The time has come to sell your house. Maybe you're downsizing... or maybe you're upsizing! Before you put the cart ahead of the horse, make sure you can mark these items as totally completed.
1. FIGURE OUT YOUR FINANCES
Yep, just like a buyer you've got to make sure the financial piece of this real estate puzzle is ready to go. Dig into the details of your current mortgage, credit report and future home purchase. Talk with your current mortgage company to verify payoff amount, if there's a payoff penalty and any other terms of the loan. Meet with three mortgage lenders to discuss and be pre-approved for the new mortgage if you'll be buying a home as well. In addition to getting your current and future mortgages figured out, be sure to budget for items like home repairs, staging and inspections. If you're a seller and a buyer, you will have to do twice the work but as always this financial step is the most important.
2. FIND A GREAT BIRMINGHAM AGENT
The best Birmingham agent will not be the one that promises to sell your home for a higher price or promises to sell your home fast. The truth is the market will determine the price your home will sell for and how quickly it sells. If you want it to sell crazy fast, then you need to price it crazy low. Find an agent that works for a reputable real estate company and will offer you honest expert opinions and effective marketing. Start by researching real estate agents in the Birmingham area. Meet with potential candidates and choose one that speaks your language, works full-time and focuses on marketing. As a home seller, those three items will be very important.
3. REPAIR THINGS
Nobody in the Birmingham real estate market wants a fixer-upper. Well, the number of buyers who do is just too small. If you want to appeal to the masses, get your home sold faster and fora good price, you've got to make it move-in ready. This means repairing anything that needs repaired. If the wooden deck is falling apart in places, fix it. If the weatherstripping is all but gone, replace it. There is a difference between upgrades and repairs though. This doesn't mean you have to upgrade your laminate countertops to granite in order to make it move-in ready. Although that certainly wouldn't hurt the sell of your home.
4. MAKE IT PRETTY
This is where the fun comes in. Spend some money and take some time to make your house shine. First that means removing all clutter and personal items. Grab some boxes and find storage somewhere. You're moving soon anyway so you may as well start packing. Remove as many items as possible to make spaces appear larger and clean. Instead of having tons of shoes and clothes packed in the closet, only keep the few things you need for the current season and organize them nicely. Take all the extra bowls and junk out of your kitchen cabinets. Keep a few items stacked and centered perfectly. You get the idea. Pack away personal things like photos and name plaques. Next clean, clean, clean. Clean everything. And if you're not willing to clean it all and clean it well, then hire someone to do it for you. Eliminate any odors the home may have while doing this. Lastly, paint anything doesn't already look freshly painted or isn't a neutral color. This might mean painting every wall in your house or it might just mean a room or two. Freshly painted walls will help make the house look cleaner and fresher. Your house is no longer your home. For the next few days, weeks or months it is a showroom that you happen to live in. Keep it in pristine condition for everyone who tours it. If it looks great, you won't have to do this for long.