What to Know Before Selling Your Home in This Market

Selling your home is both an exciting prospect and an immense undertaking. Whether you’ve been in your space for twenty years or two, when it comes time to sell, a little bit of preparation and planning go a long way. Getting a great price for your home, from the right buyer, at the right time takes more than a little luck—it requires the right steps, resources, and tools in order to maximize your return. From getting your house show-ready to understanding the market, here’s everything you need to know before selling your home.

Hire a Qualified Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are an often overlooked asset in the home selling experience. While selling privately is certainly an option, partnering with an agent who specializes in home sales brings added value and removes stress from what can be a very stressful process.

Listing agents are passionate about helping clients get the most possible money for their home. They specialize in the intricacies of negotiation and are well-versed in the required steps to help make your house appeal to your target buyer. If you are ready to sell, start by finding an experienced agent who can help guide you through the process. Pull on his or her expertise to help alleviate some of the burden of knowing what to do in order to get the most value for your home.

Consider Home Improvements & Inspections

One of the first things to consider—after hiring an agent—is evaluating the condition of your home and determining what improvements should be made before you list. In fact, even a pre-listing home inspection can be a great investment, as well as save you time in the long run. By completing the inspection before you list, you have time to address any issues that emerge. When sellers wait to complete the inspection at the request of the potential buyer, the sale of the house is often delayed while the home repairs are being completed.

If you are already familiar with certain aspects of your home that require repairs, then making those home improvements prior to listing will help reduce your stress once showings and open houses begin. That damaged kitchen cupboard, the broken window screen, the pull cord on your living room fan—even the tiniest details can impact the sale of your home.

While you’re examining your home for necessary repairs, it is also worth investing a little time and money in cleaning important utilities, including the septic tank, water well, and chimney, should your home come equipped with any of those features.

Organize Important Documents

Paperwork is probably the last thing on your mind in the midst of preparing your home to sell. Yet, while you are navigating home repairs and inspections, that is the perfect time to begin collecting and organizing key documentation.

For example, keep a record of all of the improvements, repairs, and inspections you do before listing. These, and other documents recording previous home repairs, are important information to share with your agent and potential buyers. Details about your home will confirm to potential buyers that the home is well-maintained and in good condition.

Other documents that should be ready to go when you decide to sell include your mortgage information, any applicable permits (building or zoning), and even records of any known easements on your land.

Improve Curb Appeal & Interior Staging

Both the curb appeal, and how the interior of your house is staged, play a role in a buyer’s perception of the value of your home. While staging and fixing up your home are not required, they do help to improve a buyer’s first impression.

Curb appeal can be as simple as keeping your lawn mowed and your garden weeded, to repainting the exterior of your home, power washing your deck, or finishing the landscaping in your yard. Whether you decide to invest in completely revamping your outdoor space or not, remember that even the small details—such as weeding and mowing—influence a buyer’s experience of your home.

Inside the house, staging can also take on a life of its own, depending on your goals. Professional stagers will remove your furniture (or most of it) and bring in pieces that will help accentuate certain appealing features in each room. Staging can be simplified, however, by packing away your personal belongings and keeping your spaces minimally furnished.

Invest in Professional Photos

Your agent will likely encourage you to invest in professional photos of both the inside and outside spaces of your home, and we couldn’t agree more. Getting potential buyers through the front door starts with how your home appears online. With professional photos, you are guaranteed to spark the buyers’ attention. Photographers who specialize in real estate photography know how to capture the size, appearance, and appeal of a room in a way that brings your home to life on the screen.

Understand Your Local Market & Price it Right

This is a sticking point for many homeowners. We often feel attached to our home to the point where we overestimate its value. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the local real estate market—as well as neighborhood comps—in order to make an informed decision about when and how much to list a home for sale.

Utilizing the latest technology and tools will help ensure you have the most detailed information about your local real estate market. ProspectNow is one such tool. The innovative platform offers one of the most extensive databases of residential properties, along with owner details and the ability to thoroughly research your local market before you list your property for sale. ProspectNow also uses predictive analytics to show you which properties are predicted to sell, giving you an exclusive insight into your neighborhood and how to best price your home so it is guaranteed to sell.

Your Innovative Real Estate Resource

ProspectNow offers a database of over 100 million residential properties and nearly 40 million commercial properties. Our leading-edge predictive analytics also reveal information on over 23 million properties nationwide that are predicted to sell. Try a free trial to gain superior market insight for your next real estate investment or sale.