1. Reality check yourself…ask yourself a few vital questions about the goals you have about selling your home. Why do you need or want to sell? What would it take to make selling make sense? Next, look at your mortgage statement and find out what you owe and how much the payoff amount would be. Then get a reality check about what your home is worth by talking to a real estate agent, and what the list price might actually be.
2. Figure out the lay of your local land…read local real estate agents blogs, such as Kevin Toll’s, to find out pertinent information about your local community and the real estate market in your area. Educate yourself about what is actually happening in the area you are trying to sell and buy within. If you want to live in Delaware County, Havertown, PA, research the area and real estate, if you are selling your home in Chester County, Malvern, PA, compare your home in the market you are selling not buying.
3. Tour nearby open houses…check out the competition in person and online. Visit homes that are in your neighborhood, in the same price range and have similar numbers of beds/bathrooms. Comparing your house to other similar houses will help give you a reality check about what you need to improve upon in your current home and how your home compares to the competition.
4. Formulate a plan…collaborate with your agent about list price, list date, showing arrangements and property prep work that your agent recommends, prior to listing your home. Then figure out how many days on the market you want your house to be on the market, then if you haven’t had an offer in X number of days, you will lower the price to Y.
5. Do your prep work- fix and pre-pack. If you want to sell in 2011, make your list of projects that need to be completed, and get started today. Next, begin staging your home, inside and out. A home in tip-top condition is more appealing to a buyer than a home in disarray or cluttered. Depersonalize and declutter your home so that potential buyers can visualize themselves living in your home. Pre-pack away your personalize items in boxes as if you were moving, and leave your place as close to model-home move-in condition as possible.