is spotless, it will be much more attractive to people walking through and imagining living there. Eliminating clutter from your home can help make your space appear larger. For example, taking half of your items out of the closets and attic can keep your cluttered closets from making it look as if there is inadequate storage.
In general, buyers tend to want good natural light, so be sure to maximize your home’s. Consider taking down your drapes, cleaning the windows, using light-colored lampshades and trimming trees that may hang over a window or skylight. It can also help to make all of the obvious repairs — do not leave a leaky faucet in the kitchen or broken hinges on a bedroom door.
The first thing a buyer sees is the home’s external appearance and how it fits into its surroundings so don’t forget to consider curb appeal. This includes landscaping, mailboxes, welcome mats, driveways, etc.
There are cheap fixes you can make to the interior of the home that can help make your home more attractive to buyers as well. Consider things like updating the paint color or the carpeting.
The Right Price
When you are ready to list your home, consider working with local real estate agents. Studying the market will be easier with advice from an expert who knows how much nearby houses are being sold for. Regardless of how well you have cleaned and staged your home, it is important to have an appropriate asking price.
It can be helpful to set a deadline for yourself to leave it on the market without any offers. You should be ready and willing to negotiate and settle on some terms if you want or need to sell your home in a certain amount of time. It is not always best to be the cheapest home in an area but you also do not want the listing price to be out of line with comparable properties on the market.
To stand out, you might consider offering to finance some or all of the closing costs, offering a home warranty or being prepared to close quickly. In a down market, buyers are on the hunt for a deal so you don’t want to miss out on the attention. It can be a good idea to have friends, neighbors and real estate professionals tour the home and weigh in on a fair price.
You should also consider the credit implications of selling your home, especially if you’re planning on buying a new one when you move. You can check your credit scores for free on Credit.com to see how your mortgage is impacting your credit.
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