Today let’s take a few minutes to talk about ways to prepare to sell your home. You may think that “Yeah I know how to sell a house. I’ve done it before I get it!” In addition to just making a general punch list of things to do like painting touch-ups, repairs, cutting the grass, there are other things you can do to help you better prepare your home before it hits the market.


One of the main things that I see that sellers aren't thinking about is do I need to leave the house for showings?  A typical showing lasts from 30 to 60 minutes. Showings tend to be more successful if the sellers are not present. Also, if you have small children you may want to schedule showings around nap times. If you have pets, you’ll probably need to make arrangements to remove them during showing times as well. 


What about open houses? Once a thing of the past, open houses are making a comeback as well see average days on market increase. We’re now seeing that agents are having open houses just to get the property seen by more eyes and get some more exposure. You’ll need to decide if an open house  is something you're comfortable with, and if that is something you're expecting. Make sure you discuss that with your agent if you are open to an open house or not. Some people don't feel comfortable with open houses while others are expecting them, so just make sure you have a conversation with your agent about in the beginning of the process. 



You also need to understand what the offer itself might look like. Talk to your agent about what to expect. Is the current marketing bringing offers that are at asking price? Below asking price? How much below and how much negotiation power will we have as a seller? 



Your agent can also help you understand inspections, including the length of your inspection periods and what will people be looking for. Your agent can also help you identify some things you can do to the house right now that will eliminate some of the concerns that may come up during inspections.



What about past fail inspections? You might also consider this if your prospective buyer asks for concessions including closing costs or a price decrease. 


What are current closing times? What do lenders require to get to the closing table? In addition to inspections, appraisers, and underwriting, you need to me mindful of the date the contract requires you to vacate the home.  In our area, it's common that the seller vacates the property prior to closing and the house is clean and ready to go with the keys transferring to the buyer at the closing table. This can take some coordination by all parties, and your agent can help with that. You’ll want to have a conversation with your agent about it, and you also might ask for some additional days of occupancy past closing. Make sure you talk to your agent about your next steps that so that you understand what these timelines will be how to make everything work and still be in compliance with the contract.


These are just a few things to help you be better prepared as a seller to sell in our current market. 


If you have any questions about this or anything else in the real estate process just give me a call. I’m Alan Castleman with Hickman Realty Group, and I’m here to help you!



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