What Should You Do Before Selling A House?

Real Estate Agent with Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc.

Selling a house is a process so complex that whether you are a first-time home seller or not, you will probably have a bunch of questions as to how to go about it. In this article, you will learn the answers to those questions and more as I prepare you for your home sale.
What are the things you need to know before selling your home?

When it comes to selling, knowing the value of your house and exercising patience and restraint are crucial. Before you put your house on the market, get it appraised by a licensed appraiser and/or a broker price opinion from a real estate agent so you can price it right. If you don’t want complications during your sale, you may also deem a home inspection necessary. As you discover issues during the pre-sale home inspection, you will have more control over how to handle these problems. Many sellers choose to fix those deficiencies before putting the home on the market as they may come up later during the buyer’s home inspection.

If you uncover problems with your home during a home inspection, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the disclosure laws in your state to avoid future litigation. While these laws generally require sellers to disclose either verbally or in writing, the presence of hazardous materials in your home or flaws in construction, they vary from state to state.


It would be best if you consult a real estate agent, a lawyer, or your local housing authority if you are not sure of what you need to disclose to potential homebuyers.


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Another thing you need to remember as a seller is that patience is key. I won’t argue that agents like us express concern that homes can go stale after lingering on the market for too long because that means they are not attractive enough to draw interested buyers. However, a stale sale usually results from a seller overvaluing his or her home. In some cases, the opposite can occur: in a rush to find a buyer, a home is undervalued. That’s the last thing I will ever wish to happen to you.

Lastly, if you’re able, try marketing your home and getting it under contract before you buy a new one. This is because if you buy a new one without having a sure buyer for your previous home, you may end up paying two mortgages at the same time. Also many sellers will not accept a contract with a home sale contingency, but will accept one that is contingent on the successful closing of the buyers home that is currently under contract.

Do you need a real estate agent to help you sell your home?

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of selling a home, let’s consider an old debate: Do you need a real estate agent to assist you with your home sale?

If you’re selling your home this year, you’re lucky. Every passing day, the internet makes it much easier to sell a home without an agent. Despite that, however, most successful home sales are still done with the help of a real estate agent usually resulting in more money for the seller.

If you are selling a home in Charlottesville, VA, here are the many reasons why you should hire an agent.

· Education and experience


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RealtorsⓇ like us understand how complicated home selling can be. If you are new to home selling, you may be overwhelmed by the process and all the paperwork involved, so it helps to have someone experienced to assist you every step of the way.

· Saves time and energy

If you have an agent, you will not have to do everything by yourself. This will help you save time and energy since you won’t have to spend time scheduling and conducting tours of your home, which usually cut into your work or weekends.

· Discerning serious from non-serious buyers

Since we are experienced in real estate, we can easily distinguish between serious homebuyers and not. If you sell your home without an agent, it may be difficult for you to discern whether a buyer is really interested in buying your home or is simply looking.

· Understanding the market

As a seller, it is imperative that you understand the market before you sell your home. A good agent knows the market and understands trends, so rest assured that I can help your bottom line.

· Negotiation

Not all home sellers have the ability to negotiate. Negotiation is a skill, more than anything else. If you hire me as your agent, you can take advantage of my negotiating skills to help you get the best price for your home.

· Professional network


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Selling a home is a multifaceted process, and it usually takes more than just an agent to make the transaction successful. My contacts with other real estate industry professionals like contractors, inspectors, landscapers, and the like can help you solve whatever problem you may encounter as you go through the home selling process.

· Realtor only open houses

Agents like us conduct open houses just for buyer agents. During these events, buyer agents come often in groups and check out the house. Because this is usually just a quick process, it is more convenient for the seller than conducting a traditional open house. The agents are looking at the home to decide which of their clients could be a good fit for your property.

What should you do before selling a house?

Whether you are relocating for work, making room for your growing family, downsizing, or moving to a more desirable neighborhood, you will need to take steps to ensure that your house is ready to sell. Regardless of the season or current economic conditions, there are several strategies you can use to help sell your home fast. Here are the things you need to do as you prepare to sell your home:

· Research your local housing market

If you’ve lived in your current home for a long time, then you probably have a general idea of the housing prices in your neighborhood. Despite that, it’s still best to do some research on housing activity in your area. One good source for local and regional housing statistics is the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

As you do your research, search for comparable homes in your neighborhood so you’ll have a general idea of what the competition looks like. Examining the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and other features are essential when seeking out comparable properties. You can also visit open houses if you want to go the extra mile in reviewing similar properties. Your real estate agent can also perform a comparable market analysis to assist with pricing.

· Boost your curb appeal

As a seller, remember that for homebuyers, first impressions always last. Although significant landscaping updates are not really a major factor in a homebuyer’s decision making, it helps avoid anything that could detract him or her from that positive first impression.


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· Declutter

Getting rid of the clutter includes removing all personalized photos and other knickknacks. This step does not necessarily require a major renovation of your home—just a fresh coat of paint and some minor repairs are enough. Also decluttering and perhaps removing some items of furniture can contribute to making the rooms seem more spacious. Remember that your goal is to leave potential buyers with a good first impression, so don’t set a showing unless you are confident that your property looks clean, fresh, and well-kept.

· Set a reasonable asking price

Pricing your home right from the start is important if you want to attract buyers instantly. Do not make emotional decisions by anchoring your asking price to the previous value of your home. Instead, stick within reasonable price limits to attract more offers.

· Prepare all necessary documents


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Preparing for a home sale isn’t just about preparing your home for sale but preparing yourself for future inquiries as well. Because of this, you must be ready to present all the documents that potential buyers, your listing agent, or lawyer may request down the road.

Marketing is important

Marketing your home for sale is more than just putting a sign in the yard. You will need professional quality photographs. Buyers will be looking at your home on the internet before making the decision to come see it in person. Good photographs are key. You may also want to have aerial photos or a drone video depending on the property. Your real estate agent will be able to put your property into the mls and will market it to other real estate agents. It is important that all of the area agents are familiar with your home so that they will show it to their clients. In addition to the mls, your home will be added to numerous internet sites.

· Market your home on social media


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Giving your home as much social media exposure as possible is necessary to reach potential buyers. You can expose your home to potential buyers by listing it on popular real estate websites, uploading YouTube videos of your home, joining Pinterest groups, and blogging. Facebook is also a valuable site if you want to get the word out that you are selling your home.

While it is true that selling a home can be stressful, there are things you can do before selling your home that will definitely make it easier for you to seal the deal. These things require very little effort, but only if you have a trusted real estate agent behind you. If you need a real estate agent you can trust in Charlottesville, VA, feel free to contact me, Pam Dent, at 434-960-0161 today.



In case you cannot view this video here, please click the link below to view What Should You Do Before Selling A House? on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DyoOgDeizI&feature=youtu.be

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Comments (5)

Joseph Doohan
Joseph Doohan - Las Vegas, NV
I offer business strategy advice for realtors

Thanks for sharing this fantastic property. I hope you have a great day ahead.

Feb 24, 2020 01:02 AM
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

Hi Joseph.  Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog.  I hope you have a great day as well.

Feb 24, 2020 04:52 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Pam. Must say, this is a must read for all sellers. Thanks! Enjoy your day!

Feb 24, 2020 05:04 AM
Pam Dent

Thank you Wayne.  I hope that my sellers find this useful information.

Feb 24, 2020 05:25 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is excellent advice to share with prospective home sellers.

Feb 24, 2020 06:43 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Pam:

There is so much valuable information and advice here for sellers! Hopefully those who are considering a sale will read it and agree, then contact you for assistance to get it done, and done well!


Mar 02, 2020 08:22 PM