There’s a lot to think about when selling your home. For example, what is the best time of year to sell? How can you make your home more appealing to buyers? How should you price your home? Should you use a real estate agent or sell it yourself? While answers to these questions will range slightly from seller to seller there are a few basics you should keep in mind.
You’ll want to avoid the winter months when putting up your home for sale. Budgets are lower and expenses are higher, especially during the holidays. Typically, the best time to sell your home is in the spring. Home sales are highest in the spring and buyers are receiving their tax refund checks. Spring buyers often pay full price as well.*
When preparing your home for the market, be objective and keep your potential buyer in mind. First impressions are everything, which starts with curb appeal. Get landscaping if needed, paint your mailbox and front door, and keep your porch and welcome mat free of any debris. Make sure to keep the inside of your home as clean as possible and remove clutter from each room so the buyer sees all of the available space. The buyer should be able to see themselves living in your home; help them do so by taking down family photos and personal keepsakes.
When pricing your home, you may want to consult a local real estate agent or visit online real estate sites to see what comparable homes are selling for in your area. Interestingly, you should also stay away from pricing your home with a zero at the end. “Studies show that people perceive a precise price, such as $282,284, as lower than rounded ones, such as $280,000, even when the rounded prices are actually lower.”*
Whether you choose to sell your home on your own or use a real estate agent, you’ll find pros and cons for both. By selling your home yourself, the biggest benefit would be potentially saving a few thousand dollars by cutting out commission. However, you could misprice your home and create a lot of extra work for yourself. A licensed real estate agent can provide you with a larger audience, do all the paperwork for you, and minimize any legal risks, which could be worth the commission you pay.
Your home is an investment. As with any investment, make sure you do your research before you try to sell!
*TIME Business & Money, “The Best Times to Buy or Sell a House” October 10, 2012