Why You Need a Checklist?
It’s time to sell your house. You’re looking forward to seeing the sign in your front yard and getting that first offer, but you have work to do first. To sell quickly and get top dollar, you need to prepare.
No matter how many times you’ve been through the process, it’s good to have a checklist for selling a house to take you through each step. You don’t want to get ready for the first showing and find out you have leaky pipes or moldy grout.
Even if it’s something that’s easy to fix, buyers may wonder if there are other problems they can’t see. As a result, they may offer less or move on to a property that shows well and is in excellent condition.
Not being prepared can affect the selling price, but you can also lose money when the house sits on the market for a long time. We’ll give you a checklist to take you through the entire process, showing you what to do every step of the way.
We’ll also talk about what to do if you don’t have the time or money for repairs or can’t wait for a long closure. You have options, but you need to do the homework to find out what works best for you.
A Step-By-Step Checklist for Selling a House
1. Talk to real estate professionals.
Whether you plan to use a realtor, sell the house yourself or talk to a business that pays cash, information is power. Nobody understands the process better than the professionals who deal with home buyers every day.
Level the playing field by talking to everybody, even if you think you know what to do. You’ll get valuable information from the experts:
- Real Estate Agent – Homes sold by real estate agents usually sell for more than FSBOs or cash sales, but not all realtors are the same. When looking for realtors, ask for referrals, check credentials, and research online. After you’ve created a list of potential realtors, interview the top three. Trust your gut, and pick someone well-informed and easy to work with. Realtors may specialize in specific properties or demographics, and you want one who is familiar with local schools and real estate conditions in your neighborhood. Look for someone who represents you as a seller, not someone who works part-time or prices low for quick sales.
- Real Estate Attorney – Some states require a real estate attorney, and others don’t. You pay for their services, but they can help you understand tax laws, legal documents, and unexpected situations, saving you money in the long run.
- Financial Planner – A tax attorney, financial planner, or accountant may not be a legal requirement, but it’s a good idea, especially if you have issues that complicate the sale. Foreclosures, investment properties, citizenship questions, or unusual tax and mortgage conditions fall into this category. Foreclosures, investment properties, citizenship questions, or unusual tax and mortgage conditions fall into this category.
2. Gather all the necessary documents.
Before you list, get these documents ready:
- Original sales contract and property appraisal
- Homeowner’s Association info
- Maintenance, repairs and utility bills
- Warranties on HVAC, appliances, etc.
Later, you’ll need these:
- Title report
- Comparative market analysis
- Mandatory disclosures
- Seller’s net sheet and marketing plan
- Pre-inspection report
For closing, you’ll need documents like appraisals, inspections, and purchase offers. Your real estate agent or attorney will guide you through the process.
3. Get the property ready.
Attractive houses in excellent condition sell faster and command higher prices. Get your house ready to show to potential buyers:
- Go for curb appeal – You only get one chance to make a first impression, and buyers decide from the street whether they’ll come in or head for the competition. Clean the exterior and driveway, paint the front door, and plant colorful flowers.
- Get rid of clutter – Whether it’s outside, in the attic, or in the living room, get rid of excess furniture and clutter. Organize shelves and store personal items to make the space feel larger and more appealing.
- Make minor repairs – Replace old grout in the bathroom and kitchen, update the walls with a fresh coat of paint, and repair leaky faucets and broken door knobs. Clean until it shines, add green plants, and get rid of odors.
- Call a stager – If you want to go the extra mile, hire a home stager to rearrange your furniture and set up vignettes. Over 80% of buyers’ agents say staging helps buyers imagine living in a home, and it also increases the selling price.
Alternative Ways to Sell
You’ve seen the flyers and the hand-lettered signs on sign posts: “We Buy Homes for Cash.” Is it a scam, or will they really buy your home?
It’s true that legitimate businesses in your community and the internet will buy your home, but it’s up to you to find out if you’re dealing with a reputable company. Because they pay cash to homeowners in financial distress, in the middle of a divorce or relocation, or unable to spend the time and money to fix up a property, they usually pay less than traditional buyers.
If you’re working with a local company, ask for references and check them out. You can usually find reviews online, and the Better Business Bureau may have information about complaints and whether they were resolved.
Companies that make offers for homes online are bigger than cash buyers in the community and have deeper pockets. You can usually contact them through their websites, give them information about your home, and get an offer in a few hours or days.
How Does It Work?
You’ve looked at your checklist for selling a house, and you know what you need to do. If you have the resources to fix it up and wait for a buyer, you’re likely to get a higher price than if you go with a cash buyer.
If you’re in a hurry, unable to do repairs and cleaning, or in danger of foreclosure, selling to a cash buyer may be your best option. You’re trading a higher sales price for the convenience of a fast pay-out.
A house that sits on the market, whether it’s an FSBO or realtor listing, eats into your profits. You must pay for upkeep while you wait for an offer, and the offer may be contingent on repairs or mortgage approval.
With a cash buyer company, there’s no need to worry about loan approval or property inspections. After you accept the company’s offer, you’ll close and get your cash within a few days.
If you’re selling your home, you can sell faster and for a higher price if you do your research, work with experienced professionals, and gather the documents you need for the sale.
It’s also important to do repairs and clean your home inside and out. If you’re looking for a quick, hassle-free option, talk to a reputable company that pays cash for homes.
We Can Help
If you want to sell your home in Houston for cash, contact us today, and tell us about your house. If it meets our criteria, we’ll set up an appointment to discuss our free, no-pressure offer. If you accept, you’ll have the cash in your hands in as little as seven days.