Six Things to Know When Selling a House

Hand writing a to-do list

Selling a house doesn’t happen overnight, and it can be a confusing, overwhelming process. We’ve rounded up six key tips to help out—if you’re thinking of listing, take a look!

1. Figure out your finances
If you’re selling your home, you’re probably planning on buying a new one. Save yourself time and frustration by confirming the remaining balance on your current mortgage and getting pre-approved by a trustworthy lender. Also, be sure to research the housing market in the areas you’d like to live, so you know what a new home might cost.

2. Pick an agent you can trust
One of the most important parts of selling a home is working with the right real estate agent. Don’t just pick a name off a random flyer: interview two or three candidates to assess their understanding of the local market. Find out what resources they’ll use to market your home, and which tasks they’re willing to handle. For instance, will they coordinate and schedule professional photographs to showcase your home on various social networks, or will that be left up to you?

3. Do your research
Picking an attractive selling price is a critical part of this process. Your home may be your sanctuary, but don’t let your personal attachment to it stand in the way of setting a reasonable listing price. It can be tempting to stick to your home’s previous value, but if the market has turned in favor of buyers, it may no longer be a realistic figure. In a hot market, a surplus of buyers can drive up home prices, allowing more leeway for aggressive pricing.

4. Pay attention to curb appeal
You only get one chance at a first impression, and homes with overgrown yards, untrimmed hedges and ancient awnings aren’t likely to impress potential buyers. Don’t worry—you don’t have to invest hundreds of dollars in landscaping. Small changes like planting colorful flowers, repainting your front door and clearing up debris will go a long way toward upping your home’s curb appeal.

5. Set the stage for success
Nitpicky buyers will go over your home with a fine tooth comb looking for imperfections. Head them off by ensuring your home is in tip-top shape before you show it. In addition to a deep clean of every surface and room, be sure to declutter your closets and storage spaces so buyers can appreciate their size. Make sure windows are sparkling and every lamp has a working bulb, as many buyers heavily prioritize “good lighting.” If your home feels outdated, consider hiring a stager to bring in more modern furniture for a quick refresh. Finally, eliminate the personal touches from your home; if buyers are bombarded with photos of your friends and loved ones, it will be harder for them to picture themselves living there.

6. Make sure showings shine
It’s a hassle, but when you’re selling your home, it has to be spotless all the time. No dishes in the sink or dirty laundry in the bedroom: everything should look its very best in case an agent wants to drop by with a potential buyer. Pets are another consideration, and unless you can take them with you during the day, let your agent know they’ll be in the home during showings.

Kicking off the hunt for your new house? We’ve got just the place to start your search.