Selling your house is never easy – while at first, you might be thinking that all you have to worry about is finding a real estate agency, that’s rarely true. There is a lot of matters to handle, so if you want to find out all there is to know about selling your house and moving, stay with me.
The whole procedure of selling your house and moving resembles a Hitchcock’s movie – it starts with an earthquake, and then the stress continuously increases. While finding a real estate agent who will handle the majority of it can be a great start, that’s not all you’ll have to do. Let’s take a closer look at the procedure of selling your house, and cover all the different issues step by step.
The real estate agent
As I’ve already said before, finding a competent real estate agent is a great start and will surely make the whole thing go smoother. He will not only make sure that it goes as fast as possible, but also that you get the best price for your house – which also makes him earn more money, so it’s not like he’s uninterested in your success.
Another positive aspect of hiring a real estate agent is the fact that he can and probably will teach you a lot of technical aspects of selling your house – after a few meeting with him you won’t have to rely solely on his knowledge, you will become more knowledgeable yourself. That always pays off, who knows, maybe you’ll be performing another similar procedure in the future, and then you’ll be able to pull it off even better?
Still, finding a really good agent is not all that easy – some of them only pretend to be competent, but the reality might not be as bright. When interviewing agents before you hire one, pay attention whether or not do they say only good things about your house, or maybe are able to tell you where the shortcomings are – always hire a professional who is honest and realistic.
It’s always good to have a plan and to stick with it, and selling your house is no different – you shouldn’t just jump into it hotheaded.
Before putting your house for sale, make a plan whether or not do you want to overhaul it. While this might seem weird at first – after all, why would you invest more money into it if you will be selling it anyway, it actually makes perfect sense. A refreshed and attractive house will not only fetch a higher price, which means that your overhaul will pay itself off, it will also attract more customers, and in the end sell faster.
More customers mean a higher price, better quality also means higher price, and selling faster means faster money – and since time is money, as you can see there is a lot to gain.
Now, make a list of things you will be fixing in your house before listing it for sale, and these you don’t consider worthy of refreshing. Without such a list it’s easy to get carried away and before you know it, you’ll be performing a complete remodel, when all you wanted to do was to blow a breath of fresh air into it.
Alternatively, if you don’t feel you’re competent enough to pull off an optimal house remodel, you can hire a professional who deals with these sorts of things. They are called home stagers, and they professionally prepare houses before they are listed up for sale. Such a person will easily be able to tell you what requires fixing and what does not.
I’m sure you’ve heard it dozens of times already, but it’s true – the first impression is all that matters. Because of that, you should make sure your house is able to impress people, even before they enter it to check out what’s inside.
Plenty of potential customers decide whether or not the house is worthy of a visit just by the look of it – a look taken from them outside of said house. Repainting the front door, moving the grass or raking the leaves on your pavement can make the difference between catching the interest of a potential customer, and losing one.
Even if you clean the exterior and your garden, making a good impression on your customers doesn’t stop there – they will pay you a visit, so make sure it won’t get ruined by small things that you neglected. Even something as trivial as fresh, white towels in your bathroom can make all the difference in the world.
We’re not talking about any costly improvements this time – replacing most of your textiles is often enough to make your house feel fresh and new, so pay attention to such details. People usually prefer the fresh feeling to a cozy one, so moving out all the small decorations and the toys of your children can also be a good idea.
Appraising your house is an inevitable element of selling your house, so you should make sure the appraisal you get is fair and accurate. While I don’t suggest trying to get a higher appraisal than the true value of your house is, by hiding all the drawbacks and shortcomings, it’s still important not to get a lower than the true one.
It’s always good to ask your real estate agent to help you out with the appraisal because his professional opinion might actually matter. Also include the list of all the improvements you’ve done to your house, the ones I told you about a second ago included.
The bottom line is, prepare for the appraisal, but don’t try to make it unrealistically good – apart from the case of honesty being always a good thing, there is nothing worse than a customer feeling cheated, even after he’s bought the house and started noticing some hidden drawbacks.
An airy house always sells better
I don’t know if that’s news to you or not, but studies show that people prefer to buy houses which are airy and spacious, or at least feel like it.
