If you’re thinking of selling a house, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed—especially if you need to sell your house fast. You’re constantly running through the to-do list in your head: hire a real estate agent, stage the home for viewings, get a home inspection. This might sound like a lot, but if you can get through these five priorities when selling a house, the process will be smooth-sailing.
What is the first thing to do when selling a house?
These are the first three things you should do when selling a house.
1. Find a good real estate agent
When selecting a real estate agent, ask any friends, family, or neighbors who recently sold or purchased a home for recommendations. Getting a referral is one of the best ways to find someone you can trust.
You’ll also want to ask any real estate agent you’re considering if you can speak with their past clients, as this will give you an objective sense of how well they got the job done. You can ask these previous clients if they recommend their real estate agent’s services as well as whether the property they sold was in the same area as yours, what the listing price was, and how long their home was listed. This last question will give you a good idea of whether or not you can sell your house fast. You may also want to conduct a little more research on your own. Certain real estate agents might have credentials that match more closely with your specific needs.
A final question you may want to ask a potential representing agent about other houses that are currently for sale in your area. This will give you a sense of their knowledge and expertise for real estate in your neighborhood and surrounding region.
2. Determine your asking price
You’ll likely receive varying advice from different real estate agents regarding how to price your home. Some agents promote overpricing with the idea that the more you ask for the more you are likely to receive. Others, however, believe underpricing your home will make it more appealing to buyers. Listing your home for a cheaper price than similar properties in the area could lead to a bidding war, which could result in the price of your home rising.
It’s important to consider the current housing market. Luckily for anyone selling a house, we’re in a seller’s market, and houses are regularly going for over asking price. On top of that, mortgage rates are still at historic lows. When interest rates are low, people can afford to spend more on a home.
That being said, you still want to come up with a reasonable asking price given the conditions of the current market. So, how do you determine these conditions? Research homes in your area that are both similar to yours and have recently been sold. Take note of the prices they sold for. This is the best starting point for finding the perfect price for your home.
3. Prepare your home to attract buyers
Selling a house means you must prepare to present it in the best light possible to prospective buyers. You’ll also want to tidy up and make everything look as fresh and new as possible. If you know that a room or some of the siding along your house could use a fresh coat of paint, don’t hesitate to tackle these projects yourself. Consider using colors that are neutral and pleasant, as a neutral palette appeals to a wider range of people.
Staging your home is another part of the selling process. Keeping everything tidy and organized is a must, and giving people ideas for different ways they can use the space is a great way to capture the attention of potential buyers. Also, make sure that your home is well lit. Allow natural light to enter your home during showings and consider adding a few lamps to liven the space.
You may also want to consider having a home inspection completed prior to listing to get an idea of any potential issues that may require repairs or upgrades. When it comes to your home inspection, anticipate that a buyer may want you to cover the cost of certain issues or repairs that may arise. However, it is important to know that you are not necessarily responsible for adhering to all of a seller's demands. Negotiate and enlist the help of your real estate agent to help facilitate a fair deal for both parties.
What should you not do when selling a house?
Once you’ve got the priorities above down, make sure you avoid the following faux pas when selling a house.
4. Don’t neglect to market your home
You can hire a real estate agent to help you market your home, but there are also many ways you can help move the process along on your own. Make sure your home is listed on websites like Zillow and Trulia. In addition, get your home out there through social media and let word spread that you've placed your home on the market by telling your friends, family and coworkers.
You’ll also want to make sure you market your open house events well so you get more prospective buyers through the door. Take advantage of the internet and social media to advertise the event on places like Facebook, Nextdoor, Craigslist, and your local papers and magazines. Also, invite your neighbors. They may know someone who is looking to purchase a home and they can help convince them to move in next door.
5. Don’t skimp on the photos
Skip the blurry pictures and dimly-lit snapshots. You might have already guessed it, but photos make a huge difference when selling a home. The vast majority of buyers nowadays are doing their research online. This means that their first impression isn’t your driveway—it’s the photos you put online.
Make sure the photos you use are top quality. Use a high-end camera if possible, and stage the home nicely. Take the photos during the optimal time of day when the space is most filled with natural light.
Is selling your home worth it?
Houses are selling for excellent prices right now, so if you’re thinking, “it might be time to sell my house”—it is. Whether you’re planning to relocate or just ready for a change of scenery, selling your home is worth it as long as you go through these important steps. Just make sure you’re ready for the process.
Selling your first home may be daunting at first, but it does not have to be so overwhelming. Know what to expect and ask your real estate agent any questions you may have.
At New American Funding, we don’t sell homes, but we do offer home loans for people who are in the market for a new home. If that’s you, check out our mortgage rates to get a sense of what you might qualify for.