We've previously talked about questions you should ask when buying a house on this blog. This week we're looking at the other side of that equation: what to ask when selling your house. From making sure you have the right agent to determining your home's value, you've got lots to consider when putting your home on the market. Let's dig into those questions and more.
Think of the search for a real estate agent to list your home as a job interview, and you're the hiring manager. Ask about their history in the industry, how many homes they typically sell in a year, areas in which they specialize, what they'll do to market your home, and more. What can they bring to the table, and does it align with your goals for selling?
Depending on your circumstances, the right time to sell can be hard to define. One big factor to consider is if you're in a buyer's or seller's market. A buyer's market happens when there's more homes on the market but less demand, empowering buyers. Conversely, fewer homes on the market and more demand creates a seller's market. A seller's market means you have the power to negotiate better deals. Your agent will help you determine what the current market landscape looks like.
You'll (most likely) walk away from your home sale with money, but it'll cost you to get there. Commission fees and closing costs will come out of your bottom-line profit, but some out-of-pocket costs can sneak up on you. These can include staging, landscaping, and more. If you're buying a home at the same time, you'll want to include those fees in your budgeting efforts as well.
Determining your home's value can be as simple as determining its condition and demand. Your agent can help you assess demand with a customized report covering how much similar homes in your area have sold for. This is called a comparative market analysis. Additionally, you can get an approximate estimate of your home's value with our home value estimator tool.
A home inspection occurs as a standard part of the process once your home is under contract. You can, however, have an independent inspection completed prior to listing your home on the market. It's another fee to account for, but it gives you a chance to remedy any potential ills in your home before presenting it to a buyer.
One of the scary parts of selling is having to be honest about your home's flaws. Even if you get an inspection before selling, there may be flaws that just aren't cost-effective for you to fix. But you may still have to mention them in the seller's disclosure. That being said, what you have to disclose can vary based on state laws and other factors. Your agent will help you determine what must be included in the seller's disclosure.