Putting your home on the market is never an easy decision. There are no shortcuts to a successful sale either. Some sellers take months or years to get ready for a sale. Making sure you’re fully prepared can help ensure the quick and profitable sale of your home.
Fortunately, you can enlist the services of a real estate professional. An agent can offer insight into Portland’s real estate market and help you find the right buyer.
This guide covers the basic steps to selling your home in Portland, Oregon. Familiarizing yourself with the different stages of the selling process can help you avoid delays and costly mistakes.
Ready to sell? It doesn’t have to be a stressful and drawn-out process. From staging to contract signing, here are some essential tips for selling your home. Avoid some of the most common mistakes sellers make and walk away from the negotiating table with profit from the sale.
Deciding to Sell
Selling your home is not an easy decision to make. After all, your home is more than just an address – it’s a place that holds many memories. And even if you’re ready to move on, the financial aspect of selling your home and finding a new one can be daunting.
Here are a few signs it’s time to sell your home:
- You’ve built equity
- Your home has appreciated in value
- There’s higher demand for housing in your area
- You need more space
- You want to downsize
- You’re relocating for work
Seller’s remorse is real – some sellers realize that their old home is better than their new one, and so they end up buying back the property, often at a higher price. So before you sell your home, it’s worth mulling it over.
Preparation to Selling
Now that you’re confident that you want to sell, you must make sure that your home is in excellent condition. If you’ve maintained your home all these years, then this should be no problem. But if your home is in need of repairs, now’s the time to attend to them.
Basic improvements include:
- Repainting the interior and exterior walls
- Fixing leaking faucets and clogged toilets
- Replacing stained or damaged window panes and floor tiles
- Replacing broken lighting fixtures
- Making sure that all locks, knobs, and switches are working properly
Though you can sell your houses “as is” – that is, without making repairs – homes in poor condition typically command lower prices. This might be a good decision if you believe that the cost of repairs far exceed the value of the property.
But in most cases, it’s best to make a few improvements before putting your house on the market. Not only does this attract more offers, it also gives you the upper hand in negotiations – some buyers will use repairs as leverage in negotiating a lower sales price.
Pricing your Home
If you’ve ever wondered how to sell your house fast with a Realtor, the secret lies in pricing your home accurately. A real estate agent will use data on comparable properties and recent home sales in the area to come up with a price range.
Never work with a Realtor who doesn’t use recent data to support their suggested price – not even if they quote the highest asking price for your property. If they don’t have sufficient basis for their estimate, chances are, you are selling your home over or under the correct price.
- If the asking price is too high, your home might get fewer offers and sit on the market for longer than it should, forcing you to reduce prices. This is what agents refer to as a “stale” listing.
- If the asking price is too low, you might miss out on making a profit from the sale.
Though it’s common practice for agents to set the asking price a little higher, with the aim of creating some leeway for the buyer to negotiate a slightly lower price, this shouldn’t deviate too far from the property’s fair market value.
Marketing Your Home
Make your property stand out – your agent will help you market your home in the MLS, social media, and other platforms. But before you start promoting your property, you need to stage it first.
According to the 2019 Profile of Home Staging by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home staging comes with the following benefits:
- 83% of agents said that buyers find it much easier to imagine a staged property as their future home.
- 22% of agents reported a 1% to 5% dollar value increase in offers compared to properties that had not been staged.
- 17% of respondents said that home staging increases a home’s dollar value between 6% and 10%.
- 28% of agents reported slight decreases in a staged property’s time on the market.
If you’re not sure where to start, ask your agent for house staging tips.
Now that you’ve started getting offers, you need to go through them one by one. Your agent will help you get these offers. Keep in mind that the highest offer isn’t always the best one – you may want to take other factors into consideration.
When vetting offers, it helps to ask the following questions:
- Has the buyer been approved or pre-approved for a mortgage?
- How quickly can they close the deal?
- Are they willing to waive certain contingencies (i.e. home inspection)?
- Are they requesting extensive repairs?
- Are they communicative?
- Do they have all the necessary paperwork needed to secure financing and close the deal?
The answers to these questions will help you determine which offer works best with your personal circumstances and motivations for selling.
Escrow, inspections, and appraisals
Once you accept an offer, you will go into escrow. During this phase of the selling process, a third party will hold the buyer’s deposit for safekeeping until the conditions of the sale have been fulfilled.
This arrangement protects the interests of all parties involved – it shows the seller that the buyer has the funds to purchase a home and it guarantees that all conditions are met before the sale can go through.
For instance, if you accept an offer promising to make basic repairs to the home, these repairs must be completed before you can close the deal.
But generally speaking, there are two major contingencies that must be met during escrow:
- Home inspection
Your agent will assist you during this stage of the selling process to make sure that the transaction is successful.
Closing the deal
If escrow goes well, your agent will schedule a closing meeting. During this meeting, both parties must complete the insurance and final ownership paperwork to close the sale.
The buyer will also do a final walkthrough of the property to make sure that it’s in the same condition as when they first made the offer.
To prepare for the final walk through, you must:
- Make sure the property is clean
- Leave behind any user’s manuals and warranties for major appliances included in the sale
- Check the property for items that are excluded from the sale
Selling a home can be a challenging experience, especially for first-timers. In addition to preparing your home for the sale, there are many important factors to consider, such as setting the right price, hiring a professional real estate agent, choosing the best offer, negotiating with prospective buyers, and so on.
On top of all that, putting a property on the market can be an emotionally draining experience for some as well. It can be difficult to part with a place you’ve lived in for the past couple of years, as it was a place you called home and not just a simple piece of property with four walls and a roof.
One of the best ways to make the home selling process easier is to simply gather more information about the steps involved. In this page, we offer a few helpful tips to keep in mind before listing your home on the market.
List with Brian Getman – PDX Property today
Ready to sell your home? Find the right buyer when you get in touch with us today. You can message me, Brian Getman of PDX Property, here. You can also leave a message at 503.628.9665 and [email protected]. We can’t wait to show you what Portland real estate has to offer.