Homeowners who are Ready for an Upgrade
Should You Sell or Hold?
First of all, that home you’re considering selling to move up to your next home may serve you better as an investment home. Before you put your home on the market for sale, you should seek expert advice from your financial planner and your lender before even talking with a Real Estate Broker. If it’s financially feasible and wise for you to hang on to your current asset while moving on to another home that better suits your current needs or plans, then you should! Put a property manager to work for you, and let a tenant make your mortgage payment while you build equity in your investment.
Choosing to Sell
If you have done your homework and the best solution for you is to sell your home, then it will obviously be helpful to know your homes’ value. Consult with a Realtor® in your local area and ask for comprehensive valuation of your home. Among other things, a skilled Realtor® should at the very least be able to demonstrate to you the following:
- The Fair Market Value for your home
- Marketing efforts the professional will commit to and their demonstrated success
- How long the home will take to sell
- How to have the best advantage with prospective buyers
Realtor vs. Real Estate Professional
Ask the professional you are interviewing if they are a Realtor®, the distinction matters. Realtors® adhere to a Code of Ethics, and can more effectively be held accountable should you feel that you were treated unfairly or unethically during the process. You can read more about why choosing a Realtor® matters by visiting the website for the National Association of Realtors® here: https://www.nar.realtor/
Get Your Needed Repairs Done
You have many advantages as a seller – one of them being that you know what an interested buyer will likely do if they make an offer on your home. They will have your home inspected. Is there something about the home that concerns you enough to say “I wish I could know ahead of time what the inspection results will show?” If so, then you should have the home inspected beforehand. As a listing broker, I commonly recommend that a homeowner have their home inspected if it’s 10 years old or older before putting the home on the market. If there’s a major repair item that will need to be fixed, you now can contemplate your options on how to deal with it before your home is on the market, instead of being under pressure to make a decision when you are pending sale with a buyer. If you would like to recoup at least some of your expense towards the cost of an inspection, offer to sell the inspection report to your buyer before they order their own inspection. You won’t likely receive full value for the report, but it’s worth something. Ask your Real Estate Professional to give you a list of home inspectors in the area, and handyman service contractors too.
Leave some crumbs..
So you had the home inspected. Overall, the home is in good order and it needs some repairs. Do you do all the repairs? To summarize, the answer is no. When you review your report, focus on two things: 1. What are the most critical findings on the report? 2. Were there any other findings that are concerning enough to the inspector to cause him/her to ‘recommend further review by a licensed contractor’ for that particular item or subject? Focus on those items only. Let your buyer focus on the smaller issues during their inspection – this will give you peace of mind that they likely will not find something you don’t already know about, but they are finding something to at least focus their attention on.
Cleaning and Prepping Your Home
Your next step is to get ready to de-clutter, de-personalize, and clean! I highly recommend that you find a really good house cleaner, and a home stager to help you get through this, which of course your Real Estate Professional can offer you referrals for. You may look at this as an expense you’d rather avoid, but the cost of getting this kind of help will always be cheaper than the first price reduction, keep that in mind.
Here are some tips to consider when working on de-cluttering and cleaning:
- Get rid of stuff you don’t need anymore – donate or garage sale
- Clear out your closets, and box up what you can live without for at least 4-6 months
- Clean out the garage, do not make it a catch all for what you don’t want in the house
- Pack up your family photos, and any other personal items that adorn your living space
- Consult with a Professional Stager
- Home should be spotless and ready to show – a thorough cleaning inside the home and out is a must
When your home is on the market, you should have a checklist and a routine to make sure the home is clean and show ready at all times. Make sure all the members of your household know what they need to do to contribute to the routine.
Whether you’re a resident of Western Washington or anywhere else across the country, please consider me an advocate for helping you with answers to your Real Estate questions – I’m here to help!