Selling your home for the first time can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Remember, an informed seller is a successful seller!
Here, I've put together all of the commonly asked questions I've been asked throughout my career as an agent to hopefully help you feel a little more confident in the process of selling your home.
Q: What should I do BEFORE putting my home up for sale?
A: Invest in some professional photographs or hire an agent who provides that service. About 4 in 10 home buyers start their home search by looking at properties online, according to the National Association of Realtors®, and photos are always viewed first.
The next task on your list should be landscaping. Updating your landscaping can raise your home's value by up to 12% and improve your home's overall curb appeal.
Then onto staging. When it comes to selling your home, It's all about presentation. On average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than non-staged homes.
Then lastly, prepare for closing costs. Closing costs will likely be your second-biggest expense behind commission fees. You can expect to spend roughly 3-4% of your home's sale price.
Q: What do I need to disclose to homebuyers?
A: I know you want to show your home in the best light, but you should also be prepared to disclose some of your home's flaws.
Though disclosure laws can vary by location, home sellers should disclose any known facts about the physical condition of the property, the existence of dangerous materials or conditions, lawsuits or pending matters that may affect the property's value, and any other factors that may influence a buyer's decision.
While most sellers try to disclose as little detail as possible, the vast majority of cases find that disclosing the additional information, especially if it is previously repaired, will not cause a buyer to back out or ask for a price reduction.
Q: Should I hire a home inspector?
A: Many home buyers will include a home inspection within their offer. But sometimes, your agent may recommend you hire a home inspector to perform what's called a "pre-inspection," where a professional inspector checks your property for problems before it's even listed.
There are both pros and cons to doing your own home inspection, the pros being that you can find out if there are any issues with your home ahead of time, which allows you to fix the problem and price your home appropriately. The cons are that you will have to spend your own money, and your inspector and your buyer's inspector may not have the same findings, which can sometimes put you back to square one.
Q: Which areas of my home get the most attention?
A: If you can't afford to stage your whole home, I recommend focusing your attention on your living room, kitchen, and master bedroom, since home buyers focus on those areas. Also, don't forget about the foyer!
When you’re staging these areas, it’s important to make sure they’re clutter-free. This means removing personal items, knick-knacks, and so on.
Pro tip: Containers are vital for keeping this mess under control. Use baskets or racks for shoes and bowls for keys and change.
Q: What do I have to leave behind when my house is sold?
A: It's totally up to you what you want to leave behind; however, there will be clauses in your contract that you have to follow. For example, anything bolted to the wall or ceiling generally goes to the buyer unless specifically excluded in the contract. If you DO want to take any of these items, be sure to label them as soon as the house goes on the market so that buyers don't bank on owning those items and wind up disappointed.
I hope you found these Q&As helpful! These are just a FEW of the questions I get asked daily, so if you have something else in mind that you'd like to ask me, please feel free to reach out anytime by clicking here.