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Selling your home can be overwhelming and emotional.  Your probably have a lot of questions and that is a good thing.  Having all of the information you need prior to selling your home will go a long way to ensuring a successful sale.  Here are a few of the most common questions sellers ask before putting their home on the market.

Questions About Selling a Home

When is the Best Time To Sell My Home?

You’ve probably heard that the Spring and Summer are the best seasons to sell your home.  Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell your home will differ from place to place and sometimes you may not have much of a choice if your reason for selling dictates it.  A professional real estate agent can help determine the best time to sell your home in the local market, while working to meet your time requirements as well.

What Steps Should I Take to Prepare My Home for Sale?

First impressions are everything and not properly preparing your home for sale can put you at a real disadvantage.  A little work up front can go a long way to ensuring a successful sale.

Improve Your Landscaping – Curb appeal is crucial to a good first impression. You want to make sure your lawn and shrubs are manicured and your flower beds are weed free.  Depending on the season, it’s always a good idea to plant some color.

Clean the Outside – A dirty exterior can lead buyers to question the overall condition of your home both inside and out.  Freshen up the paint, pressure wash the outside and make sure the gutters are free and clear.

Make Repairs – You will hear multiple opinions on whether or not you should get a pre-list home inspection.  Depending on the result of the inspection, you could find yourself in the situation of having to disclose previously unknown issues with the home.  However, the buyer is likely to discover these during their home inspection anyway.  By knowing about them in advance, you can fix them prior to putting the home on the market, which is likely to provide a smoother sale.  Regardless, you’re going to want to make any small repairs, such as leaking facets and cracked tile or chipped paint.

Remove Clutter and Depersonalize – Buyers want to be able to envision their belongings in your home and this can be difficult if your walls are covered family photos or collections.  Clutter can also make your home seem smaller than it really is and may even hide the selling points of your home.  Consider renting a storage unit for photos, extra furniture and personal items.

Let the Light In – One of the biggest turn offs to buyers is darkness.  Heavy drapery and window coverings can inhibit the natural light that would otherwise filter into your home.  Consider a few well placed floor and table lamps as well and make sure they are turned on for showings.

Organize Your Closets and Drawers – buyers are very nosy and will open drawers and look through your closets.  Messy closets and drawers will give the appearance that your home lacks ample storage, which is another important selling point.

Shine Like the Top of the Chrysler  Building – references to “Annie” aside, a dirty house is likely to turn buyers away quickly.  From top to bottom and everything in between, make sure your home sparkles and keep it that way.  You never know when a showing will be requested, so have your home in showing ready 100% of the time.

Even Out the Color – just because you like bright purple, doesn’t mean your buyer will and even though paint color is an easy fix, buyers often times have trouble getting past the craziness on the walls.  Consider repainting your walls in a more generic color.  Besides, a fresh coat of paint is never a bad thing.

Is Staging Really Important?

According to the National Real Estate Association, a staged home sells 88% fast and for 20% more money.  This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and hire a professional homestager – although if the home is vacant this might be a good idea.  Removing the clutter, depersonalizing, arranging and removing furniture and re-painting with neutral colors are all inexpensive staging techniques.

How Much is My Home Worth?

The first thing most home owners want to know before selling is how much their home is worth.  It is important to remember that for real estate sale purposes the value of your home is dependent on the current market and not on a tax value or past appraisal…or what you think it is worth.  A professional real estate agent will do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your home to determine its value in the current market.  A CMA looks at similar homes in the market that have recently sold and uses this information to determine what your list price should be.

Overpricing your home often times results in getting less than you would have had it been priced correctly from the start.  The longer a home remains on the market, the less it will eventually sell for and one of the biggest reasons a home takes a long time to see?  Price.

How Long Will it Take to Sell My Home?

A home typically takes 30 – 45 days to close ONCE under contract.  The total length of time it will take to sell your home depends on so many different variables that its virtually impossible to determine a hard number of days.  Your motivation for selling, the current market, price, housing supply, condition, etc., all factor in to how long it takes to sell.

Do I Need a Real Estate Agent to Sell My Home?

Technically, no.  However, a real estate agent has the training and knowledge to get your home sold.  After all, it’s what they do. A doctor cures, a real estate agent sells.  Real estate agents know how to price your home to sell, how to market your home successfully and how to negotiate a deal.

Given that your home is one of your biggest financial investments, wouldn’t you want to hire a professional to handle it?