Tips for Selling Your Home in 2014

With low inventory, still low mortgage interest rates, and slowly rising prices, here’s what you need to do to get your home in selling shape for 2014:

• Get your home ready, “HGTV” ready.

Cleaning your home is a must. After that, you should consider hiring a stager (or a friend/agent who is good with home decorating) to give your home the television-worthy (“HGTV”) look so many buyers expect today. Assess what other sort of work needs to be done, such as fixing things that don’t work, touching up paint, or cleaning or replacing your carpets.
Decide if you need to update your landscaping, and paint, clean or tuck point your home’s exterior. And if you’re selling in January, clear out the holiday decorations as quickly as possible.

• Have at least three agents come and assess your property.

Often, sellers simply call the agent who sold them their home to list it. While you may wind up hiring that agent, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you invite a couple of other agents so that you get different assessments of your home. Each agent will bring different ideas to the table about how much your house is worth and what kind of marketing plan will work. They will all have a variety of experiences to draw on.

• Understand what it will take to sell your home.

If you live in an area plagued with foreclosures and short sales, you may have to meet that price point in order to sell. You have to ask yourself if it is worth it. You will have to evaluate the price and timing in order to get the most for your property. If homes have recently sold for more, you might be pleasantly surprised. Again, you will need to get comparable home sales from your agent to make sure you price your home correctly.

• When pricing your home, be realistic.

Find out what types of properties are selling in your area and how many days they are sitting on the market. Accept the reality of your local market and make sure you price your home realistically.
Don’t blame your agent if you don’t get any offers within 24 hours of listing your home on the market. And remember that Sellers who set over-the-top prices could wait months or years for an offer and may wind up with a lower price than the price the agent originally recommended.

• Find a good attorney that will guide you through all of the legal steps and documents.

Having a trustworthy attorney that will explain things to you in plain English and be there with you at each important step–whether it’s negotiating during the inspections or performing a careful title examination–is extremely important. Choose an attorney that you feel comfortable with, one who will guide you and represent your best interests.

For more information on real estate matters, contact Attorney Kathy E. Bojczuk at (773) 580-1122.