What Every Homeowner Needs to Know Before Selling

As the beginning of the year progresses and people become more settled in their routines, many homeowners find themselves thinking about a possible change of scenery. 


We’re not talking about taking a vacation, although if you live in a colder climate you just might be planning one, the type of change many people think about this time of year is one that is a bit more permanent. 


Believe it or not, the beginning of a new year is typically when people think about selling their homes for a handful of reasons. Several factors include the desire for a fresh start, changes in personal circumstances, improved housing market conditions, or the desire to take advantage of the traditionally busy spring buying season are a few top of mind reasons. 


Additionally, the start of a new year is often seen as a time for new beginnings. The quest for a fresh start can also prompt people to consider making changes to their current living situation,  which can include selling their home and moving to a new one (whether it be local or out of state). 


Once the decision to sell has been made, it’s always a good idea to begin preparing your home before listing to make it more appealing to potential buyers. This can help to increase the chances of selling quickly and for a higher price. 


Before you jump into any projects, the number one thing you should do is accurately determine the value of your property. Understanding where the real estate market currently is will help to set an appropriate, and also competitive, asking price. An accurate home value will not only help attract potential buyers, but it will also help you avoid leaving money on the table. 


Once you determine the value of your property, there are additional things to consider before putting out the for sale sign. A few important factors to keep in mind include: 



Consider the current market conditions and what’s happening in your local real estate market. If there are too many homes for sale in our area, you may want to wait until there is less competition. This is when having an experienced real estate agent pays off because they can provide the knowledge to help you make an informed decision. 


Repairs and Improvements 

Look around your home, are there repairs that you’ve been putting off? Consider making any of the necessary repairs or upgrades that you’ve had on the back burner. Doing so will help increase the value of your property and make it more appealing to potential buyers.  


Hiring a Real Estate Agent 

There are numerous reasons why it is a smart idea to hire a real estate agent. A real estate agent brings their expertise and experience to the complex process and can provide a smoother and more successful home-selling experience. 


They know the local market, have access to the data, and understand the nuances of the process, making them the right person to help you navigate what could be a stressful and confusing process.


Additional expertise a real estate agent brings includes:

  • Marketing and advertising – An agent’s skills can help you market your home effectively to reach potential buyers. A real estate agent will create a comprehensive marketing plan that includes listing your home on multiple online platforms, utilizing social media, and holding open houses. 
  • Pricing – A real estate agent will be able to provide you with an accurate assessment of your home’s value and help you set a competitive and fair price. They can also help you negotiate offers and counteroffers, which can be challenging for homeowners who are not experienced in real estate transactions. 
  • Legal requirements – Real estate agents are familiar with the legal requirements involved in selling a home, such as disclosure laws, inspection requirements, and title transfers. They can ensure that these requirements are met and can help you avoid potential legal pitfalls. 
  • Time-Saving – Selling your home can be a time- consuming process, and hiring a real estate agent can free up your time to focus on other things. They can handle many of the tasks involved in the home-selling process, such as scheduling appointments with potential buyers, negotiating offers, and closing the sale. 
  • Network  – Real estate agents have a network of contacts, including other real estate agents, home inspectors, and mortgage lenders that can be invaluable in the home-selling process. 


Closing Costs 

Be prepared for the closing costs involved in selling a home. These costs include the real estate commission, transfer taxes, and title insurance. 



Get ready for potential buyers to negotiate. Have a clear understanding of what you are willing to accept as well as what  you are not willing to compromise on.


Once the decision to sell has been made and the above addressed, it’s time to jump into any of those projects that need to be completed before you put your home on the market. You want to ensure your home is in good condition and appealing to potential buyers. 


While the projects that should be addressed are unique to each seller, we’re sharing a few common ones to consider:

  • Cleaning and decluttering – A clean and uncluttered home can make a big difference in attracting potential buyers. It’s also a great time to go through what you have and get rid of what you no longer need. You’re going to be packing up your home at some point, so why not lighten the load, there’s no reason to take the things you no longer need with you.
  • Paint / Touch Ups – Fresh paint can give a home a new and updated look, making it more appealing to buyers. Consider choosing neutral colors, you never know who will walk through your front door so focus on appealing to the masses. 
  • Landscaping –  The outside of your home is the first thing buyers see, so it’s important to make a good first impression. Consider adding fresh mulch, planting flowers, trimming bushes, whatever touches you can add to enhance the aesthetic of your exterior.  
  • Kitchen and bathroom – Updating both your kitchen and bathrooms can be a great investment as these rooms are often the most important to potential buyers. Consider updating things like fixtures, cabinets, and countertops. 
  • Home Repairs – Make sure to address any necessary repairs, such as leaky faucets, patching holes in walls, and fixing any broken appliances. 


As you consider making any type of home improvements, look at your budget and keep in mind not all projects are worth the investment. Review how much things will cost and the potential return on investment. Don’t forget, your real estate agent can also provide guidance on which projects will have the most impact and which ones may not be necessary.