Where to begin? There are several steps in the process of getting your home ready to sell. This checklist highlights the essential steps and considerations to prepare for selling your property.
1) Determine whether it's a good time to sell.
Market conditions fluctuate regularly, and homes generally move faster in some areas during certain times of the year. People think the fall isn't a good time to sell, because people don't want to move during the school year. That isn't true in our area. There is limited inventory available and buyers are just waiting for the right property. Research comparable properties in the area and visit open houses to get a better idea of the condition of the houses being sold.
2) Find out if it's financially feasible for you to sell your home.
In California one of the biggest concerns for property owners is capital gains taxes. If you've owned your home for several years and bought it for $200k and now it's worth $1.3M, you might want to consult with your financial planner/accountant to see how you might be impacted financially. If you plan on buying another property in California, then the implications aren't as great vs. just simply cashing out on your home. Always consult with a financial expert for guidance. As a real estate professional, we can not legally advise our clients on this matter.
3) Make updates and repairs to improve your home's value.
Evaluate the main structures of your home and take care of any pressing problems, such as leaking pipes, cracked windows, doors that don't close properly and etc. It's a good idea to have your real estate professional walk the house with you to point out anything that might be an issue for a potential buyer. They can help guide you on where to spend the money.
4) Clean and declutter.
Rooms will appear larger if there's less stuff in them. You might consider renting a storage until to temporarily store all but the most critical pieces of furniture and decor. If you have a garage you can also neatly organize and store pieces in the garage, as long as their is still walking space inside. Be sure to leave some furniture in every room than to have it completely empty. Buyers like to imagine where their furniture might go. The Leyva Team likes to take it to the next level in assisting our clients in getting the house ready to sell. Helping our clients stage rooms using the existing home decor and when we're done it looks professionally done! Agents will sometimes suggest that you pay a home staging company and that may be necessary.
5) Focus on curb appeal.
Keep the lawn mowed, weeds at bay, your hedges trimmed, and consider adding plants or flowers for a bit of color. With the current drought, if you let your yard die and haven't done anything with it, consider sprucing it up before putting your house on the market. Replace your mailbox if it is damaged or in poor condition or just have it painted. Consider painting or re-staining your front door. Be sure to check out our previous articles about home staging tips for more information.
6) Decide on a competitive asking price.
A competitive listing prices is one that is similar to listing prices of a similar size and condition in our area. It is also important to look at what has sold in the area in the last three to six months. Your real estate professional will provide you with all of this information to assist you with the decision making process of setting your asking price.
7) Discuss home tours and open houses with your agent.
Let your agent know when it's ok to let people into your home to see it. Typically, within the Culver City area there are open houses for brokers only on Tuesday and open houses for the public are on Sunday. If you have kids and pets, we always recommend that showings outside of the open house days will require 24 hour notice. We want our clients to have time to make arrangements to get the house show ready and allow time to get everyone out of the house.
8) Let your agent take it from there.
Your agent will schedule a photo shoot and then put your home on the multiple listing service (MLS), which will then hit websites like Zillow, Redfin and etc. The "for sale" sign will be placed in your yard, so neighbors and people driving by will know. Marketing materials will be created to advertise your property, such as flyers, online advertising, newspaper ads and etc.
9) Start looking for your next home.
In the event that your home sells quickly, you'll need to be ready to move. Some all cash offers can close as quickly as 7-10 days, but financing typically takes 35-45 days on average. If you have your next home lined up, an option for you as a seller is to ask for a lease back option. This way you can stay in your current home until all the details of your next house are ironed out. A standard lease back is 30 days, but it could be longer if needed.
10) Stay in constant communication.
As your agent, it is our job to keep you in the loop at all times. If you need anything or have questions don't hesitate to call us. It is our job to keep things running smoothly and make things easy for our clients.