Guild EDGE, Author
So, you want to put your home up for sale, but don’t know where to start. Before the “For Sale” sign is hammered into the lawn, consider some of these factors compiled by Guild Mortgage experts and others to help determine if today is the best time to sell or if other timing should be considered.
1. Ask yourself if you are ready, and then really get prepared – Selling a home is a big, time consuming and stressful endeavor. Analyze your motivations. To do it right requires a lot of patience and persistence, plus often some investment to prepare your home so its finest qualities shine. Step into the final decision to proceed with a clear reason why selling now is the best course of action. Set a goal for what you hope to achieve with the sale. Develop a check list and work with your real estate agent to help keep focused during the negotiation processes.
2. Timing is Everything – Everything has a season, including the time to sell your house.
• April Showers Bring More Than Flowers – According to Realtor.com, spring is the ideal time to put real estate on the market, since 60 percent of Americans sell, buy and move during the summer months. Usually, sales peak in April and carry on at a high level through July. For families, this is an ideal time. The school year is over, creating a minimal disruption for children. Families often have just received tax refunds, which can help cover some of the expenses related to moving and settling into a new home. The better weather from April through July makes it easier for keeping your home and landscaping in pristine shape. It’s also an ideal time for exploring potential neighborhoods for your next home.
• Sell in a Winter Wonderland – However, if selling in peak season doesn’t fit your timing, listing during winter can still work in your favor. Experts note that homes are likely to be freshly decorated and cleaned for holiday entertaining, making staging the home for an open house or two a less daunting task. According to Lendingtree.com, there are additional perks: there will be less competition since people are focused on holiday festivities, which means you may get a better price! Lastly, buyers in winter are less likely to waste your time or draw out the closing. They may want to close before the New Year to claim the mortgage deduction on their tax return, a fact you or your real estate agent could use in pressing for a quick deal.
3. Neighborhood Watch – Your local real estate agent will be able to provide advice on how the potential listing price for your home compares to the prices of homes sold recently in the neighborhood. CNN Money recommends researching what nearby similar homes sold for in the last three to six months. If more than a couple of comparable properties were foreclosures or short sales, look closely at the descriptions of those former listings and the conditions of the properties. Look at what else is on the market. Once you determine a range of comparable prices, consider setting a price to grab potential buyers’ attention and encourage offers. Look at current real estate trend information in your region, too. This will give you an idea of how the market is moving. Recent reports from the National Association of Realtors indicate home prices are firming across the nation and even rising in some areas as better homes attract multiple bidders.
4. If The Show Must Go On – Once you’ve decided the appropriate time to sell and list price, the next step is staging. HGTV suggests minor repairs and fixes: steam the carpets, repaint the kitchen, amplify good lighting with new lampshades and light bulbs, trim outdoor bushes to let in natural light – but no major renovations! It will also help to neatly organize and remove unnecessary clutter from closets, cabinets and the garage as potential buyers are often looking for sufficient storage space. Lastly, remove one-third of your favorite pieces of memorabilia from walls, book cases, mantles and shelves. You love those wedding and baby photos and souvenirs from family vacations. But clutter can detract from the overall appreciation of your home. Buyers want to visualize creating happy memories in their new home so the fewer distractions the better.
Have additional questions about the selling process? Visit our site at Guild Mortgage: www.guildmortgage.com.
Michelle Castle provides mortgage loans to all of North Texas and Southern Oklahoma. Call Michelle Castle at (903) 892-1998 if you are looking for a home loan in North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.