What it Takes to Sell Your Home Today

What it Takes to Sell Your Home Today
  • Opening Intro -

    Forget the market boom of the early to mid 2000s.

    Move your thoughts away from the housing slump of 2008 to 2012 and give little consideration to the nice run up in home prices we've had seen throughout much of 2013.


If you are planning to sell your home in the coming weeks or months, there are certain things you must keep in mind right now that have everything to do with life as it is at this very moment.

Establish Your Priorities

Clearly, you are ready to move. At least you think that you are. Your home may be ready for listing or it could use some finishing touches to help make it shine. Whatever unfinished projects you need to repair, take care of those first. Then list your home.

You also need to know what the housing market is like in your area right now. Is the market stable? Are home prices on an upward trajectory? Are there problems in your area that could cause home prices to slump such as a pending factory closure? It would be good for you to speak with a real estate agent about recent home sales to find out what your home is worth right now.

With pricing in mind, is it important for you to receive the best price or are you looking for a quick sale? With the former, you may need to plan for a longer transition period — perhaps three to six months — before you can realize your price. On the other hand, if you would like to move quickly in as little as four to six weeks, then price your home slightly below its market value to solicit offers.

Explore and Search

With comps in hand, you know what your home is worth. But, do you know what other homes that haven’t sold yet are listed for right now? Make yourself familiar with the current housing prices by studying online and newspaper listings. Get a copy of your weekend paper and check out the listings, paying close attention to properties that are like your own.

You should also plan to visit open houses, to get inside to see what people have done to get their homes ready. Take mental notes of these homes, making plans to incorporate some of the better ideas. For instance, if your living room is too cluttered, remove some furnishings to open up the home.

Sift Through Your Paperwork

Putting your home on the market means you need to be “paper ready” when an offer comes. Specifically, you should assemble all your maintenance and repair bills for buyer review and for tax time too. You will also want to have disclosure statements, the homeowner association covenant and copies of utility bills available for buyer review.

If you plan to sell your home and buy another one, then you will also need to gather financial records including your tax returns, W2 forms and pay stubs for your next mortgage. Run a credit report too to ensure that the information about you is correct and up to date. Avoid taking out new credit if you plan to shop for a home loan.

Choose Your Date

With your home ready for marketing, what date do you want to have it put on the market? This is a good time to meet with real estate agents to discuss your game plan. Get recommendations from friends that have used an agent and find one that will work best with you. There is nothing wrong with interviewing the agent to determine if this individual is a good fit for you.

When should you list your home? Most any time can help. Buyers, of course, hit the market en masse in the spring, which means that if you want to sell outside of that timeframe you can have less competition with other sellers. Don’t worry about few buyers looking as all it takes is one person that adores your home to sell it.

Selling Considerations

As buyers flock to your home, have in mind the lowest price that you will accept. You need to have some negotiation room so plan on receiving offers, countering the same and receiving follow up offers before settling on a price.

When a buyer steps forward with a competitive bid, learn if this person is mortgage ready. You may not want to accept an offer if the seller is not ready, especially if time is of the essence for you. Work with your real estate agent to handle repairs following the buyer’s inspection and bring in your attorney once an offer has been received. Get your home packed and cleaned well before the closing date.



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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".