If you are considering selling your home this year, there’s more to it than putting a “For Sale” sign in your yard. You’ll want to understand the local market and seasonal trends as well as consider several other factors. Before you make the decision to sell, there are a few questions you need to ask:
1 – How much is my home worth?
Determining the worth of your home is the first step in deciding if it’s a good time to sell or not. Searching online and looking at other homes in your neighborhood may give you a good idea of what it might be worth, but there’s more to it than a quick search.
If you work with a real estate professional, they will pull comparables, or “comps,” to help determine the worth of your home. The report will take into consideration recently sold homes in your neighborhood including square footage, how many bedrooms and bathrooms they have, unique features, and anything else that contributes to the value of your home. A Realtor will also be able to take into consideration the state of the market.
Having an idea of the worth of your home is a good place to start before you make the final decision about whether or not to sell.
2 – Do I have enough equity to sell my home?
Once you determine worth, it’s important to take a look at the amount of equity you have in your home. You’ll need enough to pay off your mortgage, cover the costs of selling and moving, as well as have enough to put toward the down payment of your next home.
What is home equity?
Home equity refers to the amount of your home that you actually own. To determine the amount of equity you have in your home, subtract the amount of money you owe from the amount you could potentially sell your home for, or the market price. That will tell you the amount of equity you have in your home.
For most homeowners, it takes a minimum of five years of home ownership to build enough equity to cover the costs of selling and moving.
3 – How much will it cost to sell my home?
There are several costs involved in selling your home and depending on how much equity you have, it may not be worth it to sell. Some of the costs include:
- Staging and preparing your home
- Closing costs
- Seller concessions
- Repair costs
- Real estate agent commissions
- Moving costs
- Housing overlap costs
You’ll want to add together all of the potential costs you may incur during the selling process. Keep in mind that many lenders want to see that your housing related costs don’t exceed 28% of your gross income. A new home and mortgage will need to meet that same requirement.
4 – How long will it take to sell my home?
There are many factors that come into play when determining how long it might take to sell your home. The condition of the local market, your listing price, and the time of year are just a few factors that will influence the timing. Your agent can give you information about these factors to help you make your decision.
5 – Should I make repairs before listing my home?
If you are ready to list your home, remember that many buyers want a home they consider “move-in ready.” That doesn’t necessarily mean costly repairs. Sometimes small cosmetic repairs help make your home more marketable and ready for a quick sale.
If you know about some bigger issues you can choose to either make the repair or adjust your price accordingly. If you are uncertain what possible repairs you may need to make, consider having a seller’s inspection done. Once you have the report, it will help you determine what pre-listing projects to tackle.
6 – What do I have to disclose about my home?
Part of the selling process includes disclosure about your home’s flaws to the buyers. Some common disclosures include:
- Pest problems
- Water damage
- Property drainage issues
- Lead paint
- Neighborhood nuisances
- Hazards including potential environmental contamination
- HOA information
- Liens on the home
Work with your agent to make sure you’ve made proper disclosures in relation to your home so problems don’t arise during the selling process.
7 – What do I have to leave behind when I sell my home?
It’s ultimately up to you! If you have a favorite chandelier or custom items in the home, you can make the decision to take those items with you. It’s important to clearly communicate if specific items such as appliances stay with your home or go with you. Make sure you bring up anything specific during negotiations and make note of it in the sales contract.
Selling your home is a big decision and there are many factors to consider. If you have questions about the process or want to discuss the state of the market, we have qualified Realtors available to answer your questions.