Inland Empire Real Estate Inland Empire Real Estate - Your Complete Real Estate Services Team
Find a Home Seller Services Buyer Services Resource Center About Us Contact Us
Resource Center

Essential Home Selling Preparations

The home selling process differs from state to state, but there are some important steps that you should take before you put your house on the market--all steps that protect your interests and help you get the most return from your investment.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

I've known sellers who signed a contract to sell their house before they knew if they were qualified to buy another. Either their financial circumstances had changed since their last purchase, and they could no longer qualify for a loan, or they weren't able to sell at a price that allowed them to buy the type of replacement house they wanted. They ended up renting or buying something that was far from ideal.

Before you decide to sell the house, get pre-approved by a lender you trust and research the housing market in the area where you wish to live so that you have a good idea how much it will take to buy a replacement.

How To Start Researching

Start looking for two types of real estate: houses that seem to match the one you'd like to buy and houses that are similar to your current home.

How do the two categories compare in price? Can you handle the difference if you're planning a step up?

Search the Internet for homes for sale in your area and read real estate ads in your local newspapers. Many times you won't find house locations without making phone calls, but browsing the general market will get you off to a good start.

See: Are You Pre-Approved for a Mortgage?

2. Check Your Mortgage Payoff

Call your lender to check the payoff for your current home mortgage, make sure you also receive the pre-payment penalty if one applies. You'll need the figure to complete Step 6.

3. Determine How Much the House Is Worth

Determine your home's fair market value. Empire Realty agents will help you determine value as a courtesy, but you might take it a step further and order an appraisal. (Order a Comparative Market Analysis)

4. Estimate Your Costs to Sell

  • Real estate commission if you use an agency to sell.
  • Advertising costs, signs, other fees if you plan to sell by owner.
  • Attorney, closing agent and other professional fees.
  • Excise tax for the sale.
  • Prorated costs for your share of annual expenses, such as property taxes, home owner association fees.
  • Any other fees typically paid by the seller in your area (septic inspections, home warrantees, etc.).
  • Real estate agents deal with transactions every day and can give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs. (Net Proceeds Worksheet) (link to Seller Services - Net Proceeds Worksheet)

5. Determine Your Costs to Acquire a New Home

Total your costs to acquire a new home: moving expenses, loan costs, down payment, home inspections, title work and policy, paying for a new hazard insurance policy--all expenses related to buying a home. Your lender should give you a disclosure of estimated costs when you apply for pre-approval.

6. Calculate Your Estimated Proceeds

  1. Deduct your mortgage payoff and pre-payment penalties from your home's fair market value.
  2. Deduct your costs to sell from the remainder to get an estimate of the proceeds you will be paid at closing.

Will your closing proceeds cover your costs to acquire a new home? If not, do you have cash or other funding to make up the difference?

7. Make Necessary Repairs

Make all needed repairs unless you want the house to be regarded as a fixer-upper. I'm not referring to cosmetic updates, but to items in need of repair. Anything that's obviously broken gives potential buyers a reason to submit a lower offer.

For a preview of several repair hot spots that worry buyers the most, read Passing Your Home Inspection.

8. Get the House Ready to Show

Most houses need at least a little spiffing up before they are shown to potential buyers. Great curb appeal, fresh paint indoors (and sometimes out), organized closets and cabinets, sparkling clean windows and appliances, and a clutter-free atmosphere are essential if you want the house to appeal to buyers.

Read: The Importance of Curb Appeal and Getting the House Ready for Showings for more prep advice.

9. Get Psyched Up to Let People In

If you're listing with a real estate agent, she'll no doubt ask you to leave when the house is shown. Why? Because lurking sellers make buyers nervous--they don't feel comfortable inspecting the house when they feel they are intruding into your private space. If you do happen to be home when a showing occurs, point out one or two features that you love that may not be so obvious and then back off, many times this will be the first time an agent has seen your home and he may not be aware of these not so obvious features.

Unless there's a real reason for it, don't ask your agent to be present for all showings. That's the kiss of death for showing activity. Other agents want privacy with their buyers and they don't usually have time to work around your agent's schedule.

Make the house accessible. That means it's always ready to show. Many agents won't bother showing a house that takes 24 hours to get into.

For more about getting your home ready to show, read Top 10 Ways to Make Buyers Hate Your House.

10. If you're ready to sell, contact Empire Realty today and we will get you started.


Find a Home | Seller Services | Buyer Services | Resource Center | About Us | Contact Us |
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use © 2001 - 2017 Empire Realty. Powered By E Thinks Solution