By Owner or Use an Agent
If you sell your home yourself, without the assistance of a real estate agent, you save a bundle on commissions. However, make sure you know what you’re getting into first. Learn about what the process entails, whether it’s a good idea for your situation, and where to get help if you do decide to go it alone. Above all, get to know the market well enough that you don’t end up selling the home for less than it’s worth.
Listing your home with an agent means that when you sell the house you pay a commission to the real estate agent. The advantages of using an agent to sell your home is that they are familiar with marketing strategies and will do all the work for you.
Determining your home’s value, and setting a price, is probably the most important step in selling your home. Why? Because if your home is overpriced for your area, no matter what the cost of improvements that you have made on your house, buyers will shy away from it. On the other hand, an under-priced home will probably move on and off the market because of a quick sale, but there goes your profit.
To avoid losing time and money, you must properly price and present your home. Some of the factors to take into consideration when appraising a house include: the overall market, location, design, quality of construction, age and overall condition, number of rooms, square footage, storage, heating and air, and parking.
Showing Your Home
A clean house is very desirable when prospective buyers come to visit the property. While cleaning has little to do with the assessed value of your home, it is an integral part of selling your house quickly. Even the most dedicated homeowners still have certain areas of the house that tend to be neglected. When touring a property, these areas will stick out if left unattended. Following is a checklist for areas to pay special attention to:
- Clear away any cobwebs from the front door area
- Mow & edge the lawn once a week
- Make sure the front gives a ‘welcome’ appearance
- Make sure the area in front of your property is clean and free of debris
- Sweep off pathways; kill or pull up any weeds
- Make sure the yard looks well maintained
- Dust and vacuum the whole house at least once a week
- Put all valuables in a safe place
- Put deodorizers in each room
- Declutter – straighten up living areas & put away non essentials
- Open up blinds & drapes to let in light
- Turn on lamps as necessary to improve ambiance
- Keep all toilet lids closed
- Make sure the house is a comfortable temperature
- Turn off TVs
- Turn on radios at a soft, low volume (optional)
- Make fact sheets about your home easily accessible
Passing a Home Inspection
A home inspection is designed to give the real estate agent or prospective purchaser a system to detect major flaws or deficiencies in the significant components and systems of a home. Use the checklist below as a guide for getting your house in good condition before selling it.
- Ceiling, Floors, and Walls
- Decks and Porches
- Driveways and Walkways
- Fireplace and Chimney
- Heating and Air Conditioning
- Trees, Lawn and Vegetation