Selling a home can seem like a daunting task on its own, even more so if you are already going through a particularly stressful period such as a divorce, birth of a new baby or a death in the family. A good real estate agent will be able to identify your stressors and alleviate as much as possible, but below are the most basic steps to selling a home so you can mentally prepare yourself when the time comes.
- Contact a real estate agent. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people try to take on a lot of the prep work by themselves, when an agent will gladly spearhead those efforts. A good agent will help with things such as:
- Pricing your home competitively
- Advising you on any updates to make
- Advising you on decluttering and staging
- Advising you on cleaning and final touch-ups
- Recommending contractors to take care of updates, staging, etc.
- Coordinating all logistics for getting your house on the market
- Explaining what to expect once you are on the market (showing schedules, feedback updates, etc.)
- Implement any agreed-upon agent suggestions. Again, a good agent will coordinate any prep work for you, but be prepared to at least sort through your belongings and declutter.
- Be reasonable about pricing. If you are in a situation where you must sell quickly, don’t try to push the market unless your agent advises you otherwise.
- Arrange a weekly check-in with your agent. Once you are on the market, there will hopefully be a flurry of activity that may be hard to keep track of. Let your agent handle the tracking of showings, requests for feedback, and market activity, and set a time for him/her to update you each week so you have a consistent line of communication.
- Ask your agent to set your expectations. What are the average number of showings you should expect in the first week? What is the average number of days on the market in your neighborhood? Having this information in the back of your mind will prepare you once on the market and allow you to focus on other things.
Ultimately, you will have the most successful experience if you are clear and upfront with your agent from the beginning. Let him/her know your situation, your biggest stressors or concerns, your timeline and goals, and anything that might pose a challenge to meeting those goals. In turn, your agent will be honest with you about what you need to do to prepare your home, where you should price it, and how long you should expect to be on the market.
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