Planning to Sell Your Home? It’s Never Too Early to Strategize
Selling a home is a big financial and emotional transaction, one of the biggest you’ll ever experience. So it’s vital to plan your sale as much as you can in advance. Here are four tips to help you begin planning to sell your home.
1. Find a savvy agent
Start by finding a good local real estate agent. Develop a relationship well in advance to start learning the market and transitioning from the mindset of homeowner to seller.
A good agent will provide useful information, advice and assistance on an ongoing basis, in hopes of working with you on the eventual sale. An agent can also assess your home’s condition and suggest small- to medium-sized improvements that will help boost your home’s value. Prioritize these projects for the months or years leading up to the sale.
2. Get a formal property inspection
For a few hundred dollars, you can have a licensed property inspector assess your home’s major systems and components. You can take this step up to two years before you list your home. It’s better to know about potential issues upfront, so you can address them before your potential buyer discovers them. Also, you can put a financial plan in place to pay for needed fixes and spread them out over time. Think of it this way: Fixing dry rot on your deck might cost you $500 now. Or, you could wait for the buyer to request a $5,000 credit for repairs when you’re a few weeks away from closing and your back is against the wall.
3. Make improvements now
A year before you list, spend the extra time and money ensuring that your home appeals to mainstream buyers and passes a potential buyer’s property inspection. If your agent suggests cosmetic fixes or repairs, put a plan in place to tackle each project. Waiting to the last minute will be stressful, and you won’t get the enjoyment out of the cosmetic fixes.
4. Get a home warranty
A home warranty is like a one-year insurance policy that addresses your major (and minor) appliances and most systems. If something breaks, you can call the home warranty company, not the appliance repair technician or plumber. For a small co-pay, they come out and repair or replace the item swiftly.
If your home has some issues, a home warranty is a great way to address them without having to spend weeks or months shopping around, getting bids for work and seeing through each repair. A warranty works well when you list the home and are too busy to call around getting bids.