In our Vero Beach Real Estate News for March 2014:
7 Things Vero Beach Home Sellers Should Do Before Hiring an Agent
7 Things Vero Beach Home Sellers Should Do Before Hiring an Agent
Vero Beach home sellers who are thinking about selling their home need to do everything they can to make their agent's job easier, which will benefit them during the process of selling their home.
Last month, we devoted our entire Vero Beach real estate newsletter to helping homebuyers not overpay for their home.
This month, we're devoting our entire newsletter to helping Vero Beach home sellers with seven things they need to do before hiring a real estate agent.
1 – Research Home Values In Your Neighborhood
Most Vero Beach home sellers have an idea of what their home should list for, but the savviest sellers check comparable home values before meeting with a listing agent.
Your goal should be for you and your agent to be on the same page in terms of the value. Sometimes you'll find conditions will be in your favor, and sometimes you may be disappointed with the current market, (but) regardless of what you discover, your research will help you and your agent create a realistic plan for selling your home.
Look at recent comparable sales in your neighborhood. Vero Beach home sellers can find that information through online real estate sites like ours. Sellers need to be realistic, using homes with comparable square footage, the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and a similar level of amenities. It's also important for sellers to consider their home's condition relative to the comps.
2 – Check the Mortgage
Before meeting a listing agent, Vero Beach home sellers should pull their loan documents and find out exactly what they own on their mortgage.
Knowing your loan amount upfront will help your real estate agent know what strategy to take with your home. If the amount you owe is more than the market value, then you're underwater. Selling as a short sale is totally different than an equity sale.
Even if your home is in the black, it's important to work with precise dollar amounts to help get a better estimate of what you stand to make from the sale. Depending on what your agent thinks you can get in the current market, that information might also make the difference between listing and waiting it out.
3 – Learn About Any Liens Or Disputes
The more Vero Beach home sellers can tell their real estate agent in advance about any liens and other issues that could hold up a sale, the better.
If you know about any issues like liens or property disputes, deal with them before you put the house on the market.
Think about any tax issues, disputes you may have had with contractors or other problems that could have allowed a creditor to put a lien on your house. Be upfront about disputes with neighbors, especially if they pertain to your property lines. It's easier to settle those matters before listing your home. And if you're selling a property that belonged to a deceased relative, make sure your house has a clean title before contacting a real estate agent.
4 – Clean Up Everywhere
This should be obvious, but a lot of people don't seem to get it. You want your real estate agent to walk into a clean home. Some Vero Beach home sellers miss this.
Think of it as making a great first impression. If your real estate agent believes your home is winner, they will market it at a higher value. If they think it's a dump, they'll be more likely to express those feelings and they may want you to give your home away.
So what are Vero Beach home sellers supposed to do? It's important to clean the home as if you're having your in-laws over for dinner. You wouldn't have papers piled all over the place if your in-laws were coming over. Clean up the place and put things away so they are not visible to buyers looking at your home.
Don't limit your cleaning to inside the home.
Curb appeal is criticial. You want your real estate agent to have a mental picture of your home being a winner, so if the lawn needs to be mowed or the bushes need to be trimmed, do it!
5 – Hold Off on Improvements
You may be thinking about making some improvements to your home before you put the for sale sign in the yard. Our advice… hold off until you've hired your agent.
What you think will be a great return on the investment may not be what's in demand by buyers in your market, and your real estate expert will be able to advise you on this.
The danger is, if you make the wrong upgrades before hiring your agent, and then your agent advises you to do something different, you've already spent the cash and there's not much they can do about it.
Vero Beach home sellers are always tempted to go overboard, but you shouldn't because you're moving. If you run those decisions by an agent first, they'll help you stick to what's necessary and keep you from making choices that are specific to your tastes, which might not appeal to the local buyers they may already be working with.
6 – Note Upgrades You Have Made
If you take our advice in the previous section and hold off on upgrades and improvements until after you've hired an agent, you're going to be ahead of the game. But if you have made improvements already, be sure to have details on these upgrades to show your agent.
These improvements can range from major expenditures such as additions, to smaller investments such as new carpet or flooring. But knowing about these updates can help your agent price your home correctly and market it effectively to buyers.
But while listing agents want to know about the improvements, they don't need to know what you spent. The cost of updates is not as important as the fact they have been made. Real estate professionals will know what value is added to the home with the upgrades, and in many cases it's more than the initial investment.
7 – Set Your Schedule
Vero Beach home sellers need to give some thought to their schedules before listing their home with an agent. That will help maximize the potential time your property could be shown to prospective buyers. Your agent should make recommendations for ideal showing times given market conditions, but the key is to be ready for the potential change in routine, if needed.
In many cases, sellers may have to make some small adjustments to their lives during the sales process. Your "at home" schedule may need to be changed slightly to accommodate showings so you're not at home when potential buyers are there to see your place. And if you have pets, you should be prepared to have the animal out of the house for showing, especially for open houses.
It comes down to scheduling and planning, but your real estate agent needs to know your level of flexibility in order to make the most of the buyer's schedules.
Keep these 7 tips for Vero Beach home sellers in mind before you even think about listing your home for sale.