If you are considering selling your house, there are some things that you should do before you sell. The first being knowing why you want to sell. This may seem an unimportant consideration, or even a foregone conclusion, but if you are not sure of your motivation to sell your property, you may not be successful in this real estate market. It is definitely a buyer’s market out there, so if you just decided on a whim that selling might be a good idea, you are likely to be disappointed.
Most of the time when people are selling a home, they are looking to buy another one. If you are one of those people who is selling your home so you can upgrade to another, take a look around before you put your house on the market. Check out the neighborhoods you want to live in and see what properties are available in your price range. Go to a few open houses and see what your options are. You may not find what you are looking for, and if you do not, it is better to know before you list your home.
Interview real estate agents before you sign on with one. Talk to several neighborhood specialists. Have potential listing agents WOW you with their marketing plans before you come to a decision. You should also get a comparable market analysis of your property from the agents. Get their professional advice on how to best prepare your home for sale. Ask things like what repairs you should make before you sell to get the most return on investment. Would you benefit from home staging? What is the best price to list the home for a quick sale? Compare the responses from each real estate agent you interview and sign with the one who gives you the most practical advice.
Before you sell, contact your lender to determine the exact payoff amount for your current mortgage. You should also begin shopping for a new mortgage. Compare different mortgage programs and the rates and fees associated with them. Arm yourself with a preapproval letter so that you know exactly how much you will qualify for so that you can shop smart.
When you make the decision and decide to sell your home, try not to get too caught up in looking for a new home until your current home is sold. It is far more profitable to sell your home before you buy, so try not to get carried away until the contract is signed.
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About Tom Davidson — Tom Davidson is Vice President of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.