Monday, June 11, 2012

Selling Your Home

Ryan and I have learned so much during this whole house situation. We are still waiting for the perfect family to come waltzing in and fall in love with our home. I never dreamed that selling a home or buying a new one would be so complicated. We seriously needed some help from experienced people! Once our home was ready to list, we met with a few agents to find the best fit for us. In the beginning we had no clue what questions to ask or how to pick the right person. When hiring an agent to represent you in the whole process, consider these things:

  • Is this someone you feel like you can trust?
  • Does this agent seem honest or are they telling you exactly what they think you want to hear?
  • Expect to pay around 6% commission to your agent. 
  • Is the real estate company well known in your area? 
  • Ask if the agent also updates on Zillow as more and more people are using it to find homes for sale. 
  • If this agent's personality does not suit you, consider that before possibly working with them for several months. 
  • Ask how many homes they sold last year. 
  • If the agent communicates with you in a timely fashion, this one is a keeper! Someone who keeps you well informed is very needed in this process!

Ryan and I were preapproved for our new mortgage before we ever listed our home for sale. Our agent told us that people are just not taken very seriously until they are preapproved. It was a very simple process and we were very pleased with the quick turn around on a decision. Even if you're not in the market for a new home, you may want to consider a streamline refinance since streamline rates are low. We found that our interest rate for a home has dropped considerably since 2007. It's definitely worth giving it a look. Having someone help you through this whole paperwork process is very helpful as well. 

Once you select an agent, you will sign a contract with them to sell your home. They will take pictures to show off the best features. Make sure you have deep cleaned, decluttered, and freshened the house. Open any blinds and curtains to allow the most light in. It makes your home look open, cleaning, and bright. This is a huge selling point. If these pictures do not look appealing, you will be judged on that by potential lookers. For myself, if I look at a home that does not photograph well I don't give it a serious thought. Why would I want to live there, you know? 

No one wants to see your laundry lying around. Nor do they need to see a million family pictures covering your mantle. You're showing off the mantle features, not your family. If someone can't visualize their personal belongings in the house, they cannot see themselves actually living there. No one wants to see your personal items cluttering every flat inch of your home. If you have those, pack them away since you'll be packing them to move anyway. You can live without dusting them for a bit. 

When your agent finally calls with an appointment to show your home, tidy your home. Make sure all dishes are washed and put away neatly. Wash and put away your laundry. Clean countertops and mop the floors. Put away any toys and make up all of the beds. Prepare like you would if company was coming! Vacuum before you leave and you're good to go! I normally put on an amazing smelling meal in the crockpot before I leave. It smells like home! 

Our home has shown several times now and we have received wonderful feedback from the agents. They have made no suggestions for improvement when it shows which means things are staged nicely. We just have to be patient for the right family to come through. 

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