Category Archives: smooth home sale

Ready to move? 8 Tips for a Smooth Home Sale

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For Sale Sign Under Home Showing Selling PropertyHave you outgrown your current home? Do you need to move to be closer to a new job or family? You’re not alone.  There are millions of homes sales in the United States every year. Though each sale is different, there are ways you can use to make your home sale process smoother from the day you put your house on the market until your big closing day—and less stressful if you follow the tips in our recent post.

Get a pre-listing home inspection.

Even if you think your home is perfect, and ready for the real estate market, red flags can still come up. For one homeowner, it was a leaking gas line to the furnace that he had to repair. You don’t have to see the problem for it to be there, and you don’t need the stress that comes with surprise issues that could delay, or even kill, your home sale. Hire a home inspector before you put your home on the market. If the home inspector does find an issue, you can control the cost of your repairs and the timeline to get it done—without any pressure to get it done before your closing date.

Find the right realtor for your home sale.

When selling your home, a realtor is your primary source of information and expertise so choose carefully. Talk to past clients about their experience with your potential realtor. Contact an experienced realtor who knows your area to ensure that you list your home at a price that’s fair and sells quickly. For more signs of a good (and bad) real estate agent, read our recent post about selecting the best agent for your home sale. If you don’t want  any financial surprises when you put your home on the market, contact your agent before you list to your home to get a free estimate of what your home is worth.

Give your home a good cleaning, or find someone that can.

gloves and cleaner for getting home ready for saleScrub your tubs. Sweep your floors. Clean your carpets. Give your home a deep clean before you list because cleanliness does matter to potential buyers. If you don’t have the time to give your home a deep cleaning before you put your home on the market, contact a local home cleaner or cleaning service so potential buyers are impressed—and not repelled—from your home.

De-clutter for a good showing.

Rid your home of extra knick knacks and personal items. As precious as those keepsakes are to you, “extra” items in a room can make it appear smaller or inhibit a potential buyer from imagining their furniture and items in the home. Make sure you put those items in a storage unit or another off-site place; don’t put it all in your garage or storage area which could have the same effect on buyers.

Set a fair selling price up front.

Many a buyer has set a selling price saying, “we can always lower the price later.” The truth is you don’t always get a second chance; if your home sits on the market, potential buyers may wonder what’s wrong with it and why it has sat so long on the market. How do you set a fair price? Choose a real estate agent that is knowledgeable in your area and can find a fair sales price from comparable sales prices (we’ve written more about the process for determining a fair price here).

Worry about curb appeal, even during the winter.

Curb appeal is an important part of selling your home; this is, after all, your chance to make a good first impression on potential buyers. While this can seem like an impossible task during winter, make sure your driveway and walks are clean and free of snow. Pressure wash your home during the fall to make sure it looks its best. During spring and summer, keep your flower beds clean and lawn mowed. In essence, keep your home looking neat and clean so buyers want to come in and see more.

Trust the right professionals.

Your home inspector, mortgage lender, and real estate agent are three of the most important professionals in your home sale. The first step in any home sale is to contact a mortgage lender to discuss your financials after you sell your home. If you are purchasing a new home, this is also your chance to discuss the budget of your next property. A good mortgage lender gives you not only a loan, but an education and a smooth home sale process. There are a lot of options for mortgage lenders, so start sifting through your home lending options by asking yourself questions about your expertise securing a home loan, your preferred method of communication, and what lenders can help if you if you have a unique situation (i.e. military or need a specific kind of loan). We’ve outlined the process of picking the right lender in this article.

Your home inspector is invaluable in preventing any unpleasant, pop-up surprises that could arise during your home schedule. We’ve seen home inspectors that have saved home sellers thousands of dollars in time and repairs, so be selective about the home inspector you choose. A good home inspector has past experience in construction, can provide samples of their home inspector report, is a member of a professional association, and can provide testimonials from past clients.

Have your documents ready.

You can cut down on delays and processing time by being one step ahead. There are two separate times during the home sale process when you need to ensure that you have proper documentation: through the pre-approval process and before your closing date. When you first apply for a loan for your new home (if applicable), make sure you have all the necessary documents appropriate for your documentation, such as:

  • Past tax returns
  • Proof of income (W-2, pay stubs, proof of Social Security payments, etc.)
  • Bank statements
  • Any documentation pertinent to your debts, renting history, spousal or child support, or any other information pertinent to your situation as requested by your lender

Just days before your closing date, contact your mortgage lender to make sure they have all the documentation need for your home sale. Your mortgage lender may need another document, pay stub, or guarantee for your closing. Now is the time to find out—before your closing date is canceled or delayed due to inadequate documentation.