If you’re getting ready to sell your house in Atlanta, there are a few things you need to consider before you start.
The process of selling a house can be arduous, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. You must always be prepared for the occasional hurdle or setback, as they are quite common during the process of selling a house. However, with the right know-how and a solid plan, you can ensure your house sells as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Keep reading for an in-depth guide on how to sell a house in Atlanta or anywhere else in America.
1. Know Your Options
First, it’s important that you know your options. Most people think hiring a realtor is the only way to sell a home in general, let alone selling it for a good price or selling it quickly. However, while realtors aren’t a bad way to go, there are several more options available to you.
The first and most commonly used option people use in the process of selling a home is hiring real estate agents.
In truth, real estate agents come with a large list of perks. However, those perks will cost you roughly three percent of what you sell your house for, give or take. That means selling a $300,000 house with the aid of a realtor will cost you $10,000, assuming you don’t agree to pay both realtor fees.
Realtors provide hands-on assistance selling your home as well as professional knowledge of the market and how to appeal to buyers.
Flat Fee MLS Agencies
Multiple listing services are agencies that help you sell your house yourself for a flat fee. However, these agencies do much more than simply listing your home on the top sites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.
For example, at Blue Match, we offer a team of dedicated experts, a 90-day guarantee to sell your home, a sign and lockbox for your home, professional photography, a professional house showing service, and more for a low flat fee.
The best part? We don’t get paid unless your house sells.
Cash Home Buyers
Finally, you have the option of going with cash home buyers. There’s a lot of controversies out there on whether or not this is a good idea. However, we’ll just say – it depends on the circumstances.
The problem is, cash home buyers are in the business of making money, like any other company. They will buy nearly any house in any condition, as long as they can make money off of it. This means you’ll likely get a very low offer for your home.
However, if you’re in a tough predicament (facing foreclosure, leaving town, etc.) and need to sell your home as-is, quickly, and hassle-free, cash home buyers offer a simple solution.
2. Move Out
Now that you know your options, it’s time to start the process of selling a house. One of the best steps you can take is to move out.
It’s incredibly difficult to appeal to buyers when they can feel your presence in the home when they come by to look at it. A great house showing can be ruined by odd smells in the kitchen, a wet shower, or the presence of a cat litter box.
Additionally, when you live in a home you’re trying to sell, you have to work overtime to clean up after yourself. You also have to be ready at a moment’s notice to show the house. That could mean showing it yourself or leaving so a realtor or MLS agency can show it.
3. …Or Declutter
Moving out of the home you’re selling isn’t always an option. It isn’t ideal, but it’s doable. However, if you’re going to live there, you need to declutter the home as much as possible.
We recommend using a friend or family member’s home for storage or renting a storage unit to hold your possessions until you can move them to your new place. Studies have shown that clutter can contribute to the feeling of anxiety, and that’s the last thing you want potential buyers feeling when they enter your home.
You can’t expect to move everything out if you intend to still live in the home, but getting rid of the vast majority of your stuff will make the home feel cleaner and more open. It will also make it easier for the rest of the process of selling a house yourself.
4. Consider Having Your Home Inspected
Next, it may not be a bad idea to have your home inspected. Typically, a buyer placing an offer on your house would pay for this, but it could be beneficial to know ahead of time if there are any red flags.
Buyers often use any negative results of the inspection as leverage in negotiations to get your home for less money. By knowing and fixing the problems ahead of time, you can ensure you get the best value for your home.
5. Make Repairs and Updates
The process of selling a house often includes making repairs and updates, especially when you’re trying to appeal to as many buyers as possible. However, these can be split into three groups: major, minor, and discretionary.
Major repairs and updates include anything that could prevent the home from selling. Different lenders have different standards when it comes to the homes they will finance. Poor electrical, a roof in disrepair, a faulty foundation, negative drainage, chipping paint, and mold are just a few examples of major red flags.
Minor repairs and updates represent a category of issues that aren’t deal-breakers but can still contribute to devaluing your home. For example, superficial damage to drywall, trim, or flooring. There are also things like broken fixtures, stains, and old/faded paint (although some lenders won’t finance homes with chipped/peeling paint).
Tip: a fresh coat of paint goes a long way towards making a home feel bright, happy, and clean.
Finally, there are discretionary issues you can address in hopes of selling your house faster or for more money. This includes things like changing to energy-efficient windows, updating appliances, or installing new flooring.
6. Boost Your Curb Appeal
Next, the process of selling a house is never complete without considering your curb appeal. The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see and use to judge the entirety of the home.
