Selling Your House: A Guide

Selling your house can be extremely stressful. The income you receive will determine your net worth going forward, and in some cases, it may even be the difference between profit and loss on your real estate purchase. If you take the right steps, though, you can at least assure you have covered your bases. The rest will be out of your hands.

Determining Value

The first thing to do is to determine the value of your home. This is partly based on the price you paid for the house plus any improvements you have made to the property. Accounting for additional value is challenging, but you can consider whether the area around your home has increased in value due to expansion.

Determining Price

Price and value, though connected, are two different items. A home can be sold for less than its value if the market conditions are not favorable to a seller. Similarly, many homes are sold for a price higher than their underlying value during a real estate bubble. The greatest indicators of how to price your home are comparable homes on the market. Look for recent sales and listed homes in your neighborhood with features similar to your own. This will tell you how the market is currently pricing your home.

Listing to Sell

Today, many buyers use the Internet to shop for homes. Thus, it is essential your home shows well online. Hire a photographer to take high-quality photos that are sized for the Web. When you list, remember that potential buyers will be browsing very quickly online. Your Realtor should help you hit the high notes of your listing. Cover all basics like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but do not neglect to highlight unique or special features. Buyers like to know if the home has a new roof, new windows, hardwood floors or a finished basement.

Staging to Sell

Never underestimate the power of staging. Staging is setting up a home so buyers can see the potential it offers them. There are two main parts to staging: one, removing personal items and tastes from the home and, two, showing the home's features well. Take down family pictures, hide children's toys and remove any signs of pets. Paint walls a neutral color so a buyer can see her furniture in the room. When it comes to showing off features, arrange furniture so a fireplace or bay window is highlighted instead of hidden.

Avoiding Emotional Attachment

Finally, remember your home is just a piece of property. When you purchased the home, you likely intended to sell it in the future. As you have lived there, however, you have built memories, and you may be attached to the house. This can make you unlikely to lower your sale price or resistant to offers from developers who may change the house significantly. Ultimately, no matter how much you loved your home, you are moving because you no longer have a need for it. The more you can remove your emotions from the equation, the more open you will be to constructive criticism and the faster your home may sell.