Selling a home is a complex process that involves more than just putting a property on the market and waiting for offers to come in. Home sellers need to make several important decisions during a sale, such as setting the right list price, what steps to take to prepare the home for sale, choosing the right offer, and so on.
Before making these decisions however, you will need to ask yourself if you’re fully prepared to sell your home in the first place. To help you out, we’ve created a list of important questions to ask yourself before you decide to put your home on the market.
Will I be able to afford selling my home?
While you will likely earn a profit after selling your home, you still need to spend some money as well to ensure a smooth and stress-free transaction. Some of the costs related to selling a home are already obvious, such as commissions to the listing agent, but there are several other expenses that you might overlook, such as:
- Landscaping – Curb appeal is an essential factor when it comes to marketing a home. After all, it’s the first thing prospective buyers notice when they visit a home. Many home sellers do not realize how expensive professional landscaping can cost. A complete landscape makeover – which involves adding plants, trees, and flower beds from scratch – can cost more than $3,000. Enhancing your home’s curb appeal however, is one of the best ways to add significant value to your home.
- Staging – Presentation is a crucial factor for selling a home. In 2018, the median price of home staging is $400, with costs increasing depending on the number of rooms in your home. While it might be expensive, many buyer’s agents recommend staging as it makes it easier for buyers to visualize themselves living in the home.
- Closing costs – Closing costs are usually the second-largest expense following commission fees. Expect to spend about 2% of your home’s sales price on closing costs.
Am I selling my home at the right time?
Will you be putting your home up for sale in a buyer’s or seller’s market? This single question makes all the difference, as everything boils down to supply and demand. Before you put your home on the market, do your research and gather more information on house prices in California.
A seller’s market is ideal for home sellers, as there’s a good chance they’ll be able to get the best price possible for their home. Selling a home in a buyer’s market on the other hand, will require more strategy, as homes for sale here tend to sell for less and remain in the market for a longer duration before receiving an offer.
Should I get a pre-inspection?
Most home buyers include a home inspection contingency along with their offer. Some agents recommend hiring a home inspector to perform a pre-inspection to look for problems in the home before they’re officially listed.
Getting a pre-inspection has pros and cons. One significant advantage it can give sellers is they’ll be notified of problems ahead of time and make necessary repairs before they put the home on the market, giving buyers a clean bill of health on the home. Getting a pre-inspection costs roughly $200 to $500 on average however, and buyers still have the option to hire their own. Keep in mind that results from your pre-inspection and the buyer’s inspection won’t necessarily be similar.
Which areas in my home should I focus on?
In case staging your entire house is out of your budget, you can focus on specific areas most homebuyers pay close attention to. Many professional home stagers recommend staging the kitchen, living room, and master’s bedroom.
Don’t forget about your home’s entryway, too. Most prospective buyers make up their minds within seconds of setting foot inside a home, so you want to make sure the area they’re in during that time frame looks nice and tidy. Most of all, make sure your entryway or foyer is decluttered. This can be a challenge for some homeowners, as this area usually has a lot of things such as keys, coats, shoes, mail, sports equipment, dog leashes, and other items.
Do I need to leave anything behind once I sell my home?
While it will be up to you to decide which items you’ll either leave behind or take with you, there are rules covering what you can – and can’t – bring with you when you sell your house.
Under the law, anything bolted to the ceiling or wall will belong to the buyer unless the items in question are excluded in the contract. So if you plan to take your flat screen TV, custom shelves, or chandelier with you, make sure to label them once your house is on the market, so buyers know they don’t come with the home.