Selling your home is almost as easy as sticking a for sale sign in the yard. Just kidding! To sell your home quickly, you may consider these three quick tips before you go on the market.
Repair — Now is the time to finish your to-do list and make sure everything is in proper working order. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls doesn’t mean a buyer will too. Buyers (and their home inspector) like to look around for anything that needs to be repaired. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fence, roof, landscaping, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never step inside.
Neutralize — You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green walls, collectibles, and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color wall colors with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Freshening up the paint and floors will make a big visual impact.
Stage — Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to rearrange the furniture and accessories. The thing to consider is staging a home for sale is MUCH different than decorating a home to live in. Professional home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Empty rooms look much smaller than they do with furniture. Home staging is usually well worth the time and resource investment.
Hire — Now that your home is ready for the real estate market, it’s time to do your research to find the right Realtor for the MLS listing and negotiation for selling at a top dollar price. Fees that Realtors charge can range considerably. You may consider looking for a discount Realtor that homeowners trust with the sale. A discount Realtor will charge thousands less in commission and you should receive comparable service to a 6% Realtor. But do your research.
Taxes — If you have lived in your home for at least two years as your homestead, you could avoid paying capital gains tax and be able to move all of your equity to the new home. Single homeowners are exempt on the first $250k and married couples are exempt on the first $500k. If you have not lived in the home for two of the last five years before you sell, you can move the equity in a 1031 exchange which defers when you pay capital gains tax. Many real estate investors take advantage of the IRS tax code opportunity.