There are many reasons to sell your house. However, regardless of the reason, most sellers want it sold quickly and at a fair price. It is important to work with a top agent, but you should ensure these things before you hire a real estate agent to help you sell your house.
Top 10 things you should do before hiring a real estate agent.
1. Your selling goals
Before you even consider hiring a realtor, you must first map out your selling goals. You will need to establish a price range for offers that you are willing to accept. Having a price range is helpful as it allows agents to understand where they’re at. The agent can recommend a price range that is closer to local market conditions if your price range is too high.
You’ll also need to consider the time frame you are comfortable with, and how it might affect the final sale price. Do you prefer to accept a lower price in exchange for a quick home sale or do you prefer to wait for the best deal? Are you open to negotiation or do you insist on the price?
2. Find out how much equity your home has
Before you contact a real estate agent, it is helpful to know what equity you have in your home. Home equity is the homeowner’s financial stake in the property they own, free from their mortgage loan obligation. This is calculated by taking the value of your property and subtracting the total mortgage amount and any other liens that must be paid to sell it.
If you are buying a home, it is possible to have enough equity to make a decent down payment. However, equity must be adequate to cover any expenses that you will need once the house has been sold. This includes closing costs and agent commissions. Once your house sells, any mortgage balance will have to be paid off.
3. If you’re buying, get pre-approved to get a mortgage
The National Association of Realtors (NAR), released their Realtors Confidence Index Survey. It found that 22% of realty contracts were delayed, and that 8% of those contracts were terminated because of difficulties obtaining financing. It can be difficult to buy a house and sell one simultaneously. Get pre-approved for mortgage financing before you start looking for a home.
4. Find the best time to list in your area
Sometimes life has a way of throwing us curveballs and you can’t control when your house needs to be sold. If you’re able to think strategically, determine the best time of year to sell your house.
The housing market trends indicate that homes sold during peak selling seasons are more expensive than those listed in slower times of the year. This swing can be over 10 percent.
5. Repairs are required
NAR also reported that 9% of contracts were delayed, and 9% of those contracts were terminated because of home inspection issues. Do not let your sale go through without making the necessary repairs. To ensure your home passes future inspections without any problems, be proactive and create a repair list.
You can request a home inspection yourself before calling a realtor. You will receive an inspection report that will detail the problems and you can then schedule appointments to have the repairs completed before the house goes on the market.
6. For home improvements, gather receipts and warranties
To get more information about your home, real estate agents can use tools such as automated valuation models (AVMs). They can also tell when a house has been maintained and when it isn’t. This information will be used to help them recommend a price range.
Keep detailed records of all the work done in your home to help you negotiate a fair price. You should keep detailed records of all receipts and warranties. Also, a breakdown of costs, materials and completion dates.
7. Deep cleaning and decluttering
Once you have decided to sell your home, it is time to start cleaning out and decluttering. Although this task may take several weeks or months to complete, it is essential if you are to get the best possible price. Deep cleaning and decluttering your home’s interior can increase the sale price. A cleaner home is more appealing to potential buyers than a house that sells for a higher price.
8. Interior renovations
After your interior has been cleaned, you can think of ways to make your home feel fresher and more modern. You can breathe new life into your home by replacing the curtains and linens with new ones.
You can also refresh your home in other ways:
- So that rooms appear brighter, replace the light bulbs with LED bulbs.
- Extension cords that are not needed should be eliminated or hidden
- Paint your kitchen cabinets and replace the hardware
- You can place a few plants throughout your home, whether they are real or fake.
An agent you hire might suggest staging plans because staging allows buyers to visualize themselves living in the home. Staging can also increase the sale price. Staging can also reduce the time that your home is on the market.
9. Improve the curb appeal
First impressions are important when selling a house. This starts as soon as potential buyers see your house from the street. Potential buyers will be impressed by the appearance and condition of your yard.
You don’t have to hire a professional landscaper if you want to improve curb appeal. Simple tasks can be done by you:
- You can pressure wash your exterior, driveway, walkways, patio/deck, and patio/deck
- Clean the windows both inside and outside (if they are in poor condition, remove them).
- Take care of your yard by cleaning up any clutter or removing dead plants.
- Regular lawn maintenance tasks such as mowing, fertilizing, watering and so on should be performed.
- Fresh mulch can be added to flower beds
10. Find top real estate agents in your area.
Once you have completed this checklist, you can begin your research about who to hire. In Myrtle Beach there are over 4,000 agents. How do you find the best one? Do your research and ask lots of questions.