- Consider comparables. What have other homes in your neighborhood sold for recently? How do they compare to yours in terms of size, upkeep, and amenities?
- Consider competition. How many other houses are for sale in your area? Are you competing against new homes?
- Consider your contingencies. Do you have special concerns that would affect the price you’ll receive? For example, do you want to be able to move in four months?
- Get an appraisal. For a few hundred dollars, a qualified appraiser can give you an estimate of your home’s value. Be sure to ask for a market-value appraisal. To locate appraisers in your area, contact The Appraisal Institute or ask your REALTOR® for some recommendations.
- Ask a lender. Since most buyers will need a mortgage, it’s important that a home’s sale price be in line with a lender’s estimate of its value.
- Be accurate. Studies show that homes priced more than 3 percent over the correct price take longer to sell.
- Know what you’ll take. It’s critical to know what price you’ll accept before beginning a negotiation with a buyer.
Source: National Association of REALTORS®
- Ensure there are no gaps in insulation or crawl spaces that expose pipes to cold air, which could put the pipes at risk of freezing and bursting.
- Have your heating system checked by a licensed technician before cold weather requires daily use.
- Block drafts around doors, windows and baseboards with weather stripping, window film and caulk to control heat loss.
- Install storm doors and windows to improve energy-efficiency and get rid of drafts.
- Have chimneys cleaned by an experienced chimney sweep to prevent the risk of a fire from buildup or blockages.
- Spray door locks with powdered-graphite lubricant to prevent freezing and sticking.
- Set ceiling fans to rotate clockwise to force rising warm air back towards the floor.
These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, it’s a sign that you may be ready to move.
- Have you built substantial equity in your current home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest, but if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.
- Has your income or financial situation improved? If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving.
- Have you outgrown your neighborhood? The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same neighborhood you want to settle down in for good. For example, you may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district.
- Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on? Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.
- Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market? If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy also will be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home.
- Are interest rates attractive? A low rate not only helps you buy a larger home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer.
Source: National Association of REALTORS®
•Don’t overprice – This will only lead to disappointment and your house will get “market worn”.
•Take care of needed renovations – In today’s market most buyers are looking for a move-in ready home and not a fixer upper.
•Make sure general maintenance is done – Taking care of the details will help your home to shine and stand out from the crowd.
•Remove the clutter – Pick-up and clean-up. You want your home to have a clean and spacious feel for the prospective buyers.
•Leave for showings – Buyers will feel more comfortable looking at your home if your not around, plus you will not be put on the spot with questions that you might handle differently if asked through your agent.