Your Guide to Selling Your Home
Whether you’re looking to grow your family, downsize your life, move to the city or move to the ‘burbs, selling your home can be a big time for excitement and change. However, selling your first home can also be overwhelming. While you know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, it can get a bit foggy as you try to manage the logistics of getting your house on the market and into the hands of the next happy homeowners-to-be. Roost Real Estate understands all of this and can help set your mind at ease.
As a premier real estate firm nestled in the city’s booming North Loop, we have our thumb on the pulse of Minneapolis’ real estate market. Our down-to-earth crew has seen more folks into new homes, condos, and apartments than there are paddle boats on Lake Calhoun during a Saturday in summer (that’s a guess, but we’re pretty sure that’s right). While you might have some hesitations as you dip your toes into the pool of home selling, Roost is here to help.
This guide to selling your home will tell you the essential steps to a successful sale that will leave you in the know and on your way to your new home. Why get stressed when you can get help from Roost’s experts who won’t only just help you sell your house, but will also make you feel like a part of their team in the process. What are you waiting for? Let’s sell your house today!
Step 1: Find an Agent
Find the right agent you want to work with. You may be contemplating sticking a “For Sale by Owner” sign in your yard, scribbling a phone number on it with a Sharpie and calling it good. While you may think FSBO could save you a few bucks, the reality is that someone who is trying to sell their home on their own will often end up selling it for “20 percent less compared with sellers who hire a Realtor.”
While you may feel like you can sell your home in the best way possible since you’ve lived there and know it better than anyone, the fact is that a Realtor could get your home sold quicker and for a higher asking price. A Realtor is outfitted with the right tools to make selling your home a painless process. Also, a real estate agent can look t your home with fresh eyes and a new perspective—one close to what a prospective buyer could come with to your open house, perhaps. What might not seem like a problem or eyesore to you could cause a major red flag for a Realtor—issues that could otherwise keep your home on the market for months could be resolved right off the bat.
Things to look for while scouting for your ideal real estate agent:
Experience—This is the biggest factor in choosing the right agent for you. Finding an agent with comparable experience will mean they’re well-versed in your specific scenario. How many houses have they sold like yours? How many homes have they sold in your neighborhood? How familiar are they with the great things your area has to offer? Do they have sufficient know-how when it comes to fighting for you and getting what your home is worth?
Your first meeting with your agent should be chock-full of questions, and they should have a good stock of answers for all of them. Make sure their lines of communication are open so when more questions arise, you can ask without having to wait for vital answers.
Personality—While your Realtor’s personality might not be the differentiating factor in how much your home sells for or how long it stays on the market, it will make a huge difference in how seamless selling your home can be. If seeing your Realtor makes you want to grit your teeth as you butt heads, the whole experience could be spoiled. Finding a personable, down-to-earth agent could be key to a flawless relationship for now—and in the future.
Marketing Prowess—How will your Realtor market your home? Asking for their favorite marketing tactics could help you decide what’s best for you. If a prospective agent isn’t willing to put in the time or energy to market your home well, then you could be risking it sitting with a “For Sale” sign in the yard for a while.
Step 2: Find Out What Your Home Is Worth
Before you can even post your first ad in the local classifieds, there is one crucial number you will need to know: the value of your home. Finding the right price for your home is a tricky art to master as there are always several factors in play. Some of the forces acting on your home’s evaluation include:
Location—Where is your house located? Is it in a high demand neighborhood? Is it nearby parks, schools or the bustling downtown? Sometimes the value of a neighborhood will fluctuate as you live there. Maybe restaurants or pubs will move out or more community benefits will be built, which could decrease or increase your home’s value. Taking schools, hospitals, public services, etc., into account plays a role in evaluating your home.
Supply and demand—Maybe the home you’re looking to sell is a coveted two-bedroom in a neighborhood full of massive six-bedroom homes. Maybe you have the only first-story condo available in your building. Assessing the inventory and selling prices of homes like yours plays a large role in estimating what buyers may be willing to pay.
Condition—Sometimes your home’s condition can deteriorate the longer you live there, especially if natural forces are at play. Torrential downpours can cause flooding and unseen water damage to ravage your home’s foundation. Small leaks in your roof can cause damage to your walls, ceilings or trusses. Whatever the cause for damage, it could be the reason your home is valued at less than you anticipated.
