Here’s what you should ask….
Ask yourself, and then ask a Realtor®
If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, chances are that you’re excited about the possibility of moving and starting a new chapter of your life. Simply deciding to sell your home isn’t enough, though. The process of putting your home on the market can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so before you try to sell your property, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Being honest with yourself and with the people around you will help you have a more positive selling experience when you’re ready to move.
- Why are you moving?
Be honest with yourself. Why do you want to move? Are the neighbors terrible? Do you not like the kitchen? Do you need a yard? What is it about your home that makes you feel like selling it? Your answer might be simple. After all, maybe your family is growing and you need more space; or the opposite, you may have came across the season of empty-nesters and you need to downsize. It is possible though, that your answer is more complex: such as a divorce, death, or financial.
After the events of 2020, many people have been rethinking of our living situation and may need to make a change. With many professions switching to remote working you many not need to live in the city or town of your employment. Whatever the reason, make sure you think of why you are moving so you can convey with your real estate professional to help navigate the best strategy and plan for your upcoming move.
- Are there any serious problems with the house?
Potential buyers will have the house inspected before they purchase your home. What will the inspector find? Are there any serious problems with the home? If there are, realize that you need to disclose this to potential buyers. Major problems will also impact the price of your house. If your home has a lot of issues, consider fixing them before you put your home on the market in order to get the best possible price.
- What are other houses in the neighborhood selling for?
Are other homes in your area selling well? If they are selling, how much are they going for? If your neighbors’ houses are selling for well above the market average, chances are that you’ll be able to sell your home at a similar price. If the market in your area is poor, though, you may want to wait awhile to put your house up for sale so that you can get a better price.
In today’s market (2021), we are seeing low inventory and the demand is extremely high. Therefore we are in a high seller’s market. (meaning that there’s more buyers in the market than homes for sale). Pair that with historic low interest rates you have a very competitive situation – resulting in multiple offers which can drive the sale prices up.
- Should you use a real estate agent?
Before you start advertising that your home is for sale, consider whether or not you want to use a real estate agent. Some families choose to do their own marketing, promoting, and selling, but others like that a real estate agent will help drive buyers to your home. If you don’t have a background in real estate or home buying, an agent could be a valuable asset. Not only will they help you promote your house, but they’ll also help you make minor adjustments to your home that could help it sell faster.
- What should potential buyers know about?
Finally, ask yourself what potential buyers need to know before they buy your home. If there is anything that you would want to know before you purchased a home, make sure you give your buyers the same consideration. In PA, you would have to complete a Seller’s Property Disclosure, this document is a series of questions that you will complete on your knowledge of the home during your time living in the home. These questions are based on homes in the state of PA, you would complete each question by answering: yes, no, N/A, or Unknown. (every state is different and may have their own property disclosure form – please check with your local realtor to see if your state has their own form) It is important to answer these questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. For example, if you’ve ever had water leak in your home, make sure that you disclose this to your buyers. Never try to hide serious problems in order to make a sale. Instead, be up front and forthcoming about anything you feel is cause for concern. Remember: disclose, disclose, disclose. This is your first line of defense and to help with negotiating proposed repairs to the buyer’s inspection.
6. When do you see this process starting and ending?
This question is important to understand what is a realistic time frame. Do you need to sell in order to buy? Can you buy first and then sell? or Do you plan to sell and rent? Whatever the time frame, you need to understand how are you going to accomplish your goals with least stress and hassle. We all need a plan as to what we need to do, where we need to go, and how are we going to get there. It’s going to take time.
When buying, account for the time it would take to get your preapproval and see if you can afford 2 homes at the same time where you can buy, move, then sell. If you need to sell so you can buy, have your home on the market, and search for your home. You can put a home sale contingency addendum to your purchase offer on your new home or if you can, live with family or a short term rental until you sell your home, have your funds from the sale and then search and purchase your home. Same thing with a rental, you need time to find and apply for your new rental home.