Value Your House
Property prices vary from state-to-state, town-to-town, and neighborhood-to-neighborhood. The best way to price your property is to stick to your own neighborhood. Find out what the average price is and start by pricing your house around that mark.
Setting the right price right off that bat can save you time and money, so consider hiring a realtor to help you. A realtor will have access to the Multiple Listing Service (also known as the MLS) which is a database of all the properties that have been sold or are being sold in a specific area. Buyers will often be skeptical about prices, so it’s a good idea to consider acquiring a comparable sales sheet, or “comp” sheet, that offers data about recently sold properties in your area. A realtor can also acquire that for you.
If you don’t choose to hire an agent, there are free websites like zillow.com that will give you home value estimates, but be aware that they won’t be as accurate as the prices a professional can obtain.
Interview Real Estate Agents
Hiring the right realtor is very important. There are quite a few questions you should ask before deciding who will represent you and your home. You should inquire:
- How long have you been in the business?
- How many homes did you sell last year?
- What is your average number of days between listing a house and selling it?
- What was the average ratio between the listing price and the final selling price?
- What is your marketing strategy?
- How will you sell my home?
- Where and how often do you advertise?
- What kind of photography do you offer?
- How will you market my property online?
- Can you provide me with at least three recent references?
- Why should I go with you and not another realtor?
Inspect Your Home
Buyers will request an inspection just prior to closing a deal on your house, but you may want to consider having an inspection done before you even put your property on the market. Why? Because it allows you to pre-fix any problems that a closing inspector would find, and you’ll get to choose who makes the repairs. This can save you money, limit additional negotiations, and help you avoid future embarrassment. An inspection will generally run you about $300 to $400.
Present the Best Version of Your Home
Make sure your house looks great inside and out. Buyers will be turned off by a messy home, or one in poor condition. You don’t necessarily need to renovate, but you should spend time cleaning, making minor repairs and on overall presentation. Want to learn more about what to do to whip your home into shape? Read our guide on how to prep your home for sale this Spring.
Be Prepared to Change Your Selling Strategy
You’ve done all the research, you’ve hired a realtor and now your house is ready to go on the market at a price you have your heart set on. But this doesn’t always mean you’ll be able to sell your home for that amount. The market could go cold at any time. If you can’t move your house, you may have to lower your price or sit on it. Talk to your realtor about potentially dropping the price, and about what is happening with the market to figure out a new course of action.