6 Things to Consider Before Selling Your House
Selling your home can be stressful, even if it isn’t your first time. However, if it is, things can get particularly complicated. That’s why you need to consider several things before listing your house on the market and familiarize yourself with the selling process.
From understanding your local housing market and picking the best time to sell to cleaning, repairing, and staging your home, preparation is vital for selling a property. Below are six things to consider before selling your house to ensure a smooth sale if you take them seriously.
The Ideal Time to Sell
All real estate markets aren’t the same. A perfect time to sell on one market may be inconvenient on another. Typically, the best time to sell is spring – March, April, and May because sellers can profit most during that period.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get the top dollar for your home in other months, especially if you want to sell a house in Los Angeles County, where the weather is pleasant regardless of the time of the year.
Essentially, you should sell your house when it’s most convenient for your situation. If you have to move now because of the new job, the best time is now. However, waiting until spring can be more lucrative if you’re not in a hurry.
Still, anytime can be a great time to sell if your house is in an area with all-year warm weather. But, always remember to examine the local housing market before deciding. That’s when hiring a real estate agent can prove valuable.
Understand Your Local Real Estate Market
You probably have a general idea of housing prices in your area and local economic conditions if you have lived in a house you plan to sell for several years. Still, doing more research on housing activity in your neighbourhood won’t hurt. An excellent place to find regional and local housing statistics is through the National Association of REALTORS®.
Discover how many homes are currently on the market in your neighbourhood and the average number of days they have been listed. Looking at comparable houses in your area will also help you know your competition.
A comparable house is often located close to your home and has similar features. Analyzing the lot size, the number of rooms and other home features is vital when checking comparable homes.
It’s normal to get emotional when selling your home, especially if it’s your first time doing it. You likely spent much effort, time, and money for nesting in the house you intend to sell and have many memories connected to it. So, it’s no surprise you have trouble keeping your emotions in check when the time comes to say goodbye.
Nonetheless, you can make it easier for you by thinking of yourself as a salesperson instead of a homeowner. Looking at the deal only from a financial perspective will help you distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling the house.
If you remind yourself that you’re selling property along with image and a lifestyle, you’ll probably put more effort into repairs and staging to gain more profit when it sells. Apart from helping you make more money, it will help you distance emotionally, as your house will look less familiar.
Hiring a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents cost a substantial commission – typically 5% to 6% of the sale price of your house. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely a good idea to sell your home alone, especially if it’s your first time.
A good and skilled agent will have your best interest in mind, helping you set a fair and competitive price for your house boosting your odds of a quick and lucrative sale. Moreover, an agent can help with the emotional aspect of the process by communicating with prospective buyers and eliminating tire kickers.
Moreover, a real estate agent will have more experience negotiating home sales, which can help you gain more money than if you do it by yourself. Also, a skilled agent will handle issues for you if they appear during the process (they usually do).
Agents know all the paperwork and risks associated with real estate transactions and can help the entire process go according to plan. So, do you think you need one, or you’d be better off without him?
Preparing Your Home for Sale
Selling a house starts before you even place it on the market and allows the potential buyers to examine it. It begins with preparation. A dirty house full of rooms for improvement will reject most prospective customers. That said, you should prepare your home for sale inside and out.
First come cleaning and decluttering, meaning you throw everything you don’t need and leave necessary furnishing or things adding value to the space. Everything you need that’s taking up space and making it look smaller, you should place it in a storage unit.
That includes furniture, clothes, family photos, and other items that tell your potential buyers the home they are interested in is your territory. Next, clean every room of your home thoroughly. Make the floors and windows shine, wash the curtains, wipe the dust, etc.
Once you finish cleaning and decluttering, it’s time to make necessary repairs. However, it’s better not to go overboard with it. Avoid major projects, such as room additions, as these rarely pay off. Instead, focus on fixing leaky faucets, squeaky doors, and such.
Also, consider curb appeal. There’s no second time for the first impression. Planting some flowers, painting the front door, and removing the dead plants can significantly improve the appearance of your home.
Finally, consider staging. Professional stagers know how to highlight the best features and reduce the worst.
Understand the Tax Laws
Most home sellers enjoy a significant tax break under current tax laws. Many capital gains on the sale of a house are excluded from tax. More precisely, up to $250,000 for single taxpayers and $500,000 for married couples filing jointly.
To qualify, the seller must have used the home as a principal residence for at least two years of the previous five. If a person has become mentally or physically unable to care for themselves, this demand is reduced to one year.
And time spent living in a health care facility counts toward this one-year requirement. In addition, you can use the capital profit exclusion once every two years and no more.
The current laws are beneficial for most home sellers. However, some homeowners’ gains exceed the limits. That’s especially true for those living in higher-cost areas. So, if they sell, they have to pay tax on all the gains exceeding their applicable exclusion limits.
Ensure a Smooth Sale
All in all, if you want to ensure a smooth sale, you should inform yourself well about your local housing market and determine the right time to sell your home. A skilled real estate agent can help you and even sell your home for more than you could. Also, hiring an agent will help distance yourself emotionally from the whole process.
Remember to prepare your house for sale by cleaning, decluttering, and making necessary repairs. Staging is also an excellent way to show off your home’s best features and wow the buyers. Preparation is the key – do it well, and you’ll sell.
6 Things to Consider Before Selling Your House