When deciding to sell a home, one of the things you're probably thinking about is how much money you'll be able to make - will it be just enough to pay off your mortgage, will you earn a significant profit, or fall somewhere in the middle?
When figuring out how much extra cash, if any, you'll get after the sale closes, it's essential to consider not only the listing price but the cost of selling a house, such as realtor fees, as a commission must be paid to both the buyer's and seller's agents. Once you've determined the most likely figure, there are multiple ways to help ensure you get that amount or more and don't end up losing money instead.
Hire an Experienced Agent
Your first thought might be, "What if I don't hire an agent and sell the home myself (FSBO)?" That would instantly subtract the commission costs, but the problem with the idea is that you'll probably get offers that are a lot less than what you hoped for. That's because the expertise and experience of a knowledgeable professional are usually vital for navigating all the paperwork, marketing, negotiating, and more. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, the typical agent-assisted home sells for $265,500 as compared to an FSBO home, which sells for around $200,000. It's easy to say that dishing out the money to hire an agent is likely to pay off in the long run.
Make Obvious Repairs Before Putting it On the Market
If you fail to make apparent repairs before putting your home up for sale, you will lose money. Never show your house when there are water stains on the ceiling, torn window screens, leaky faucets, and so on. Even if you find a buyer willing to overlook minor repairs, they're going to want a discount or credit that will be worth a lot more to them than it would have cost you to get those repairs fixed in the first place. It also makes the home appear to be poorly maintained, further knocking down the perceived value.
Eliminate Clutter and Personal Items
While you might think your house looks just fine, with the thought that it will take far too long to get rid of junk and stow away items you don't use regularly, not only will all that clutter make your house look less spacious, it will be hard for potential buyers to see past all of that and envision their own things there. The result is likely to be fewer and lower offers, meaning lost money. Declutter before your home goes up for sale, taking inventory of everything you own and consider whether it should be chucked, sold, or saved. You'll also want to tuck away personal items like family photos, again, so that buyers can picture their own family living there.
Price it Right
A knowledgeable and experienced agent will know how to price your home right - overpricing it is usually a big money-losing mistake. If it's priced too much, you'll be running the risk that your home sits on the market for months, becoming stale, which can ultimately bring in a much lower price than if it had been listed correctly in the first place.