– Preparing Your Home For Sale

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The real estate market continues to trend in the right direction here in Charlottesville and the Central Virginia area.  Because of this, many of you may be deciding that this is the time to sell your home.  It is never too early to start the process even if you plan to sell some time in the future.  Here’s a step-by-step checklist to make sure that you home sells fast – and for top dollar. It outlines what you need to know, and which questions to ask. Hopefully this article will help you be best-prepared to succeed in what has been a challenging market.

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The Decision to Sell Your Home

You and your family have come to the decision that it’s time to move. That’s the first step. The next step is choosing the right realtor to sell your home.  You want to make sure you find the right person so talk with several and ask friends who they would recommend.  Think about the Realtors as applying for a job with the job being getting your home sold.  They should come prepared with their resume, marketing plan, and references. If you are moving within the same area, the Realtor associate you choose to help you with the sale of your current home can also show you properties that meet your needs. You’ll appreciate working with someone who already knows you and your family.

Are you thinking for selling your home on your own, I would still recommend you meet with Realtors to get their ideas.  Let them know you plan to sell on your own but want to see their advice.  Many agents are happy to provide this service with the hope you will contact them if your home doesn’t sell and you decide to list your home.

Time to Get Prepared

Now it’s time to get prepared. Your agent will need a lot of information about your home to get started. They will likely want to see things like the deed, appliance warranties, mortgage payment book, tax bills, assessments, Homeowners’ Association fees, restrictive covenants, or any guarantee or legal documents about the property.  Do you owe more on your home than

This saves time and makes you aware of the various obligations that may be on your home. Warranties and guarantees for recent work done on the house may also increase the home’s value in the eyes of the buyer.

When your Realtor arrives, take them on a tour. Show them the special features that you have enjoyed since prospective buyers will likely find those elements interesting too.  Give them the opportunity to speak truthfully about the things you should do to get your home in the proper condition, not only inside but outside as well.  Creating “curb appeal” is so important.

You know your home and neighborhood better than anyone else: this is “inside” information that gets homes sold fast – and at the right price. Remember, the relationship you have with your agent is a partnership—you are working together to establish the marketing plan that best suits your property. Remember they are the professional so listen and open minded to what they have to say.

The more information you provide the quicker that partnership will result in the successful sale of your house!

Once you have gotten together all the information and made the improvements needed, you come to the most critical step; Effectively pricing your home.  It is particularly important if you know your home is in direct competition with new construction. Here’s something to remember: Most sellers find it difficult to place a price on their own home. Even though you have spent spent hours on improvements like painting, decorating or landscaping don’t allow this to cause you to place an inflated assumption about the true current market value.

Price determines the final net proceeds you’ll receive for your home – but it’s not the only factor. Other elements include: seller financing, having your loan assumed, or allowing for quick possession. These can all be factors that impact your net proceeds.

So where do you start? First, ask questions. Second, have the agent you’ve chosen to provide a Comparative Market Analysis. This critical report shows other homes like yours that are now on the market or have recently sold.

Do not underestimate the importance of this report. Determining your “asking price” is the most important step in preparing your house for sale. While some of the information can be gleaned from public sources, the best source of information is your Realtor’s  experience in selling homes similar to yours. They can identify key distinctions within your neighborhood that can be worth thousands of dollars to you.

Talk to your agent

Take time to adequately review the Comparative Market Analysis and discuss your concerns. Armed with this information, you and your agent can arrive at the right asking price for your home under current market conditions.

When you decide to sell your home, you of course want the highest return from its sale but pricing a property too high holds its own risks. Homes that are priced too high miss their target market. Qualified buyers who might find the home just right for their needs won’t see your home, or make an offer on it, because it is out of their price range. If they are shown a home that is overpriced when it first comes on the market and do not buy because they feel it’s not a good value, they’re not likely to revisit the home once the price is lowered (they’ve already eliminated your home as a possibility).

Some home sellers will take the “let’s try it and see what happens” approach. They may feel that they can always decrease the asking price if they are not receiving offers. But testing the market in this manner can be dangerous. A property receives its best exposure during the first three to five weeks after it is listed. After this point, many agents lose their enthusiasm as other new (and possibly better valued) listings come onto the market. Some home sellers forget that there is still quite a bit of competition and that buyers are generally very well informed consumers.

If your home is priced right from the beginning, you have the best opportunity of reaching the most qualified buyers. Buyers who have seen most available homes in their price range are just waiting for the right house to come on the market. That’s why a well-priced home often sells quickly once it is actually put on the market. You want your home to be viewed in this manner for the highest return on your investment. Also, Multiple Listing Association statistics throughout the country, show that the longer a property is on the market, the lower the selling price. The home becomes “stale” and a price reduction results.

So it is easy as this. Choose the right Realtor.

Make sure your property is in the best condition possible, Find the right price, and then “patiently” wait for the right buyer to come along.  See below for links to a step by step plan on how to prepare your home resulting in a successful sale.  You can also listen to this podcast where the process is explained in detail.  https://wina.com/podcasts/tips-on-preparing-your-home-for-sale/  You can also learn about how energy efficient homes with green features can increase the value of your home by 3-5%.  https://wina.com/podcasts/how-to-increase-the-value-of-your-home-with-green-features/

One last thought-Photography has become a critical factor in marketing your home.  85-90% of people start their home search on the internet.  Therefore, 1st impression doesn’t just happen when a buyer prospect walks through the door.  The pictures posted of your home can make the difference on whether they choose to contact someone to arrange a showing.

For more information check out our blog at www.roywheeler.com/real-estate-blog.  To search for listings in the area, go to www.roywheeler.com.

Click on these links for Steps to follow when putting your home on the market

http://www.meetpenny.com/2012/02/prepare-your-home-for-sale-printable-checklist/

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2017/08/04/20-tips-for-preparing-your-house-for-sale-infographic/

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