Because of that, it’s great if you declutter your house and remove all the unnecessary things from it before people visit you to check out the inside of your home. A sparkling clean house is always more attractive to the potential customers.
Another thing is underlining the character of your interiors. While most of us don’t mind when one or two rooms are a mixture of storage, playground and an odd bedroom for the times when your friends visit you, it’s not like your potential customers will appreciate this sort of a room.
Remove all the stuff that’s not connected to the character of the room you’re showing your visitors – a bedroom should consist of a bed and a wardrobe, etc. Nothing else needed inside. Not only will you underline the purpose of each room, but also make them more spacious and light by decluttering them.
Personal elements are not always welcome
This one is a tough nut to crack – while some visitors appreciate your personal belongings, such as family photographs or the clothes and toys of your children because they think they add a cozy and homey feeling to the house, some visitors don’t like such things.
It’s pretty hard to say which approach to take here. A lot depends on whether or not you’re still living in the house, while inviting potential customers to visit you and take a look at the insides of the house. Some people prefer to move out if they have the option to, and only go to the house when there is a visitor scheduled.
If I had to choose, I’d say it’s fine to have some things that add character to your house, and make it cozier, but don’t overdo it – it’s good to remove the vast majority of your personal stuff. Your house should be like a canvas on which the visitor can imagine his belongings, and too much of your stuff could be distracting.
A photograph says a thousand words
When selling their houses, people always attach photos of them when listing, and there is nothing more powerful than an excellent photograph. Don’t just take a picture that more or less does the job, and call it a day – it has to be perfect.
To be honest, it’s best if you hire a professional photographer to take the photo for you – unless you’re a pro yourself, that is. However, if you’re not, better leave it to someone who is entirely certain how to do it.
However, that still doesn’t mean you don’t have to participate in the process. You have to prepare your house for the photography. Basically, just make it look good – clean floors, ethereal, light curtains and lots and lots of air work wonders on the brains of potential customers.
Of course, it’s important to be honest when selling your house, but that doesn’t mean you can advertise it just a little bit – include the best of photographies, showing the best of features that you have in your house. Later, when the potential buyers come to visit you, there will be time to explain why not every room looks like the one in the photo.
By the way, especially when taking a photo of your house, remember it’s especially important to declutter it. Even if you think it’s just cozy, I assure you that in the photo it will look just messy. If you hire a professional photographer who has dealt with listing photos before, I’m sure he will tell you I’m right.
The big day
Okay, so what’s the final stage before you actually sell your house? That’s right, the open house day. All the work you’ve been putting into making it look as best as it ever could, and now’s the time for every potential buyer come and see that for himself. The important aspect of an open day is the fact that sometimes, the customers come all at once – which means they will share their opinions and discuss things aloud.
While this may be problematic because if a single one of them notices a drawback, he might not resist the urge of screaming ” dirt” out loud, you might turn this into your advantage – if the house is perfectly clean and every base has been covered, your guests might be afraid that someone else will be the first one to buy it. Competition means higher prices, so make sure you’re ready for that day.
First of all – it has to be clean, and I’m quite sure I don’t have to explain that. Would you like to visit a messy, dirty house? I’m quite sure the answer is ” no”, so clean everything. And I mean everything.
Another thing is the personal belongings I covered before – don’t forget to remove the vast majority of them, when people are to buy your house, it has to be their potential house, and not still your house.
Okay, so if you went through the whole procedure and survived it, chances are you managed to sell your house for a satisfactory amount of money – and now it’s time to move out. Just make sure to pack everything, and maybe prepare a moving-day kit to survive the first few days in a new place.
While this might be a bit weird for you to hear, whoever moved places in the past, I’m quite sure knows what I’m talking about – even if you don’t believe it now, it’s pretty hard to get used to a new house. With everything packed, I suggest you leave some of your most personal belongings unpacked so you can instantly have them with you in your new house – this will make the new, strange house just a bit more familiar and friendly.
That’s it folks – I hope I managed to help you survive the procedure of selling your house, which surely isn’t very easy to pull-off. With the amount of stress involved, it’s really crucial to approach it cool headed.