There are a lot of things that will need to get done when you decide to sell your house – the yard needs to be professionally tended to, the roof needs to be reshingled, the house needs to be deep cleaned… With so much to do, do you know when is the best time to contact a realtor?
Here are a few things you can do prior to finding a trustworthy realtor so you’ll have an easier experience.
1. Review your finances
Something people don’t tell you about selling your house is that it isn’t cheap and the price you sell your home for should cover these expenses. What are those expenses? Well, it should pay off your remaining mortgage, but it should cover any repairs and renovations you’ve made prior to the sale, closing costs, and moving expenses.
2. Declutter and clean
From the moment you decide that you’re going to put your house on the market, you should begin decluttering and cleaning your house. Decluttering and deep cleaning your house not only helps you by reducing how much stuff you have to pack or how much cleaning needs to be done in those final days of owning that home, but it makes it easier for potential buyers to see the home in all its glory without any obstructions. Plus, you could increase your asking price by 3 to 5%!
3. Make repairs and minor upgrades
If you want to maximize the amount of money you can get for your house, you will want to repair anything that is broken or needs some sprucing up. With that said, you shouldn’t go all in and do any huge renovation projects before consulting your agent (when you finally hire one) because they’ll be able to advise you on what features and upgrades buyers want in your area.
4. Research possible real estate agents
There’s a lot of real estate agents out there and trying to find the right one can feel like you’re in an uphill battle. The sheer number of agents in any given area is reason enough to start researching agents for months (three to four months should be enough) before you’re actually ready to list. Some things you’ll want to look at when you’re researching agents include:
- Years of experience
- Average price point
- Speed of sale
- Transaction volume
You can also ask friends, family, and co-workers for recommendations. If you’re going to a new city and don’t know anyone, you can join a social media group for your area and ask members for their recommendations. As you do your research, make notes of the things that you do and don’t like about what you’ve learned about that particular agent.
5. Interview agents
The agent you choose will have a huge impact on how smoothly your transaction goes, so you definitely want to take your time and choose the best agent. To do that, you’ll want to go through your notes and choose three or four agents that you’re most interested in working with. Reach out to the agents and ask if you can chat with them so you can ask them a few questions.
When you’re talking to the agent, you’ll want to ask them things like:
- How many houses in this area have you sold?
- What are your marketing strategies?
- Do you work solo or will there be other agents working with you?
- How many clients do you currently work with?
During the interview, you should still be taking notes! After the interview, you’ll go over them and finalize the agent you feel is the best realtor for your situation. Plus, if you have yet to find a new home, you could enlist your real estate agent to help you find a new home (if you don’t know how much you can afford, try a home affordability calculator).
Final thoughts about when to contact a realtor
Finding a realtor isn’t something you should dive into without fully weighing your options. You need to make sure you’re going to be working with someone who knows the neighborhood and understands what buyers want. You need to find an agent who will work hard to get your house sold for as much money as they can as quickly as they can. Most importantly, you need to find an agent who you trust. Yes, it may take a bit of time to research your options, but it’ll all be worth it when you’re sitting at the closing table!