While parting ways with your home may be your end decision, you should think meticulously through whether or not this is the right decision for you and your property. Before you sell your home, take a moment to consider important factors that will ultimately impact the success of your listing.
Do you really need to sell right now?
The most important question you must answer first is, “do you really need to sell right now?” Before you commit to selling your home, ensure that there is a true need. Every person or family’s motivations are different, but the level at which something is a necessity versus not is up to the homeowner.
If you need to sell your home right now because of legal and/or financial obligations, leeway is probably limited in your situation. If that is the case, you likely do not have the luxury of holding off based on whether or not now is the most advantageous for your listing is not. Instead you should focus on what to do next to get your home sold and finding the right agent is a good place to start.
Some homeowners find that they do need to sell for more practical reasons, which are very much rational reasons to sell now—under the right circumstances of course (which we’ll get to in a bit). Whether your family is outgrowing your current home, entering the empty-nester phase of your life, upgrading, or being transferred for a new job selling now is a matter of what makes the most sense for your life. In these cases, you may be able to leverage timing to make the most out of the sale—if so you should certainly take this into consideration.
Consider if you can make timing work for you
Timing really is everything. When deciding whether or not to sell your home, take a step back and assess the market. Is it a buyer’s market or is it a seller’s market? How long are comparable properties in your neighborhood on the market? Understanding the market will help you gauge if and when you can leverage it to get your property sold right away and at as high a price possible. At the end of the day, your market will determine the fair price of your home, and the way to make the most of the situation is to time when you put your home on the market.
Is your home ready to sell?
Before you put your home on the market take a good, hard look around: is your home ready to sell? When you gauge the market you will inevitably need to assess comparable properties in your neighborhood. That being said, comps are black and white—square footage, amenities, and location for example—but a buyer’s perspective lies more in the grey. Consider whether your home needs some simple sprucing up which you can manage on a quicker scale, or if more work needs to be done to get you it to its maximum selling potential. The main differentiator is that the former should not necessarily delay, or at least significantly delay, the amount of time from decision to listing. In the latter case, you should reconsider if selling makes sense at this time considering the time and financial investment you will need to get your home ready.
Before you sell, get your home professionally inspected to ensure no major issues exist. Once you have the all clear, take stock of both the interior and exterior of your home to make sure it looks as ready to sell as you are.
Do you have the right resources to help you sell?
So things are fallings into place and it looks like selling may be the right thing to do. Don’t jump the gun just yet. Getting yourself and your home ready to sell isn’t enough to get a sold sign out front. Before you sell your home, consider—do you have the means to do so? While some homeowners opt to sell on their own, there is much to be said about leveraging the experience and resources of professional Realtors. As your advocate and guide, real estate agents are there to protect your interests as they relate to your home and pocketbook, and they’re armed with the knowledge of how best to do that. That being said, before you opt to sell your home, consider working with a Realtor, and be prudent about who you work with—make sure your agent passes the test in terms of trustworthiness, experience, professionalism, success in your area, and making you feel comfortable enough.
Assess your home’s exposure to potential buyers
This last consideration is closely tied to working with the right agent—and especially if do you go it on your own. What you benefit from working with a brokerage house or a Realtor is typically a built in marketing strategy that has proven results. The network of professional agents and their access to marketing resources makes gives your property the leg up in the selling race. It is important to assess your Realtor’s marketing plan: what kind of collateral will be created, how will they disseminate collateral to potential buyers, and where are potential buyers most likely to see your listing? That being said, you should talk with your real estate agent to determine if your home can be positioned in the current market, at its current state, and with your agent’s expertise to get enough exposure and interest so that it doesn’t sit on the market.
Choosing to sell your home is not a light decision, to say the least. Then again, if you take priorities into consideration, and look at every angle in a realistic light—what kind of market is it, or do you need to sell for obligations that you cannot put off, for example—the decision can be made confidently.