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Thinking about selling your Des Moines home? Whether you’re upgrading, downsizing, relocating, or just looking for something new, the process of selling your current home can cause some stress and anxiety. What better way to minimize that stress and anxiety than being prepared prior to it going up for sale? Here are a few tips to ensure a seamless experience selling your home.
Find a Seasoned Realtor
A common flawed perception is that all real estate agents are the same and that their job is pretty easy. In all actuality, hiring a good real estate agent is one of the smartest things you can do as a seller. Selling your home on your own can be done, but it really isn’t recommended for a few reasons. For one, if you’re not a licensed real estate agent, you don’t have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a database used by cooperating real estate brokers to list properties and share information about them. Having your property on the MLS allows multiple agents to suggest a viewing of your property to their clients, opening up a much larger window of interest. Aside from the MLS, agents have a huge audience on multiple marketing platforms, and they have the knowledge and experience to price your home correctly and to negotiate on your behalf. When choosing a realtor, shop around, ask questions, and communicate your expectations, as you want to make certain that you have the right person to trust with the sale of your home.
Create a Homeowner File
Both buyers and buyer’s agents will have a myriad of questions regarding the property and its maintenance, so including this information up front in the listing can save time and avoid stressful negotiations. Items you may want to include are roof age and any existing warranty information, the age and manuals for HVAC units and appliances, compliance permits for any remodels or additions, easement information, and your current mortgage payoff statement. All of these documents, minus your mortgage information, is expected to be turned over to the buyer after the transaction anyway, so may as well gather it ahead of time and include it in the listing.
Get a Pre-listing Inspection
It’s extremely likely that a potential buyer will make their offer contingent on a positive home inspection, so it’s a good idea to find out ahead of time what that inspection may show. Once your pre-listing inspection is complete and the inspector has provided you with the report, try to address any issues that can be rectified. The less negatives on the report, the higher the chance for a smooth closing.
Get Your Home Show-Ready
The first impression of your home is a crucial selling point, so if it’s not appealing to the buyer’s eye, they may just turn and walk away. Your real estate agent can be a big help in this area, as they’ll present a different and unbiased point of view. Take a walk through and jot down any pointers your agent may have. You may need to paint, clean, and declutter, or you may need to do some repairs or maintenance. Don’t take their suggestions personally – the goal is to create a space that appeals to the masses and allows them to picture themselves living there. Once the repairs and decluttering are done, consider staging the rooms that are lacking in appeal.
Price It Right
Often, sellers overprice their homes based on their personal attachment and wind up accepting less than the house is actually worth due to the lack of interest. If your home is overpriced, the comps in the area will be priced for less, therefore receiving more traffic and more interest. If you don’t receive offers, your house will end up on the market for an extended period of time which is also a red flag to buyers. It’s best to consult with your agent and price the home based on its comparable worth. The more traffic your house receives, the more likely you’ll receive multiple offers.
Be Prepared for Showings
Probably the most inconvenient thing about listing your house for sale is having to vacate for showings and open houses. Be prepared to keep your home tidy and show-ready at all times. Also be prepared to leave the premises at a moment's notice, taking your pets in tow. It may seem like a hassle, but buyers are less likely to buy sight unseen.
The more prepared you are to sell your home, the less stressful the process will be. Let us know what tips you have to make your listing easier.