So you’re thinking about selling your house. You know how this goes, right? As soon as you mention that you’re thinking about selling your home, nearly everyone around you becomes an insta-expert on selling homes and offers you tons of advice. So then what? You’re the decision-maker, and you have to choose what’s going to work best for you. Our goal is to empower you to make the decisions that are going to put you and your family in the best position for a successful transitions. We are real estate professionals, and we bring experience and skill to the table, but ultimately, the decision to sell your house is your personal decision.
This transition is about you and what needs to happen in your life, so we’re going to share our shortlist of “before you list your house” tips.
Choose your agent carefully.
This is one of those things that you’ll probably get tons of suggestions about. You might have a friend who is an agent and would be upset if you don’t work with them. Or maybe you have a co-worker who recently moved and is recommending their agent. Your parents may think you should for-sale-by-owner (because that’s always worked for them). They all mean well, but they may or may not be in tune with what you need.
We recommend doing your homework on agents that have a track record of success selling homes in your area. Successful agents have numbers to back their words. Talk to your neighbors (or former neighbors) about their experiences with different agents. Interview more than one agent in order to get a feel for different professional styles and a sense of who is a good fit for you. You need to work with someone you can trust and who understands your lifestyle and responsibilities. Look for someone who will be able to help you navigate the challenges with understanding, creativity, and professionalism.
Have a plan for showings.
Showings are great: you want showings! But. Showings are also disruptive. They can happen anytime. They can come up short notice. And when you have a showing, suddenly, your house needs to be spotless and empty for these random, awkward periods of time. Basically, once your house is listed, life might be pretty chaotic for a couple of weeks. (And that’s just the precursor to the pack-and-move stage.)
So. We recommend thinking through how showings can work. Do you have kids at home? Is there a nearby park you can slip away to for an hour during a showing? Do you have friends that will let you pop in at random times? What about pets? Would a neighbor be willing for you to put your pet’s crate in their garage for a couple of hours? Do you go to work before your high schooler goes to school? How will you coach them to leave the house show-ready?
Having a plan doesn’t make things “easy,” but it can definitely help you and your family weather the challenges a little more smoothly!
We know. This third point is pretty anticlimactic. Sorry about that, but some things can’t be avoided. You need to declutter. Clean off countertops; get rid of the random stacks of paper; sort through the things that accumulate in corners and closets. Donate all the potentially useful things to a non-profit thrift store, and donate the non-useful items to the convenient curbside pick-up that comes to your house once a week. Even if you end up deciding not to sell your house, you’ll be glad for the extra space and freedom.
Of course, there are many more things that could be said, but we’re here to help keep things simple: not to give you a complicated 27-item checklist. If you work through the above three things, you’ll be well on your way to navigating the listing process. You’ve got this. And we’re here for you.