Are you thinking about selling your home? Even if you don’t think you’ll put your house on the market for another year, it’s not too early to start on the process. Here are things to know and do a year out.
Find your home’s approximate value
Depending on how long ago you bought your house, how your neighborhood has changed in that time, and what’s going on the housing market in general your home’s current value could be substantially different than it was when you purchased it. That’s why I recommend starting here when you’re considering selling your home.
Peruse the MLS listings on real estate websites to check out estimated values of homes in your area and – much more helpful – the actual sales price of comparable homes in your area that have recently sold. That will give you an idea of what you’ll be able to sell for when you’re finally ready to put your house on the market.
Look into your mortgage situation
If you have a mortgage on your current house, that will have to be settled when you sell your property. In a typical transaction, the buyer’s funds pay off the remaining mortgage payoff amount, plus home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and closing costs. That leaves you clear of any debts related to the property. (If you owe more on the mortgage than your home is now worth, you’ll need to come up with the difference or consider a short sale.)
Now that you know the approximate amount you’ll be able to get for your home minus the loan balances you owe, you’ll know about how much you’ll have in profit to put towards a new property.
Start tackling major repairs and big upgrades
A year sounds like a long time to get your house into selling shape, but it will fly by. The sooner you can start getting it in tip-top rate ready to show, the better.
Start by addressing big things that could sink a sale, like a crumbling foundation, a termite infestation, a roof in need of repair, or an AC system that’s on its last legs. While you don’t want to sink a fortune into a house you’ll be leaving, you’ll probably be able to recover that money in a sale, and making the changes means it’s more likely that you’ll make the sale in the first place.
Consider renovations, too. If your kitchen hasn’t been updated since 1981 and you have the means, you may consider renovating it to more modern standards and tastes. An outdated kitchen is a dealbreaker for many buyers. (Though some buyers do like the idea of a fixer upper where they can make their own mark.) Plus, the earlier you do this, the more you get to enjoy the upgrades yourself!
Do some staging
While the final touches of staging a home come towards the end, when you’re about to put your home on the market, you can get started now on some of the steps. Begin by decluttering. Not only is this a crucial step in home staging that can take time, but by getting rid of the things you don’t want or need now, you won’t have to pack it all up and move it with you later.
This is also a good time to repaint as needed and tackle smaller repairs.
Find a great real estate agent
There’s no need to wait until you’re ready to put your house on the market to start talking with a real estate agent. An experienced agent can help you with a lot during the pre-sale process, including:
- Helping you determine your home’s approximate value for sale
- Answering questions about the closing process and settling your mortgage
- Advising you on the repairs and upgrades that will give you the most bang for your buck
- Referring you to reliable professionals to help with renovations and repairs
And, of course, listing and marketing your home when the time comes!
Buying a new home? Do these things, too!
If you’re planning on buying another home in a year, check out this list of things to know and do 12 months before buying.
Get help selling your home in the Charleston, SC area
If you’re in Charleston, SC and you’re thinking about selling, give me a call. My name is Kenton Selvey and I’m a Realtor® who helps families in the greater Charleston area buy and sell homes. It’s never too early to talk about selling your home, so contact me today. Call me at 843-806-7222 or email me here and let me know how I can help. I look forward to hearing from you.