Once the decision has been made to sell a home, there are a number of factors to address before actually placing the property on the market.
Today’s UK real estate market appears to be showing signs of recovery, but selling a home still requires taking advantage of every available means to make that property standout. Sellers are turning to professional “stagers” to advise them as to which personal items to remove and how to arrange furniture to best show off rooms. Professional stagers offer an unbiased opinion as to how the interior of a home first presents itself to an entering buyer.
Removing the Clutter
Garages and basements should be cleaned of all extraneous items. These spaces are natural “catch alls” for everything that home owners feel they need to save, .Consequently they end up filled with all types of things that should have initially been thrown out. The home owner should remember that when the house is sold, everything will have to be removed, so why not lighten the load ahead of time? The result will be a home that presents itself in a much better light to potential buyers. Remember that buyers want to visualize their own items in a new home. This is especially hard to do when the house is full of the current owners’ “stuff”.
Anticipating the Home Inspection
When a buyer makes an offer on a particular property, one of the standard contingencies is the right to have a home inspection. Trained inspectors will look for any problems with the property including structural and mechanical issues. The results of this inspection can cause a potential sale to collapse. To avoid such a scenario, the owner is well advised to repair all of the known defects before marketing the house. Sometimes this can’t be done due to financial constraints, but be realistic when deciding on a selling price if the property needs extensive work. There are buyers looking for “handyman specials”, but they are going to make lower offers based on the house’s condition.
Obtaining Necessary Approvals Prior to Marketing
Home owners should check with local officials to determine what documentation is needed at the actual time of sale. If the home has town sewerage, is there an outstanding betterment affecting the property? For private sewerage (septic systems), many states require professional certification by a licensed inspector stating that the system is functioning within prescribed guidelines. Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and radon detectors, depending on the jurisdiction, must be in place and functioning inside the home to allow for a certification to be issued by the appropriate authority. If the water supply comes from a well, a water test may be required.
Landscaping As Part of the Package
A home that has “curb appeal” is one where not only the building presents itself well to a potential buyer driving by, but the grounds give the appearance of being cared for. Trimmed shrubs, a lush lawn, a stone or macadam driveway, and flowers all help to present a house to its best advantage.
Using the Services of a Real Estate Agent
Every home owner is faced with decision whether to use a real estate agent when selling. The sales process is not necessarily simple, and a professional real estate agent is aware of all of the requirements expected of sellers and has the means to market a property for the viewing by buyers. The role of the internet today when selling a home is substantially greater with many buyers beginning their search for a house online. Unless a home owner is computer literate and able to do extensive online and newspaper marketing, selling one’s home is best left to the professionals.
Selecting A Real Estate Agent
When the decision to sell a home is made, and it has been decided to list the property with a real estate brokerage firm, the next question is “which one”? Before selecting an agent, interview at least three different companies. Find out how each will market the property. What is the firm’s internet presence? Will open houses be held, and if so, how often? Does the company use newspaper ads and/or real estate circulars? Do the agents seem honest and ethical?
Ask to see a copy of the listing agreement and to specifically be shown where in that agreement it states that the listing can be canceled at any time if either party is unhappy with the results. Being held captive for six months or more until a contract ends with a real estate company that isn’t performing satisfactorily can be an extremely uncomfortable situation.
Special Properties and Standard Brokerage Fees
If a property to be sold has special characteristics such as being historically significant, a very large estate, located on the ocean, lakefront, etc., it may require special marketing to reach the attention of the correct buyers. Be certain that the real estate firm chosen has the marketing in place to satisfy these needs. Some firms are known for dealing in such homes.
Brokerage fees vary with the area of the country the property is located in. There are standard fees which the agents will discuss when being interviewed. Fees can be negotiable at the time of listing a property.
Pricing the Property
The most important factor when selling is arriving at a realistic price. An over-priced home will linger on the market. Try to find out what similar properties in the immediate area have sold for recently. A real estate agent can work up a comparative market analysis based on multiple factors to arrive at a suggested sales price.