Are you thinking about selling your home in the near future? It’s a perfect time to sell in the Sacramento region, with plenty of buyers rallied buy low interest rates and high rental prices, as well as a splurge of equity boosted by years of strong appreciation gains. If you are considering listing your home, you’ll have plenty of important decisions to make along the way. By asking these 15 questions before you put your home up for sale, you’ll be sure to maximize profit and ensure a smooth and efficient process.
We covered the first seven questions in part one of this blog, and here are questions no. eight through fifteen.
- Should I have professional photos taken?
If an image is worth a thousand words, the images potential home byers see of your home, usually with the listing information on Metro list or a similar home site, are the best first impression you could ever make. Professional photographers will employ perfect lighting, lenses with pinpoint clarity, and the proper angles and framing of your house, room, or yard, ensuring a sparkling first impression. With buyers thumbing through scores or even hundreds of properties, that first impression will garner you more looks, interest, and ultimately, a better opportunity to sell your home for top dollar.
You also may want to think about a professional videographer to record a virtual tour of your home, especially if your home is on the higher end of market.
- Is it more important for me to sell my home quickly, or for every dollar possible?
Selling a home is like being on a very temperamental seesaw, a balancing act between selling your home for the highest possible price, but also as quickly and efficiently as possible – every decision affects the balance. Too often, home sellers actually hurt their bottom line by trying to price their homes above fair market value – which also costs them time. So a good Realtor will help you achieve that balance and ultimately, make sure you net every single dollar possible once the home actually sells.
- What are the terms and costs beyond price we should be negotiating?
Of course price is the main consideration when selling your home, but it’s worth spending some time strategizing the other factors that affect your net profit, including terms. Allocation of closing costs, amenities, repairs, contingencies, and many other matters of minutiae could also help facilitate a smooth transaction while maximizing your profit.
- What will the buyers discover when they do their inspections?
Remember that attracting a buyer who writes an offer and gets in contract is just the first start of the process, but they still will need to conduct thorough inspections. Buyers will order pest inspections, home inspections, appraisals, sometimes even roof certifications, and carefully go over the disclosures you send them. What will they see? You know your house better than anyone, so if you anticipate any issues or negative items popping up during these inspections, it’s better to address them with your Realtor ahead of time – not mid-transaction when they could potentially slow down the sale or lead the buyer to ask for a price reduction.
- How soon am I ready to move out?
Once we attract a buyer that makes a great offer and we get in contract, it suddenly dawns on the homeowner that they’ll have to move out in short time, usually about 30 days! Instead of scrambling to make that happen, it’s far better to prepare ahead of time by starting to pack, organize all of your possessions, and move furniture and boxes to a storage unit ahead of time so you won’t be in a panic once you sign on the dotted line.
- Will I be shopping for a home at the same time and making contingent offers?
Most of the time when we sell a home, we also need to buy one to move into. Whether we are upsizing to our dream house, downsizing for retirement, or anything short of going back to renting, we often need to simultaneously sell and buy – and the timing and procedures can get tricky. You might even have to make contingent offers on the home you’re looking to buy – meaning that home purchase is contingent on you selling your home – which is not always warmly received. It’s more important than ever to work with a great real estate agent who can lead you through the nuances of buying while you’re selling, and contingent offers.
- Should you fix up your house before selling?
When a potential buyer first walks up to and into your home, they’ll take in every detail, processing what they perceive as positive, neutral, and negative factors. If you want to really attract a strong buyer who makes the best possible offer, it’s important to at least identify and fix any glaring negatives before you put it up for sale. Of course you don’t want to invest a lot of time and money into your home before you sell, but fixing any eyesores and obvious negatives can only help you in the long run, including anything that could compromise health, safety, or cause further damage to the home. There are also plenty of small repairs and fixes that focus on curb appeal, entryways, and the ever-important kitchens and bathrooms that could boost your offer price.
- If so, what improvements can I make that will give me the best return on investment?
Luckily, we have plenty of data to see which home improvements will yield the highest rate of return as we’re selling. Low-cost (sometimes even DIY) projects like painting, replacing dated lighting or fixtures, etc. in kitchens and bathrooms always strengthen your sales price, as does improving curb appeal.
Additionally, studies show that (if it’s needed,) replacing your front door, putting new siding or shingles on your house, upgrading the kitchen, adding on or refurbishing a deck, installing a new garage door, and even turning an unused attic into an extra bedroom or living space yield the greatest return on investment once it comes time to sell.
If you’d like to discuss any of these questions or need some advice about selling your home for top dollar, give me a call!