Sales Procrastination? Consider Your Timing
by Charlie in Real Estate Legal Services
So you know you need to sell your home. The reasons are many. The alibis for procrastination are also many.
Sometimes procrastination works in your favor. Low priority things that you ignore long enough may eventually become altogether unnecessary. How high a priority is it to sell your home?
Once you find the motivation and commitment to sell, be proactive, plan your attack:
1. collect important papers, including title policies, old inspections, surveys, payoffs, and warranty documents.
2. consider where you will move when you sell and start exploring those options early and often. Many clients want to try to sell FSBO (for sale by owner) for a season before giving up a 6 or 7% commission, but when you are looking for a new place to buy, hiring a good agent doesn’t generally cost you 6%. Some agents even help you find rentals knowing that it helps their business in the future.
3. Consider getting a pre-emptive professional home inspection on the home you are selling. Having this, you may be able to fix things in advance that may cost you more if you do them on short notice later. You can also make a relatively clean inspection report available for potential buyers, who may or may not choose to rely on it or forego getting their own inspection. Similar thinking once applied to getting a fresh pre-emptive appraisal. Unfortunately, unless you have a cash buyer, their lender will require a new appraisal anyway.
4. Get proposals from agents! Their “CMAs” (comparative market analysis) may be as good as an appraisal and is far cheaper. Even if you want to try a season of FSBO, you can begin your selection process and plan who you want to hire later. If FSBO exposure does not get you the offer you want, you’ll appreciate being able to list immediatelly. The agents may help you with staging ideas, things you must declutter, pricing, and networking. One important thing the agents can help with is prioritizing the things that will make the most difference in attracting attention and higher offers, e.g., how to get the best bang for the buck by doing which projects. Often a small investment in landscaping and painting can yield a huge return.
5. Be committed to pay a buyer’s agent 3%.
6. Hire an attorney to help you document the transaction.
7. Consider your timing. This article surprised me a little even while corroborating what our firm has found from doing 40 years of real estate closings: