Your toes may be in the sand, but your head is far from lounging on the beach. Despite the seagulls nipping at your sandy snacks, if you can’t shake the idea of purchasing a new home—the one with the larger backyard, extra bathrooms, more privacy, or downsizing to be closer to your grandchildren—consider this your nudge. Right now is not only the perfect time for some R&R, but it’s the perfect time to list your home.
Home selling and purchasing is a multifaceted process with variables that can be hard to interpret. But if you’re asking yourself should I sell my house, the falling mortgage rates make buying a new home all the more attractive and affordable. A recent CNBC article announced that the “average rate on the 30-year fixed has fallen from just over 5% last November to about 3.86% today, according to Mortgage News Daily.” In short, this means less money is spent paying a mortgage, freeing up some cash to give homebuyers more purchasing power. Not to mention, parts of the DFW and Austin markets are still hot (read: affordability means attractability), potentially putting you in a great position to sell your home. Are you in a starter home ready to upgrade? That’s great news for you, too, because starter homes are in high demand. With construction costs high, new builds are proving to be unaffordable for first-time homebuyers.
To help you sift through the minutiae to best position your home to sell in your market, here are our top five tips to get you ready.
The options of who will sell your home are growing. Your answers to these three questions could determine how you do it.
1) How much work do you personally want to pour into the process?
2) How quickly do you want your house sold?
3) Do you have the expertise and time it takes to sell your home?
If you have time, patience, are ready to front the costs of selling a home and don’t want a portion of your equity to go to a realtor, then For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is likely your best bet. If you aren’t concerned about raking in your highest bid and want to sell your home fast, services like Offerpad, Knock, and Opendoor will buy your house with cash in as little as a few days without you ever having to tidy up for a showing. If you are busy and need an expert to tell you how to sell a house, as well as negotiate with the bank, appraiser, home inspector, buyer, buyer’s agent, and attorney, then a Realtor is the best way to go.
You’re probably familiar with the term seller’s disclosure, but you may be scratching your head as you wonder how important it is to mention everything on the form. From the tiny drip under your basement sink to the renovation you did without a permit, our best advice is to disclose all defects of the home past and present. Share all the ins and outs of your property (including recurring neighborly disputes with Joe next door about property lines); otherwise it could lead to a future lawsuit after your home is sold. The seller’s disclosure is typically supplied to the buyer once their offer is made.
Unlike many states, in Texas you are not obligated to use a lawyer in the final sale of your home. However, if you choose to sell your home FSBO, then hiring a lawyer to help you with the legal documentation is highly recommended (but not required).
The time to start preparing your home for the market is now. Take inventory of what needs attention and begin making repairs, as this process can take weeks depending on your availability or ability to hire help. Start outside and take notes. Chipping paint, landscaping, and wobbly walkways all need your attention while adding fresh blooms will set your place apart. The interior of your home needs to shine as though it’s brand new. Remove any kinds of clutter from every room — think toys, shoes, books, blankets, sports equipment, and appliances. Clear your countertops to maximize space and polish every shelf, table, and floor. The rule of thumb is to present a clear slate. Remove all items that suggest that you live there. You want potential buyers to walk inside and quickly see themselves in your space.
Once you’ve decluttered and depersonalized, take a fresh look at each room again. Then take a simple approach to staging by only including in each space the furniture or items that highlight the room’s purpose while leaving options open for the potential buyer’s ideas. Think simple, straightforward and make it shine.
Like any good, proud homeowner, you likely want to list your home at the highest price in hopes of gaining the greatest return to serve as your down payment for your next home. It’s not wrong to list high, but it may prove to be hurtful to the timeline of the sale of your home. When your list price is Priced to Sell Immediately (PTSI), the foot traffic for showings can increase exponentially. A competitive market creates higher bids for impassioned buyers.
Selling your home by listing high above market value can turn buyers away, where listing competitively in your market makes your home look more enticing. According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, over the last 12 months home values that were once rising 6% the past two years, have started to slow to 3.7%. The current decrease in home values makes PTSI a strategic move to make.
After all of your hard work of preparing to list and sell your current home, you won’t want to prolong the process of getting into your new house anymore. Begin the preapproval process now to learn what mortgages you can afford. Your heart might be stuck on a new home that fulfills your desires, but knowing the loan amount you are approved for can help prepare you to make your best offer on the home you want to buy – and can help inform the best offer you can accept on the home you are selling.
Here at Willow Bend Mortgage, we are experts at helping you feel secure about your future. By finding what works best for your personal financial situation, we can get you preapproved in as little as 48 hours. Start by applying today.
Taking the steps to selling your home and getting it ready to list requires determination, but can be done if you start now. It may be time to shake out the beach towels and start heading home. While you drive, think about who will list your home, what legal obligations you have to make a sale, what needs to be fixed and updated, and the price you know will attract buyers. Go ahead and schedule an appointment to get preapproved. There’s still time to list your home. Get in the game while the summer market is still hot!