Spring is prime time to sell your home, so now is the perfect time to get ready. With the holidays behind us and the improving weather, people start to look at homes to move to. According to Zillow’s Home Seller’s Guide, The best time to sell a home is in May. It states, “Nationally, homes listed for sale in this window sold almost two weeks faster than average, and for $2,500 more.” Another reason that spring is an optimal time to sell your home is that families with children want to be moved in before the school year starts.
THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GETTING READY TO SELL YOUR HOME:
1. DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO SELL YOUR HOME
USING A REALTOR Will you be using a realtor or selling your house by owner? If you choose to use a realtor, he or she will help by listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service, arranging open houses, and giving you advice. The realtor will want you to sign a listing agreement – a legally binding contract which defines the sale price of the home and the agent’s commission, among other things. As with all contracts, you will want to have an Attorney review this document before you sign anything.
SELLING BY OWNER (aka FSBO – FOR SALE BY OWNER)
You will have to do all the things that a realtor does yourself, including:
Deciding which improvements to make
Coming up with a listing price
Marketing your home
Showing your home
Negotiating with a buyer
Going to the closing
The benefit of selling on your own is that you will be saving yourself the money of the realtor’s commission, however your lack of experience in selling a home may cost you, so you’ll want to weigh this decision carefully. Be sure you have a good real estate attorney to help you and to protect your interests with this process.
2. SPRUCE UP YOUR HOUSE. If you’re working with a Realtor, he or she will suggest changes in your home to make it more attractive to buyers. Generally, you will want to:
De-clutter – put extra furniture, knick-knacks and photos in storage or have a garage sale. Get a dumpster and throw as much away as you can.
Paint – put a coat of fresh paint in a neutral color on the walls. This extra expense will make the rooms look bigger and cleaner.
Work on “curb appeal.” – Your buyers may fall in love at first sight with an uncluttered and well-kept yard.
Clean, clean, clean.
Look on-line for other tips about “staging” your home.
3. HIRE A REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY Regardless of the specific nature of your real estate goals, it is worth your time to consult with a lawyer before starting any process or signing any paperwork. Real estate law in Pennsylvania is complex and may leave you uncertain of your rights. A Real Estate Attorney will help you with unsatisfied mortgages, title insurance, preparing the deed, representing you at the closing and guidance throughout the process. A real estate attorney will help you avoid costly mistakes.