1. Price Competitively
Want to sell your house quickly? Consider setting the price a fraction under market value. This will make your property compelling to potential buyers. For example: If similar homes in your neighborhood are priced at $210,000, consider pricing yours at $200,000 or $198,000 to attract potential buyers.
2. It Doesn’t End at the Preapproval Letter
When buyers get preapproved for a mortgage, frugality is often tossed aside. Buyers sometimes open other lines of credit thinking that they can take that money and run. What they don’t know is that a lender re-examines a buyer’s financial situation just before closing, and could clock the buyer with a higher interest rate if things are worse off than before. Never get new loans or start using credit cards more heavily before closing; better yet, be frugal until a few months after you have closed so that you know how homeownership affects your finances.
3. Selling Takes Longer Than You Think (and Want)
Underestimating the time it takes to sell a home– and planning around an unrealistic timeline– adds lots of stress. On average, a home takes 2 weeks to set up for a sale, 2 months to sell, a week to negotiate offers, and another 30 days at least before you close. Thus, sellers should be ready for a process of 4 to 6 months!
4. Not All Buyers Buy
Prequalified is different from preapproved. Prepproved buyers have been verified by the lender by looking at personal financial information; prequalified buyers, on the other hand, provide basic information to a lender. The difference? Preapproved buyers are your more serious buyers, but an agent should always check with a lender to insure their information is up to speed to make sure that no one drops out of buying your home at the eleventh hour.
5. Details Matter
Sellers sometimes drag their feet at “staging” the home– does it really matter if your family pictures are up on the walls if the rest of your home sparkles? Absolutely! The home should be clean, smell good, and be nice and warm for guest’s comfort. Sellers should see their home as buyers do: it should be fresh, inviting, and allow them to imagine a new start.
6. Agents Don’t Make as Much as You Think
Unless your agent is handling both sides of the transaction, figure on them getting more like a quarter of a percent. Other agents and brokers have a hand in the commission, so your agent doesn’t get as big a cut as you think.