I have created a top 10 list for home sellers. If I were selling my home, this list represents what steps I would take and the order I would pursue them.
Reader question: Monty, I cannot find that you have done “10 tips” for home sellers. Do you have a top 10 list for someone thinking of selling?
Monty’s answer: I have created a top 10 list for home sellers to answer your question. If I were selling my home, this list represents what steps I would take and the order I would pursue them. Each tip contains a link for more information about the tip. Thanks for asking.
1. Establish an action plan - By investing the time commitment to educate yourself on the important issues, you will undoubtedly make better selling decisions. If taken in order, the following tips maximize your timing, necessary information and efficiency.
2. Have your home professionally inspected - Before putting your home in showcase condition, make certain there are solid underpinnings in place. As the seller, you want a professional inspector to vouch for the condition of your home. It is a mistake in our litigious society for you to state the condition.
3. Prepare the house for sale – Well-maintained homes that are clean and show pride of ownership will sell faster and for more money. If repairs or replacements are necessary, allow a professional to do the work.
4. Attend neighborhood open houses - You accomplish several critical tasks in this exercise. Observing agents while they are working helps you pick up essential pricing information, market conditions and is vital to learning what you can expect from particular agents. You are also learning your homes value range.
5. Interview three pre-screened agents - According to the National Association of Realtors, almost 70 percent of home sellers only interview one real estate agent. We suggest you interview three. You eliminated a number of real estate agents during the fourth tip process. Now call three agents from among the remaining agents to both interview them and learn what they would do to ready your home for sale. You also want their opinion of your home’s value.
6. Learn your home’s range of value - Utilizing the correct neighborhood statistics and information, spending time to absorb the principals and understand the range in which your home will most likely sell will give you confidence in your decisions.
7. List your home for sale - The real estate service model is flawed, but it is far superior to alternate methods of marketing your home. The supply and demand available here is most likely to bring the most and most qualified buyers to your front door.
8. Prepare for showings - This is an event to show off your homes most appealing attributes. Do not take it for granted. Either you are helping your neighbor sell their home, or they are helping you sell yours. Take advantage of the showing with the proper presentation.
9. Stay calm when the offer arrives - Unless it is an acceptable, no contingency cash offer that closes in 10 days, there is no reason to get excited. To quote Yogi Berra, “It is never over till it is over,” and that concept is more true in real estate than baseball. Examine the offer carefully.
10. Review your work - You have done considerable work to become familiar with the market and the value of your home. You most likely have feedback from the earlier showings as to what held the prospects back. You also have feedback from three real estate agents. You have positioned yourself to make informed decisions about accepting, countering or rejecting the offer.
Richard Montgomery gives no-nonsense real estate advice to readers’ most pressing questions. He is a real estate industry veteran who has championed industry reform for over a quarter century. You can ask him your questions at DearMonty.com by clicking the "Ask Monty" button."