How to Sell a Home When Moving

Selling your own home involves a major time commitment.

Selling your own home involves a major time commitment.

Selling your home appears easy when done by seasoned professionals, but the steps required to put a sale together require research and hard work for owners without any experience in home sales. Real estate agents offer varying degrees of assistance to sellers, and charge fees according to the amount of help requested. The keys to selling your home when moving involve an honest look at what your home offers, setting a realistic asking price and developing an aggressive marketing plan.

Home Assessment

Making an honest assessment of your home and your geographic location helps set a sales prices and attract potential buyers. Start your evaluation by visiting area open houses and sales offices for new homes, if available in your area. These houses are your competition, and buyers evaluate your house based on other homes on the market. This doesn't mean you need to do major rebuilding or redecorating, but the differences in your home and the other sale offerings do influence the price you set for your home. If new homes and other resales have garages and your home has only a carport, for instance, this impacts your listing price. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms and roof age and condition also impact your home's selling price.

Professional Assistance

Deciding to sell your own home involves evaluating the real estate market and setting a realistic sales price. It also means developing the marketing materials for your home, including writing advertisements, creating home fliers and locating the legal forms to complete the sale. If you decide to use a professional, interview at least three agents before signing a listing contract. Ask agents for a comparative market analysis of your home and a list of former clients recommending the agent. Research potential title and escrow companies to use during the sale. This information helps you move quickly once the buyer signs the sales contract. Your real estate agent can recommend possible title and escrow agents.

Synchronizing Sale and Move

Synchronizing selling your house with your moving plans means complex planning to have the sale close in the time required for your move. Residential escrow periods typically allow the buyer up to 90 days to find financing and complete the sale after signing a contract. Setting up a calendar with these dates in mind helps coordinate the sale and your next move. If working with a real estate agent, give your professional the target calendar for the move. This helps the agent note your planned due dates, although agents can't guarantee meeting all the deadlines.

House Preparation

Preparing your home for sale involves collecting a variety of opinions about making your home more marketable. Invite friends, relatives and professional real estate agents to give advice about possible changes. Typical suggestions involve a quick coat of neutral paint, putting away clutter and cleaning everything -- including windows and kitchen cupboards. Boxing some of your personal goods and large furniture prior to listing your home for sale helps speed the move and makes your home look larger and more spacious to home shoppers.

About the Author

*I have written chapters and articles for Oxford and Harvard University Presses, ABC-CLIO, and others. Arcadia Press published two of my local history texts and I have also written for numerous "article sites," including Pagewise in 2002. My "How to become a...real estate agent" is available as an online text from a Canadian publisher. *I taught writing courses at a branch campus of Indiana University. *I held a California real estate license and have remodeled four of my own homes and advised others on financing homes, repairing credit to qualify for loans, and managing construction (including meeting local, state, and federal regulations for restoration and development grants). *I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer and wrote nearly $75,000 in small education grants (under $1,000). *My travels include frequent road trips in Canada, Mexico, U.S., and Europe. I attended school at Cambridge University and used this as a base to explore the UK and Europe.

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