So you think it may be time to sell your home. You think. You're not sure. But you're definitely leaning toward the possibility because, you know, you have your reasons. Then again...
And so goes the emotional pendulum of deciding whether you should put your home up for sale. The tender loving care you've put into your home and the memories you've created there can trigger powerful emotional tugs. But since your home is probably your largest investment, deciding whether to sell it is a financial one, too. For many people, this side of the pendulum is easier to assess because the issues largely come down to dollars and cents – and making good sense of the facts.
Experts in Your Home can help you with the second shift of the pendulum with nine steps that begin with a basic question – “Is it a good time to sell?” – and lead to the search for your next home. It may help to approach this process with an exploratory attitude, recognizing that your emotions will probably fluctuate until you decide whether it makes financial sense to sell.
- Step 1: Decide whether market conditions are favorable to selling your home. Your best resource? Comparable homes in your neighborhood that have sold in the last year and the last six months in particular. In the real estate industry, these reports are known as “comps.”
- Step 2: Crunch the numbers. Review the remaining balance on your mortgage and subtract this amount from what you think, realistically, you can get from the sale of your home. Be sure to factor in steps 3 and 4, too.
- Step 3: Calculate how much money you will have to invest in your home to generate a favorable home inspection. Experts in Your Home can help you identify those repairs that you will either have to make yourself or allow the buyer to “charge you” for through a price reduction, such as cracked windows, leaking pipes and electrical system deficiencies.
- Step 4: Calculate how much money you will have to invest in exterior improvements that will enhance your home's curb appeal. For ideas, turn to a previous Experts' article, “10 Great Ideas to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal.”
- Step 5: Begin the decluttering process. Your twin goals? To give your home an airier feeling for showings and to discover whether you're really motivated to sell it. If you cannot part with some possessions, consider renting a storage unit (even one you can park in your driveway). Be sure to add the cost to the “crunch factor.”
- Step 6: Interview several Realtors who specialize in selling homes in your neighborhood. Naturally, we favor experts – those people who have the credentials and experience to advise and guide you with authority. Their commissions should be similar – and subtracted from the sum you expect to receive at closing.
- Step 7: Discuss and settle on a competitive asking price for your home. It's to your mutual advantage to get as much money as possible for your home. But overpriced homes tend to linger, even in a seller's market. If you cannot come to terms with a Realtor at this juncture, it's a good sign to keep looking.
- Step 8: Select a Realtor who appeals to your emotional instincts – and then let him or her do the job. There is a lot to be said for finding a Realtor you genuinely like, feel comfortable with and trust. A good rapport will ease some of the jitters you may feel as your home goes on the market and people come tosee it during showings and open houses.
- Step 9: Begin looking for your next home – and expect to raise your financial “ceiling” on what you had hoped to spend. Many home buyers do get the home they really want. But remember where your bottom line began to crystallize (revisit step 2) and realize that you probably won't make it up on the other end (by getting more money for your home than you're asking).
As your emotional and mental pendulums swing back and forth, remember the one constant: Experts In Your Home. We're just one phone call away, especially to help you – and steady you – with steps 3 and 4.
Experts In Your Home has been serving the North State’s construction, remodeling and maintenance needs for over 30 years and provides home painting, heating & air conditioning, plumbing, electrical services & more for your home or business in the communities of Chico, Paradise, Magalia, Durham, Oroville, Red Bluff, Corning & Orland, California.