Real Estate 101: Your Buyer Checklist

Whether you are having difficulty keeping up with the payments on your home or life has led you to a place that requires you to relocate, to downsize or to upgrade on your home, selling your home can be a nerve-wracking experience. This is particularly true in today’s economic climate where homeowners are constantly being told that now is not a good time to sell. By keeping a few things in mind, however, you will increase your chances of getting the home sold quickly and at a reasonable price while also making the process as easy on you as possible.

Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

Perhaps the single most important step you can take toward getting your home sold is to hire the right real estate agent to handle the job. Ideally, you should select an agent who has experience selling homes in your particular area. This way, you know he or she will have the experience and knowledge necessary to tap into your target market. You should also hire someone with a successful sales record who is consistently able to sell homes at our near the list price. Furthermore, since you will be working closely with this person to sell your more valuable asset, you want to be sure you feel comfortable communicating with the agent and that he or she understands your needs and goals.

Preparing Your Home for the Market

With the help of your real estate agent, you will be able to effectively prepare your home for the market. Some basics you will need to do before you officially put your home up for sale include:

  • Make all necessary repairs
  • Complete upgrades
  • Remove clutter
  • Stage your home for sale

The single easiest way to lose out on a sale is to have something that is clearly wrong with the house. Not only will the potential buyer lose interest because he doesn’t want to make the repairs, but it will also make him wonder what hidden things may also be wrong with the house. After all, if you didn’t bother with basic upkeep and repairs, what else might be wrong with the house?

In preparing the house for the market, you should also complete upgrades that will make your home comparable to other homes in your neighborhood. In some cases, this step may not be necessary. Still, simply upgrades to water-efficient appliances and efficient lighting fixtures and appliances can go a long way toward helping you get your home sold.
Similarly, Kevin Koitz of The Koitz Group points out, “Removing clutter and staging your home for sale will make your home more inviting and appealing to potential buyers.” Depending on your situation, you may need to rent a storage unit for some of your belongings until the home is sold.

Be Prepared to Negotiate

A skilled real estate agent will be able to negotiate a purchase agreement that will be in your best interest. Still, you need to go into the process with the understanding that you may need to drop your price, complete certain additional upgrades or purchase certain warranties. By being prepared for these possibilities beforehand, you will be less disappointed in the final outcome of the sale of your home.

About The Author – As a licensed Realtor, Beth Besecker writes for My Real Estate Journal in her free time.