The most common mistake I see homeowners make with real estate is underestimating when to start preparing for their home sale. It’s not just a list of things to do to prepare the home for sale so it shows better; it’s also the multi step timeline and a whole sequence of sale-related tasks.
When baking a cake, you have to follow the recipe to its exact specifications: ingredients, quantities, the order in which you combine them, temperature and timing. Otherwise, the cake doesn’t turn out properly. When selling your home and moving, the exact same principle applies. There is a series of tasks that need to be completed, and the timeline, order in which you complete them and the degree to which you are willing to complete them properly can have a major impact on every part of the transaction — the price you sell for, your stress level during the process, your time spent on market, the ability to buy your next dream home immediately when you see it rather than missing out on it. Your whole moving process from start to finish can be easier, simpler, less stressful and more enjoyable when you follow the recipe.
Under all circumstances, this is the recipe for residential real estate success you want to follow in order to sell your home fast, sell it for a higher price, buy your new dream home and make the whole process much easier:
1. Have a professional real estate agent meet with you at your home at least 60 days in advance of your goal list date or when starting your home search to discuss the home’s value. You always need to know the value of your home well in advance to base your decision on and proceed accordingly. It helps you decide if and when you want to move and it establishes what the budget is for the next home you buy (if that is your plan).
2. Get a professional opinion on a list of the renovation and repair work that needs to be completed to prepare the property for sale. This would be provided by the agent you meet with. Many people invest time and money on tasks to prepare their home for sale that won’t get them a return or are way too expensive to be worthwhile for a seller. Don’t make any improvements that aren’t recommended by a professional first.
3. Begin the process of preparing your home for sale, and always get your home ready first. This is true whether you plan to sell first and then buy or rent, or buy first and then sell. When you are looking for a home first and finally find one you are excited to buy, you need to be in a position to act on it. If you find your dream home but the house you are selling isn’t in shape to be sold, you are compromising both your ability to buy the new home and your overall objective of moving.
4. Understand the value and marketing your real estate agent will provide you when the house goes on sale. Make sure you feel comfortable with the agent you are working with and the value they are providing you. Your home will likely not sell for the exact same price no matter who you hire. Decide early on who you will trust to sell your home faster and for more money, by evaluating their presentation and professionalism.
5. Get all of your financials in order. Have money in a bank account so you’re ready to write a deposit check immediately on any home you want to buy. Know what the net proceeds will be on the sale of your home to calculate what you are comfortable buying for when you buy. Have your pre-approval all done ahead of time so there are no issues obtaining financing.
Many unfortunate scenarios can occur when the recipe is not followed properly: investing a lot of time and money on home updates that won’t get you a return, spending months searching for a home only to miss out on it because you weren’t prepared, picking the wrong agent because you were in a rush list your home for sale, getting denied for financing because of an unknown delinquency on your credit, even selling your home for much less then your expectations because you based the value on your opinion rather than getting a professional opinion ahead of time. Like a cake not baking to perfection, there is an extensive list of possible issues within your homebuying/selling/moving experience and outcome. But they can also be avoided if you follow the real estate recipe for success.
BY: Allan Rankin
Allan Rankin is a real estate agent and home sale marketing expert specializing in selling homes for top dollar in the least amount of time.