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I Want to Sell My Home. How Do I Get Started?

When it comes to selling our home we often find ourselves sitting on the fence. In a lot of ways, we’re scared. If the market is doing bad, we think we won’t be able to get enough return investment to buy a new home. Or we’re scared of having strangers poke around our “sanctuary” and criticize it. There are a number of factors to think about and they will always run loops in our minds. But the fact that you have been thinking about selling shows that it’s probably time. From a real estate perspective, the market hasn’t looked healthier since the 2006 bubble. Sellers have an extreme advantage since inventory is low and new construction hasn’t gotten back to pace yet. That means you can sell for a higher profit margin and buyers are waiting to make offers on any good homes coming on the market. It’s what we call a “seller’s market.”

Charleston SC Home for Sell

How to Get Started

Find an Agent & Do Research

Once you’ve committed to selling, the first thing to do is research. You’ll need to find the right Realtor to represent you. The last thing you should do is pick the first person from the phone book or on Google’s search results. You should interview them and ask them questions about selling your home. Get their opinion of the situation and address any concerns you might have. One tip that we always offer at Cassina is be aware of the agent who offers to sell your home at the highest price. Sometimes, they’ll tell you they can sell for a “X” amount of money while in reality, homes are not selling for that price range. Do research into the housing market and look at recently sold homes. To get a fair representation, your agent should show you a comparative market analysis (CMA) that displays what the market looks like and what your house can sell for (compared to others in the area).

Prepare Your Home for Buyers

The next step in the process is to get your home ready for buyers. They will be looking around, making judgments, and deciding whether or not they should make an offer. A lot of agents will tell you to de-clutter and de-personalize your home. What this means is that you should remove any overuse of personal items lying around the home, like tons of family photos hanging on the refrigerator and the mass collection of beauty items on the bathroom sink. Tone it down a notch so buyers can imagine themselves living there, rather than you. If there’s a ton of stuff lying around the home or closet, go ahead and pack them into boxes. You’ll be moving shortly anyways, right?

Another thing to consider before listing the house on the market is making needed repairs. If your furnishings need a well-deserved upgrade, go ahead and do it. Simply changing out the handles and faucets could rack up your home’s listing price by a couple hundred dollars (and for a $30 dollar upgrade). That’s huge savings! If the walls have lots of scuff marks and could use a new coat, now would be the right time to paint them again. Statistics show that a fresh coat of paint will drastically increase your chances of selling and drive up the cost because the house looks new.

Lastly, to prepare your home, you cannot forget about the yard. Within the first 6 seconds of driving up to your home, buyers will have made a decision about your house before even entering. If they’re facing a dilapidated house with dying grass and weeds growing everywhere, would you make an offer on the home? Would you pay top dollar for a property that requires work? Cut the lawn, keep it watered, and add a few flowers to touch it up. Make sure the exterior of your home looks appealing, and buyers will think the same.

Decide on a Price and List it for Sale

Often, one of the hardest steps in the selling price is deciding on a selling price. You’ve probably spent years living in your home, creating unforgettable memories, and you rightly feel you should get what you deserve for it. However, it’s the market that sets the price, not your memories. I can’t be anymore honest than that. Home buyers are looking at a variety of factors when they decide to make an offer. That’s why a CMA is useful. It shows you what homes are selling for and what you should list for. Plus, a qualified agent will know the market well enough to help you choose the right price. Obviously, you should consider leaving room on the price for negotiations, but again, an agent will be the best medium of advice.

Want to Know More About Selling? See When the Best Time to Sell Is

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  • Inc. 5000 (Inc. Magazine): 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017
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About our blog

We write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the Charleston, SC area.