You’ve finally decided to sell your home. Congratulations. So where do you start?
You’ve got a lot to think about before that yard sign goes up and the open house is scheduled. A great real estate agent can do a lot of the thinking for (and with) you. But even finding that perfect agent takes a first step, as does making the house presentable, marketing it, and a host of other factors.
With the summer selling season fast approaching, let’s take a look back at some of our best advice for navigating the sales process.
- Find the right agent: Referrals are often the best source for connecting with a licensed real estate agent. Friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers can be great sources for recommendations. You’ll probably want to interview several candidates, so review our checklist to know what to ask ahead of time.
- Decide when to sell: While summer tends to see heavy real estate activity because of school-and tax-year considerations, there could be competition from homes that didn’t sell in spring. Your agent can discuss the pros and cons of each season.
- Get your home in shape: Inside and out, your home needs to make a good impression–not just to sell, but also to get you top dollar. It all starts with curb appeal, which means potential buyers will be enticed either when they drive by on their own or stop by with an agent. Once they step inside, make sure the home is bright, clean, and clutter-free.
- Set the stage: Painting, repairing, and de-cluttering are great, but for icing on the cake, consider staging every room in the home. A well-staged home will spark the imagination of potential buyers, and hopefully put them in a buying mood. Too much for you to handle on your own? Consider hiring a professional stager. Your agent can help you find one. Be sure to ask to see a portfolio of previously staged homes, especially those that sold.
- Hold an open house: Opinions vary on the best day to hold an open house, but rely on your agent’s experience to guide you. If you followed the advice above, and your agent has properly marketed the open house, visitors should start arriving even before the posted hours. “It’s changed quite a bit with the Internet,” said Moureen Hardy, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Irvine, Calif., in a recent interview with S. News & World Report MONEY. “Years ago, you’d put an ad in the paper and put a few signs around. Now it’s like a pop-up store. They find out about us online.”
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