You don’t need to hire professional landscapers or spend thousands of dollars, but you should spend some time touching things up. This includes:
- Cutting the grass
- Pulling weeds
- Trimming trees and bushes (plantlife should ever be touching the house)
- Clearing the yard of debris, garbage, and clutter
- Giving the exterior a fresh coat of paint
- Cleaning up the driveway and walkways
- Putting out fresh flowers and other plants
- Making sure the roof is clear of debris and the gutters are clean
7. Clean the Entire House Thoroughly
Once you get all the dirty work and construction stuff done, it’s time to give the home a deep cleaning. This will take an entire weekend to do the job properly or you can hire it out. To save money and time, we recommend asking your close friends or family members for help and doing the work yourself.
Pay special attention to sanitizing germ hot spots such as the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s also important to make sure you get rid of any and all odors, as odors are one of the top buyer turn-offs. Remember to thoroughly clean the appliances as well (fridge, oven, stovetop, microwave, dishwasher, etc.).
Wipe down all surfaces, horizontal and verticle. Take care of dust, stains, and scuffs, and other marks.
Then, hit the carpets hard with vacuuming, shampooing, and steam cleaning. Finish by sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing all hard floors of the house to give them a good shine. You may want to refinish old wood flooring that has lost some of its luster.
8. Consider Hiring a Professional Home Stager
Another pro tip to sell your house yourself is hiring someone to stage your home professionally. You might not have guessed it, but staged homes sell 73 percent faster than unstaged homes.
While we did tell you to clear out of the house, that doesn’t mean the house should be empty. Having a professionally and tastefully staged home appeals to buyers. It makes the house feel warmer and pulls the rooms together, making it easy to imagine living there.
Unless you have really nice, barely used furniture, the same cannot be said about using your own stuff.
9. Research the Current Housing Market
It’s important to understand the housing market before you sell your house, especially if you’re selling your house without a realtor or helpful MLS agency.
For example, if you’re selling in a buyer’s market, that means there’s a lot of houses on the market, which lowers the current market value of your home. It will also make selling it more difficult, as you would have a lot of competition. On the other hand, if you’re selling in a seller’s market, the opposite is true.
Finally, to get an accurate idea of what your home is worth, check out the recent sales of the homes in your area. Then, do an honest comparison of the homes to yours. However, an appraisal will be the most credible estimate of your home’s worth to potential buyers.
10. Use Multiple Marketing Strategies
Next, regardless of how you go about selling your home (realtor, flat fee MLS agency, or FSBO), make sure you market your home in as many ways as you can. The more people who see a listing, the faster the process of selling a house will be.
For example, list your home on your personal Facebook page, the community Facebook buy/sell/trade pages, Craiglist, the local newspaper, and so on. However, be warned that Craiglist is a huge platform for scammers now, so don’t get too excited over offers that are “too good to be true,” as they probably are.
11. Prepare to Show the Home
Once you list your house on the market, you need to be ready to start showing the home. If you have a realtor or flat fee MLS agency, the process can be done and should be done without you. Most buyers don’t want the homeowner present while they look through and scrutinize every aspect of a potential home.
However, this part of the process of selling a home can be quite inconvenient if you still live there. As mentioned above, this will mean making yourself scarce when people schedule tours as well as manically cleaning up after yourself to keep the home show-ready.
12. Be Willing to Negotiate
One of the benefits of using a realtor is that you’re also paying for a seasoned negotiator. They know how to play hardball, as well as when to take an offer on the table. If you don’t have a realtor or anyone to negotiate on your behalf, make sure you know where to draw the line between being too stubborn and settling for too little.
Remember too that you can negotiate with other things other than the price of the house. For example, you can offer decor, window treatments, appliances, furniture, etc. You can also negotiate who pays what in terms of closing costs and realtor fees.
13. Be Ready to Finalize and Close
Lastly, in the process of selling a house, you have to consider the legal aspects. This includes the writing and signing of binding contracts.
If you’re selling the home without a realtor or flat fee MLS agency that doesn’t assist with legal documentation, check out this quick guide on writing a for-sale-by-owner contract. However, we also recommend having a lawyer or attorney looking over any official contracts or documents before anyone signs it.
Need Help With the Process of Selling a House?
Are you about to start the process of selling a house? If so, we can help. At Blue Match, we offer the most competitive flat-rate pricing with the most assistance an MLS agency can offer. Check out the rest of our site and send us a message today!