A Crash Course On Selling Houses (Part I)
Selling a house can sometimes be a real challenge. If you are contemplating on selling your property, here are some steps you may want to consider:
1) Ask yourself: “Do I really need to sell”?
You have to ask yourself this question over and over again, because sometimes, selling isn’t the best decision for your situation.
Do you want to sell because you want more space for you and your family? Why don’t you consider building an extension, converting the attic, or digging out the basement? I’m making this suggestion, since the current cost of moving is awfully close to the cost of doing an extension, and renovating your home may save you money in the end.
Another alternative to selling is renting. Private renting is perfect not only for expats who want a place ready when they return, but also for people who still haven’t found a new place to buy. Renting buys these sellers more time to find the “perfect” house without being forced to take a low offer from buyers.
2) Get your finances in order
Never, ever forget to notify your mortgage lender that you are planning to sell your house. This is a cardinal rule in selling houses under first time buyer mortgages, since the lenders might add penalties like early redemption fees when you pay your mortgage earlier.
3) How are you going to sell?
There are only 2 basic modes of selling: by yourself or through a real estate agent! Selling on your own would be cheaper but the entire process would require tons, if not, truckloads of blood, sweat, and tears on your part. Selling through an agent, however, may cost you a portion of the selling price, but it would take away the hassles involved with marketing, finding the right buyer, and other tasks related to sealing the deal.
4) How much can you sell the house for?
Knowing the proper price for your house is important to determine if the money you’re going to get from the sale will be enough to pay off the mortgage or not. You can compute for the amount by subtracting the expected selling price from the the value of your mortgage.
Obviously, you don’t want to waste more money by using it to pay off the remaining balance of your mortgage, so use your computation to set a threshold for how high or low an offer can get.
Aside from that, you can also get a proper valuation from assessors or just ask around how much the houses in your area have been sold lately to get a gauge on you house’s market value.
5) Get your house ready!
Make sure to tidy up your place before you let strangers into your home! First impressions last, especially in real estate, so if buyers see a cluttered and unkempt place on the open house, don’t expect them to make an offer anytime soon.
To improve your chances of getting your house sold, you can “stage” your house by renting out appliances and furniture or applying a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Some people step up their game by baking bread before the open house and getting rid of any foul smells around the house.
More to come in Part 2….