Selling a home can come with unexpected chores and costs but taking some key steps can help keep you under budget on costs and on target for the best return on your investment.
1. First, get pre-approved for a home loan.
Sign a contract to sell your old home before you know if you are qualified to buy another and you could get stuck.
If your financial circumstances changed since your last home purchase you might no longer qualify for a loan or could become unable to sell at a price that allows you to buy your replacement home.
Along with getting pre-approved, research your next homes housing market to determine how much youll need to buy the replacement home.
2. Determine how much the house you want to sell is really worth.
A real estate agent can help you determine your homes fair market value, but consider taking the agents finding further and order an appraisal.
3. Estimate what it will cost to sell your home.
Your real estate agent can also help here, but be sure to include:
The real estate commission, if you use an agency to sell.
Advertising and staging costs, signs, other fees if you plan to sell it yourself.
Contractor or repair costs fees, legal fees, closing/escrow agent costs and other professional fees.
Excise or transfer taxes.
Prorated costs for your share of annual expenses, such as property taxes, homeowner association fees, homeowners insurance, fuel tank rentals, etc.
Other fees typically paid by the seller in your area including surveys and inspections.
4. Determine what it will cost to acquire a new home.
Costs for a new home can include moving expenses, loan costs, down payment money, home inspections, title work, homeowners insurance - any expense >
5. Calculate your estimated proceeds from the sale of your existing home.
Deduct your mortgage payoff from your homes fair market value. Your lender can give you the pay off figure.
From whats left, deduct your costs to sell and youll have an estimate of the proceeds you will be paid at closing.
Determine if your closing proceeds will cover your costs to acquire a new home. If not, youll have to come up with cash or other funding to make up any difference.
6. Complete repairs on your existing home.
Unless you are selling your home as-is as a fixer-upper, make the necessary repairs to bring your homes condition up to a ready-to-go level. These are cosmetic repairs or staging steps, but items in need of real repair.
Leave something inoperable and you risk buyers submitting offers that are lower than youd like.
7. Get the house ready to show to prospective buyers.
Most homes need at least a little spiffing up before they go on the market. Curb appeal, fresh paint indoors and sometimes out, organized closets and cabinets, sparkling clean windows and appliances, and a clutter-free atmosphere are all essential for home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers.
8. Get psyched up to let potential buyers in, and then leave.
If youre listing with a real estate agent, he or she will likely ask you to leave during open house events and individual tours. Lurking sellers make buyers feel like they are intruding and you could get a little protective of your first dream home.
Unless theres a very good reason, dont ask your agent to be present during showings. Its the kiss of death for showing activity.
Buyers agents also want privacy with their clients and they dont have time to work around your agents schedule.