If you’re planning to sell your home this spring, you’re likely already prepping for the process. Much needs to be done in advance of putting the “For Sale” sign out front.
This is especially true in a market as hot as Denver. Being ready to list as soon as you want to sell takes planning but will have a positive impact on how much you fetch for your much-loved home.
Here are a few things to consider adding to your “Spring Home Sale To-Do List” to ensure the best possible outcome:
- Search for an agent
There are approximately 45,000 realtors in Colorado, so the good news is there are plenty to choose from. While finding an agent is simple, finding the right agent for you may take some time. Considerations include rapport, trust, communication style, expertise and more. Begin your search early and spend time meeting with a few different agents so you can get to know them, and get insight into their commission rates, technology platforms, and in-market success.
Pro tip: Don’t feel pressured to work with your aunt/neighbor/brother-in-law. This is perhaps the largest purchase you’ve ever made. Sometimes it’s better to hire someone you aren’t related/connected to.
- Negotiate your costs up front
A typical agent commission in the United States is 5-6% of your sale price, split between the listing agent and the buyer agent. If you sell your home for $450,000, that’s $27,000 you’re handing over to the agents.
Working with a traditional agent who relies on percentage-based commissions is not your only option. In fact, there are many other real estate business models that give you all the service you expect from a traditional agent, but have wildly different fee and commission structures.
Pro tip: Keep as much of your equity as you can. Commissions ARE negotiable.
- Get your finances in order
If you’re selling your home, you’re likely buying another home. And if you’re buying a home, you’ll want to assess your finances. You likely have equity in your current home that you can use as a deposit on your next home, but if you’re planning to go bigger or move to a more expensive neighborhood, you might be surprised at how much you’ll need to supplement that equity with savings. Another consideration is the order and timing in which you sell your current home and buy a new one. There’s a chance that your equity won’t be available to use immediately for your new deposit.
Pro tip: Utilize online mortgage calculators to gain insight into what you can afford.
- Decide HOW you’re going to move
Do your research now and find a moving service that suits your budget and needs. A few options to consider include:
- Full service moving companies: Companies that pack and protect, load and unload, and transport your items for you.
- Partial service moving companies: Companies that will arrive once everything is boxed up and broken down in order to load, transport, and unload your items.
- Portable storage: Companies that drop off a portable storage unit outside of your house and transport it to your new location once it’s full.
- Renting a van or truck: If you don’t need movers and would prefer to transport your items yourself, you can rent moving vans, pick-up-trucks and trailers. Note to self: a couch does not fit in a car.
Not only does each moving company offer different rates, special promotions, and services, but they also have different distance restrictions. If you’re moving states or counties, you’ll want to find a company that offers interstate or international service.
Researching your different moving options ahead of time will highlight factors you may not have considered and allow you to make the best decision for your situation.
Pro tip: Read reviews. Your pieces are valuable, and so is your time.
You don’t have to go all “Marie Kondo” getting your home ready to sell, but it doesn’t hurt to do a heavy edit. You want your home to be ready for staging when it comes time to show it, and decluttering will save you time when you’re ready to pack it up.
Pro tip: Don’t move things you don’t want. Consider scheduling a donation pick up so that old stuff isn’t cluttering up your new space.
- Home improvements
Don’t wait for an inspector to find a laundry list of items that need fixing or replacing. Some improvements are important to avoid delays in the contract process and others are strongly advised to increase both the buyer interest and the home value.
According to HGTV, there are a range of home updates you can complete before a home sale that can make a big difference in your sale price. These range from small, inexpensive projects such as a refresh of your floors and walls, to more expensive upgrades to bathrooms and kitchens that will exponentially increase the value of your home.
Pro tip: If you’re not super handy, consider hiring a local contractor to tackle your project list. They’ll often be able to take care of any small tasks in one visit.
Preparation pays. Take the time to pick out the partners and vendors best suited to you and your situation. Work with people and companies who are transparent and will aid your selling and moving process by taking some of the stress out of the journey. If you take the time to invest in key things now, the financial and emotional rewards will pay dividends at the closing table.
Homie Colorado, homie.com/Colorado