What are the Most Important Things to Do Before Selling Your Home?
Selling what is possibly your largest asset can be a complicated process. Below you will find our top recommendations to help you prepare to sell your North Carolina home quickly and for the most possible profit.
Create a Complete Marketing Plan
Selling what is possibly your largest asset can be a complicated process.
Your realtor should target prospective buyers and also target active real estate agents who specialize in selling homes in your neighborhood. They can promote your home to their network, which increases the opportunity to find a buyer.
Talk honestly with your agent about the problems that may arise when selling your home and how to remove those challenges.
Price Your Home Correctly At Initial Listing
The buying public has a short attention span. Pricing your home correctly when you initially list the property is key.
Time on market will work against you since you want to generate offers before the market moves on to newer listings.
Statistics show that when a home is priced correctly the final sales price will be higher than if the same home was listed initially "over-market." The time on market hurts you because buyers wonder why the home hasn't sold yet.
Pricing also depends on the type of market that you are in. If a seller's market you can price a touch high, but in a buyer's market you need to price a touch below market.
What Should You Consider Before Pricing Out Your Home?
Listing your home at the best possible price is a critical component to selling your home quickly and for the maximum profit. There are several ways to determine a price for your home.
Scope out the competition. If there are properties in your neighborhood that are currently for sale, feel free to ask us about them. What you see in the neighborhood is also what potential buyers will see, and the more familiar you are with the competition the better you can position your home.
Use inventory data to determine timing. The housing market is constantly changing, with inventory levels increasing or decreasing. Supply and demand drives prices, as well as how long it takes your home to sell.
Price your home based on market data. Have your real estate advisor determine price with a market analysis. They will look at comparable sold properties and take everything into account - location, square footage, age, acreage, finishes, overall condition, etc. Sellers always have the option to pay for an appraisal, which can be leveraged during negotiations since it's a third party opinion.
A good real estate advisor will use these tools and their expertise to price your home correctly.
Should I Get a Pre-Listing Inspection?
This depends on the type of market you are in. If you are in a fast paced seller's market it's usually not worth it because the non-refundable due diligence deposit you receive from the buyer will be very high (typically $10,000 or higher). Most buyers will not walk away from that amount of money because of repair negotiations.
Note: if you have an older home that may need structural repairs sometimes it's still worth it to have a structural engineer out before listing, to ease any potential buyer concerns about this.
If the market you are selling in is a buyer's market then it can be worth it to get a pre-listing inspection, since you don't want to lose a contract in a buyer's market. The non-refundable due diligence deposit will be lower, and you will have less leverage during repair negotiations. Also, you can avoid having to delay closing and the extra stress associated with that because of slow contractors. The overall process will be more streamlined as you will be able to do repairs on your own timeline as well as get multiple quotes.
Is it a Good Time to Sell a House in North Carolina?
It is currently a seller's market, which is the best market to sell in. Even if we switch to a buyer's market you can still position your home effectively with the recommendations I made above to have a quick and stress free sale.
After the offer is made, ask your agent to find out as much as possible about the buyer and their situation so if you choose to counter, you can do so with terms that are most likely to be accepted. For example, if they are a renter and don’t have a fridge or washer/dryer you can decide if you’d like to include them. It’s also good to know if they need to move quickly since they will be less likely to have a long negotiation process if they have a tight deadline.
Try to minimize the details that you provide about your situation, and don’t be confrontational. Their offer may be below list price, but don’t be offended. Instead, counter offer to bring the price closer to what you are asking. If you feel the offer is not fair and you can’t find middle ground, you can always reject it and wait for another buyer. Your real estate advisor will help you make difficult decisions like these throughout the sales process.
How Should a Seller Prepare for the Closing on Their Home?
Once you receive the signed contract the buyers and their realtor will perform a home inspection, and the repair items will be negotiated.
If there are too many home inspection items, the buyers may back out of the contract, which is why a pre-listing home inspection is so important.
The buyer’s lender will also appraise the property, and if the appraisal comes in low the sales price will have to be renegotiated between the parties.
Next is the closing, which makes everything official and is when the seller gets paid and the buyer receives the deed.
Expect the buyer to walk through the home on or just before the day of closing.
Before the day of closing, your real estate advisor should review the closing statements to be sure all financial details are correct.
At closing, sellers usually pay the following costs:
The remaining mortgage balance and prepayment penalties, if applicable.
Property taxes, document stamps (taxes on the deed) and any other unpaid fees such as special assessments.
The closing attorney will look over the contract and identify the parties that owe payments and the amount. The attorney will also issue checks for the closing costs, record the deed, and forward any money due to you. You're all done with selling your home!
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