Prior to contacting a real estate professional to place your home on the market you should be prepared to provide the agent with as much information as possible. Not preparing could cost you financially.
So...You're Thinking About Selling Your Home
Know Your Market - Knowledge of whether you are in a seller or buyers market gives you an idea of what leverage you will have with negotiations. A seller's market works in your favor and could ensure a higher price for your home considering it is in a reasonably good condition.
Tax Benefits - A real etate professional is not a CPA therefore they cannot give you any advice on tax consequences. Consult your CPA prior to placing your home on the market if you have any concerns or questions on whether or not you will need to pay capital gains taxes on the sale proceeds.
Disclosing - Make a list of any repairs or any known defects that you are aware of on the property and be ready to share those with your realtor. This could save you from legal issues later.
Liens Against Your Property - Your realtor's estimate of your net gain is only as accurate as the numbers that you provide to them. Contact all of your debtors that have a lien against your property for payoff figures.
Work Together - Partner with your realtor so that you are on the same page of coming up with a realistic plan on selling your home.
Is your home market ready?
So why should I stage my home if I'm selling it?
Staging helps you get the highest price for the home and helps the home sell faster. Remember you only get one chance to make a lasting impressions and staging is the answer. Here are some things to consider when staging your home
Curb Appeal - Front and back yard should be manicured at all times. Ensure there is no peeling paint, broken windows, or hanging gutters and that all trash and debris is removed from patios or walkways
Garage - Yes, buyers will check the garage. Make sure the garage is organized
Declutter - You want to create and open and spacious layout. Remove excess furniture from rooms to create an open space. Closets and cabinets should be organized.
Clean - Ensure that your home is in spotless condition at all times. Ensure there are no dirty dishes left in the sink, beds are made everyday, bathtubs and toilets are cleaned, no dirty laundry left on floors.
Take the Home Out of the House - Remove all personal photos of family members or anything that could be offensive to the new buyer.
Pets - Ensure that litter boxes and pet areas are cleaned and free from odor. Pets should be secured or placed in the back yard during showing times
Benefits of Using A Realtor
Your home is one of the largest investment that you will make in your lifetime and one that you have worked hard to achieve. Hiring a qualified real estate professional to list your home is one of the most important decisions you will make to ensure that you are getting a return on your investment. Below are the benefits of hiring a realtor.
Expertise - A realtor is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realors, one of the largest trade groups in the country. The Real Estate contract is a whole lot of legal jargon that Realtors understand and know how to speak the language.
Negotiators - When it comes to negoitiating contracts Realtors are trained to negoitate on your perhap to ensure that you are maximizing your return on your investment.
Exposure - By listing your home you are maximizing your marketing efforts to ensure a quicker sell. Realtors have access to multiple channels to market your home and the best part is you have thoussands of agents working to get your home sold.
Code of Ethics - A real estate professional with a Realtor designation is different that a real estate professional who is an agent. Realtors are held to a higher code of ethics to protect and promote the best interest of their clients.
Marketing - Realtors have marketing skills and know how to reach the right target market for your property. They are knowledgable about the area and know which channels to tap into to get the greatest exposure.
What's My Home Worth?
If your are considering putting your home on the market you are probably wondering what your home is worth in today's market. A CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) can provide you with a guide to determining what your home is worth by providing you with a low, median, and high price range.
Keep in mind that this CMA is intended to compare your basic home features to similiar homes that have sold within the last 6 months to 1 year. Your home value could be significantly higher if you have made improvements that would increase the value.
STOP Don't Just Walk Away!!!
Facing foreclosure can be a very scary situation. A time of many uncertainties of what should you do, what will happen, and where do you go from here.
If you find yourself in this situation the best advice I can give you is ...don't panic there other options.
Refinancing- If you are in a situation where you know you can no longer afford the monthly mortgage payments, consider contacting your lender to see if refinancing your mortgage is an option. Contrary to what most people think the lender is not intererested in taking your home and they really want to work with you to help you stay in your home.
Loan Modification- Your lender may be able to help you with a modification of your loan where they can review your financial situation during a hardship and modify the terms of your loan. This process requires you to be proactive and contact your lender to inform them of your financial hardship so that they can access your situation to determine the best option for you to remain in your home.
Short Sale- A Short Sale is where the lender agrees to accept an amount that is less than the actual balance owed. A homeowner facing foreclosure must contact their lender to get an approval for a Short Sale and requires the help of a licensed Realtor to place the home on the market.
Deed-in-Lieu- In lieu of foreclosure a homeowner has simply agree to sign the deed over to the lender by signing a warranty deed. If foreclosure is evident most lenders will agree to a deed-in-lieu since it is a much quicker and less costly alternative to foreclosure.
Know Texas Foreclosure Laws- In Texas a foreclosure happens in approximately 160 days from the initial date of default. Since Texas is a non-judicial state foreclosures do not require court intervention.
Sell The Home- Selling your home is always a best option. Not only does selling your home help you to preserve your credit history but proceeds from the sale of home may allow you to recoup some of your investment after the balance has been paid off.