Just the other day I got an ad in the mail from a real estate agent. The bold print screamed "PRICES ARE UP 15% FROM LAST YEAR" and "HOMES ARE SELLING FASTER."
Have you received these mailings too? Maybe you're wondering if now is the time to put your home on the market and buy something new.
There are some questions you need to ask yourself before you put up the for sale sign, according to Julia De Sosa-Rocha, associate broker at ERA/Atlantic Reality in Atlanta.
Here are 9 things she says you need to ask yourself before selling your home
1) Can I afford to sell?
If you're interested in buying another home after you sell, consult with a mortgage specialist to make sure that you will be able to qualify for your next home, especially if you're eyeing a property that is more expensive.
2) Am I prepared to handle the stress?
People don't realize how stressful selling a home can be. For instance, some sellers may be offended if they receive a low offer or if the buyer sends them a list of repair requests after the home inspection is complete. The buyer may not appreciate your home as much as you do. Don't take it personally.
3) Do I understand my competition?
Your agent can prepare a market analysis of recent sales in your area to help you understand how your home compares to the competition. In the lingo of the industry, these are called "comps."
4) Can I improve this house?
Buyers today demand a very clean and updated home. Consider replacing outdated brass fixtures and adding new lighting fixtures to give your home an updated feel at a reasonable cost. Click here for info on how to pick the right contractor.
Focus on top renovation selling points, which include:
- Updated kitchen
- Curb appeal and landscaping
- Fresh exterior/interior paint
5) How can I get more money for my house?
Your home should be staged and show ready, all the time. Remove personal items and consider temporary storage if your home has too much clutter.
6) Am I realistic about how much my house is worth?
If you really want to know your home's value, get an appraisal before you put your house on the market and price it accordingly.
7) Should I offer an incentive?
You may want to consider paying some of the closing costs. Many buyers have money for the down payment, but they've forgotten about the other costs involved. Other incentives to ask your agent about include a painting allowance and a home warranty.
8) Why did I buy this home?
Think back to when you bought your home. What was it about this home that caught your eye? If it was important to you then, it will likely be important to your buyer!
9) When should I list?
Spring and fall are the best times to list a property, but a well-presented home will sell at any time of the year.
Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years when he was 27. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.