Selling your house today? So far, in North Carolina, the real estate market has held up pretty well. Now might be a good time to sell. Before you do, you should start to understand the process so that you can make the best decisions and get the best price for your home.
Choosing when to sell
When you put your house on the market can make a difference in how much you can sell your house for and how much competition there is. In general, Spring is recommended by Realtor.com as the best time to sell your house. Specifically, March 31 to April 6 is the best time to put your house on the market. This makes a lot of sense because the average time to 65-93 days from the day you put it on the market. So, families looking to not change schools mid-year are closing when the kids are out of school.
Fall and Winter tend to find fewer buyers and lower prices, but they also come with less competition. This means that you may sell your house more easily, but you may not be able to get the best prices for it.
Pricing Your House
Pricing your house is your first step. You need to know what your house is worth and what you need to do to get there. While a real estate agent will give you advice, make sure to do your own research. Even though they are paid on commissions, some agents are more interested in moving your house quickly than they are in getting you the best price.
Take a look around Realtor.com and Zillow and get an idea of what other houses in your area are worth. Look at similar sized houses in your area. Look at the houses, what amenities they offer, what condition they are in, and what the owners are asking. That is the current competition. Also, take a look at the recently sold homes that most resemble your house. You can see what’s realistic from this. Use it as a basis for setting the price you sell your house at and to guide your negotiations with your realtor and potential buyers. This is called “comparing comps”. Remember to consider the condition that your house is in. This means that if you never fixed up that garage but you’re comparing your house to a perfect house, you need to mentally deduct something for that work. Your buyers and their banks will.
This is important as well. Even if you get an offer at twice your asking price with 30% down, but the buyer needs a loan approved, the bank isn’t likely to approve that loan, and your sale isn’t likely to happen. The bank doesn’t want to lose money if the borrower doesn’t pay. They want to protect their investment. This means that they need to be able to sell the house and make back what they loaned. This is why a cash offer, even a slightly lower one, can be such a good deal.
Getting ready, promoting, and showing your home
Unless you’re selling your house today to an investor, before you put your home available for sale, you’ll need to clean it up to make your home all the more engaging purchasers. You might want to do some of the small projects that you’ve been putting off or stage your home for sale.
With the nice weather in North Carolina, you might want to have an alluring open air space or porch to attract more purchasers who envision themselves having barbecues or relaxing from a long day with a nice glass of wine outside in the evening.
To sell your home quicker, you’ll need to be decidedly ready for the open house. Be sure to remove bulky furniture and consider having your estate agent stage your home. They’re specialists at knowing what purchasers need.
Your realtor may bring up certain “disclosures” that you are required to make when you are selling your house. These are things that if you know about, you are required to tell a potential buyer and you could be subject to legal action if you don’t do so.
In North Carolina, you’ll be required to fill out a four-page disclosure form posing inquiries going from if there are basic issues and radon issues to if your ceiling fans don’t work. Ensure you unveil everything, so you save yourself from any legal issues. If you are selling your house today, you can take a look at that form here.
Handling offers and exchanges
When you start getting those offers, make sure to consider all of the costs involved in selling your house today. The time it takes has its own costs you’ll want to think about. Make sure that you understand any contingencies in the offer and what that can mean for you. These are terms in a deal that might allow a buyer an out if something happens, or doesn’t happen. These are very common and examples include if a user can’t get financing or if the house doesn’t pass inspection. This is why you sometimes continue to see houses with showings even after an offer has been made and why some savvy buyers may make an offer on a house that has an offer. This is also why cash offers are a huge benefit for sellers because they don’t require a bank to approve the sale price or the buyer.
Finally Getting to Selling Your House
Now you have an accepted offer that is firm and funded. You’re almost there.
Your real estate agent and your attorney will guide you through this process, which will involve a lot of forms and signatures. In North Carolina, unlike some states, you must use an attorney. In some states, you can use a title company to help with the closing.
Your attorney will need to coordinate with the buyer’s attorney, the real estate agents and the bank in a process called a closing. You will be presented with a lot of papers to sign. You’ll also often have to pay for some things at the closing which may come out of the proceeds or may involve a separate check. You’ll also, of course, have to pay your attorney. Your attorney should give you the amount and a breakdown before the closing.
So if you are selling your house today, you’ll be liable for paying for some end costs, such as tax stamps and deed preparation.