If you’re not using an agent, check online listing websites to see how similar houses in the area are priced. Tracking actual sales prices may give you a better picture than asking prices. Real estate agents will often suggest that sellers “stage” their homes. That simply means you remove excess furniture, personal belongings and unsightly items from the home while it’s on the market, and arrange rooms for optimal flow and purpose. If you’re in a slower market or you’re selling a luxury home, investing in a professional stager could help you stand out. Nationally, professional home staging costs an average of $922, according to HomeAdvisor. Homeowners pay between $325 on the low end up to $1,518 on average.
Now that your house sparkles and shines, work with your real estate agent to schedule a photo shoot to capture your home in all of its glory. High-quality photos are critical, since maximizing your home’s web appeal can make all the difference between a quick sale or a listing that languishes . By being a few steps ahead of the buyer, sellers might be able to speed up the selling process by doing repairs in tandem with other home prep work. This means, by the time the house hits the market, it should be ready to sell relatively drama-free and quickly. Homeowners might be tempted to avoid hiring a real estate agent to save on paying the real estate commission and instead sell their home themselves. The amount they stand to save on those fees can be thousands of dollars, usually 5 percent or 6 percent of the total sale price.
The best way to determine your home’s value is to ask a real estate agent to run a comparative market analysis . This free report compares your home to other homes near you that are comparable in size, have similar features, are currently on the market, or have sold in recent months. The comparison allows your agent to more accurately predict what buyers will pay for your home. With this option (often called “FSBO”), the owner manages all aspects of the sale. Because you are selling the home, you won’t need to pay a listing agent’s commission. In FSBO transactions, the seller has an asking price and can stick to that price, and it is up to the buyer to pay their agent a commission. Alternatively, the seller can negotiate the rate with the buyer’s agent.
Remember, these are just some of the factors that can affect how long it takes to sell your house. You can talk to your real estate agent about what a realistic timeline is for your specific home. If you want to maximize your sale price and decrease the time your home is on the market, listing your home in late spring is going to be your best bet. And ultimately, the best time to sell your house is when it’s the right time for you. Keep in mind, staging should bring out the positives of your house without overwhelming potential buyers. The right real estate agent can help you know the difference between good and gaudy staging.
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents buyers or sellers in real estate transactions. Make sure you prepare mentally and financially for less-than-ideal scenarios, even if you don’t make any of these mistakes. The house may sit on the market for far longer than you expect, especially in a declining market. If you can’t find a buyer in time, you may end up trying to pay two mortgages, having to rent your home out until you can find a buyer, or, in dire situations, in foreclosure. However, if you avoid the costly mistakes listed here, you’ll be a long way toward putting your best foot forward and achieving that seamless, lucrative sale for which every home seller hopes. Absent a housing bubble, overpriced homes generally don’t sell.