Trends—Like in any other industry, trends are the driving force behind the premium a product can ask for. For example, no one will pay top dollar for your new-with-tags Members Only jacket like they once would. Just as someone might not pay the most for your home design that was trendy five years ago but has since faded behind an up-and-coming desire in the housing market.
When you work with closely with the real estate experts at Roost Real Estate, we can create a comparative market analysis (CMA) tailored to you and your home. This CMA assembles an analysis of comparable homes that have sold in your area. It examines homes of similar size, condition, age and style in order to set a fair market value for your home. Roost agents will also factor in your specific needs and the trend of the market in your area, e.g., are the comparable homes selling quickly or are they sitting stagnant on the market? Underpricing and overpricing are surprisingly easy to do, and each could hurt your pocketbook in the end. Assessing each of these facets takes time and careful consideration when finalizing the sticker price for your home.
Step 3: Sell Your House
Now for what you’ve been waiting for: Selling your house! You’ve found the Realtor of your dreams, your home’s fair market value has been nailed down and now’s the time to find it a new family to love it almost as much as you did. Actually selling your house, though, requires more than having an open house and hoping offers roll in. Some things you may want to consider when selling your house include:
Minor repairs—We suggest minor repairs or cosmetic updates in lieu of substantial renovations. One reason for this is that you may undergo a large renovation, such as a kitchen remodel, only to have it not match what many potential buyers could want. While some do want updated appliances or a minor reno, leaving a mostly blank slate for the new homeowners could be your best bet. You’ll reap the most return, 80 percent or more, for improvements such as window replacement or roof repairs as those are urgent hassles people don’t necessarily want to deal with.
If you do choose to undergo a big renovation before selling your house, make sure the updates align with the home’s value. Don’t install the cheapest appliances or countertops throughout the kitchen of a $500,000 condo and vice versa. If your home is valued at $150,000, it won’t make sense to spend $75,000 on a new kitchen—chances are good you won’t see a return on that investment.
Staging—Staging is the process of placing furniture and accessories in your home to act as a model for what the home could be. Uncluttered, modern design is used to set up rooms in a way that makes sense and is aesthetically pleasing. Usually done by a professional staging company, the layouts make rooms appear bigger or better composed as well as leave no questions for potential buyers about what each room should be used for.
According to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged homes “spend 73 percent less time on the market, typically sell for more money, end up on buyers’ ‘must see’ lists, are viewed as well-maintained, and have fewer concessions requested of the seller.” The price of staging varies from company to company, but the average cost is roughly $2,500. Discussing whether the investment is worth it for you and your specific home/market is a discussion to have with your agent.
Professional Photos—Your agent should be listing your home with pictures through whichever channels they use.Eighty-four percent of homebuyers won’t consider buying a property if its listing doesn’t come with a photo—think about that. Simply not adding a photo cuts your selling potential down to a fraction of what it could be. What’s more is that homes listed with professional (think DSLR camera quality) photos get more page views by 61 percent than those with lower-quality or no photos. Consider shooting clean, crisp shots with bright colors from multiple angles to fully feature your home; it will be more alluring than a blurry or dull photo hastily taken on your phone.
Timing—Knowing when to post your home on the market can play a huge role in how long it stays up for sale and how much you will get for it. The on-seasons of spring and summer bring bigger sale prices and a busier market, but they also bring pickier buyers. The off-seasons, however, give your home less curb appeal and a potentially lower selling price, but they also bring more motivated buyers. Your Realtor will know the ins and outs of when to sell as long as they are your greatest advocate.
What are you waiting for? The market is waiting!
Roost Real Estate is a close-knit group of people who simply want help you find the best home while making sure your old one goes to the right hands. Our top-notch Realtors have the expertise you need with the personality you want. When it comes to selling one of the most valuable things in your life, don’t leave it to chance—partner with people who have the best track record for buying, selling and renting homes while donating profits to build homes for others. We simply believe in doing a job well-done to do good for the community as whole—and that is exactly what selling your home can do. Let us know how we can help you sell your home, condo, or what have you, today. Happy selling!
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