Preparing for the Sale


Once you have prepared the home, it is time to prepare for the sale. It may not seem like much (especially after you have done all the heavy lifting preparing the home), but this part of the process is just as vital as you will pricing the home, marketing the home, and so on. During these steps you will want to lean on the experience, knowledge, and training of your real estate agent.

-Collect Any Documents on Your Home

The first step in preparing for the sale is gathering any and all documents that you might need. This includes the title, deed, and so forth. If you can't necessarily get your hands on your documents, at least know where they are so that you can access them at the time of the sale.

During this process, you will also be able to do some research to find out if there are any liens on your home. Liens will make it hard, if not impossible, to sell your home. Hopefully, you will know already if you have a lien on your home, but it is always good to be sure.

-Price the Home to Sell

Pricing a home is a complicated process. There are many factors that go into the pricing: size, location, number of bedrooms, condition, age, and so on. Your real estate agent will be able to guide you through this process, they have some tricks and tools up their sleeves that can help to price the home correctly. Just be careful not to get into the hype of an online estimator. These can give you some nice information about how much your home might be worth, but they are not accurate.

When you and your agent sit down to talk about price, ask them if they have a CMA for your home. CMA stands for Comparative Market Analysis. This document will give you information about your home, the homes around your home, and so on. They have all the specs of each home like size, age, etc. and it helps you find homes that are similar to yours. Once you've found some homes that are similar to your own, you can see how much these homes sold for in the last 6 months to a year. This will allow you to guestimate your home's value.

Another option you have is to hire a professional appraiser to give your home a look. They can give you the fair market price for your home, as well as help you identify potential things you can do to raise its value. Most buyers, if they are serious about a home, will have an inspector and an appraiser come look them over to make sure they are making a wise purchase. This is great, except if the appraiser comes back saying that the home is worth less than what the two of you agreed on; then the potential buyer can back out or renegotiate. However, you will be less likely to be caught off guard if you have an appraiser come through your home at the beginning.

-Create a Marketing Plan

You may look at this step and think it overkill, but, to be honest, you will be able to sell your home much faster if you have a plan laid out from the get-go. Have a talk with your agent, they can help you craft your plan so that you can sell your home in an efficient amount of time. Your marketing plan will have things like advertising mediums, advertising schedules, resources and networks you can call on for help, promotional ideas, event ideas (open houses, etc.), and so on. (Promotions with a home purchase can be tricky. For instance, if you are trying to sell a home in a hurry, then you may offer to sell them the washer and dryer that is already installed in the home at half price. These may be exactly what you need to get them to buy sooner, rather than later.)

Some examples of advertising mediums that you can utilize include: Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets, road signs, newspapers, and banners or flags. Again, you can hold events as well to spread the word about your home. Open houses are quite common in this area for home sellers to host. This will give the public a chance to walk through a house they may not have originally considered.