How To Sell Your Home As a Homeowner
How To Sell Your Home
As a long term homeowner, or even a short term one, selling your pride and joy isn’t usually something you want to think about. Your home is probably a symbol of your love, family, dedication and hard-working commitment to your future. So when it comes time to make the difficult decision to sell, you want to be sure know what you’re doing. Get the greatest profit on your home, for the least amount of stress, with this handy guide we’ve created. It’ll give you the inside story on selling your home in four simple steps.
Step 1. Prepare Your Home For Sale
One distinct advantage you have as a homeowner over an investor is that you have instant, uninterrupted access to your property. Tasks such as maintenance, repairs, and touch-ups can lead to significant increased value when it comes to contract signing time. Use your time wisely by making sure there are no maintenance jobs outstanding. Tidy up and fix anything that’s broken or looks like it might break, scuff marks on the walls, stains on the carpets – all the things, big and small, that a seller may use to justify offering a lower price.
Next ensure your home is appealing to the widest audience possible. Your potential buyer needs to feel like they could move in straight away with their things. Remove any personal effects that might prevent a prospective buyer from imagining your home as theirs. Think of your home as a hotel room: neutral and appealing to the majority.
2. Get a Listing Agent and Advertise to the Market
As a homeowner you should hire the services of a professional realtor to ensure a smooth, profitable transaction. A listing agent is trained to be emotionally un-biased and will treat your home like an investment. Above all else, an agent is there to ensure that the profitability of your home sale is at the forefront of all decision making. When searching for a good agent to list your home, look for names on signs in your neighborhood, or search online for realtors close to you.
Once you’ve found a suitable realtor, you’ll need to sign a listing agreement. This will define the legal relationship between you and the agent, and also set a time limit to sell your home. A major component of this agreement will be discussions around sale price. Your agent will discuss a realistic sale price to advertise to the market, which is a critical step in the sale process. Without a price that is attractive buyers, even having a beautiful, well-presented home will be a waste of time. You need to set a price that will stir interest in the marketplace, attract buyers to inspections, and will pay you a maximum return on your investment.
For this reason, employing the services of a professional agent is crucial. When the offers start coming in, the same agent will be able to negotiate the best possible price on your behalf.
Step 3. Initiating a Contract of Sale
Once you’ve got a buyer lined up, you need to sit down a lawyer or real estate attorney. It’s common to use escrow for home sales in the U.S. In many states, attorneys act as the escrow agent and title inspector. Elsewhere, licensed escrow agents who are affiliated with, or who own, a title insurance company may conduct escrow transactions. To make sure the legal side of your sale contract is handled appropriately, find a good attorney to act on your behalf and finalise the sale. If you’re going through a property agent it may be worthwhile discussing this with them to see if they can recommend a reputable attorney. These professionals will work with you, the buyer, your financier and your listing agent to finalise the deal and reach a settlement date that is suitable for all parties.
Step 4. Finishing the Transaction
Once you’ve got a contract signed, sealed and delivered by your attorney, you need to satisfy any conditions of the legally binding agreement immediately. It’s possible that some items will require your direct attention and some will require you to meet with external parties such as your financial institution or listing agent. While you wait for settlement to come you’re generally required to maintain your home in “presentable” state, so there will be the usual chores and cleaning to be done. Come closing day, your lawyer or attorney will finalise all the details and give you a cheque for the net proceeds.
Take Your Profits, and Invest!
Selling your home as a homeowner can be a daunting and exciting project, and one that needs careful consideration. If you take the right path and follow the simple steps here, you’ll have a good chance of walking away from your home with a nice profit you can use to invest again. After all, a future invested into is a future worth working towards!