Real Estate

5 Important Questions to Ask Before I Sell My House

By Tom Burchnell
before i sell my house

Thinking about moving but wonder “what should I do before I sell my house?” We’ll walk you through 5 questions you should ask before you decide to sell your house

Yes, home is where the heart is. Your home has great sentimental value, but it’s also one of the most valuable assets you have. 

If you, like many other homeowners, are struggling financially as a result of the recession, you might be wondering whether you should sell your home. It’s a tough question, and not just because of the emotional stress that comes along with it. Unless you work in real estate, you probably have a lot of questions about the selling process. 

First, you need to decide whether you’re ready to sell. Selling and moving from a home is a big decision that requires a lot of work. Here are five important questions to ask yourself as you consider selling your home:

1. What Is My Home Worth?

Before you sell your house, remember that you must price your home according to its market value. If you list it for too much, buyers in that price range will pass it over and others who would be interested in your home will rule it out based on its price. What is market value? The answer is half art and half science.

It’s not as simple as looking up the value issued by a property appraiser, as that is only loosely connected to the market value. All real estate professionals — from agents to mortgage brokers to professional appraisers — have different methods for determining the worth of a home. 

When considering the local home sales market, you can’t rely solely on the real estate apps for your area. Those figures are compiled using algorithms and databases of homes from all over the nation. Do additional research so you can sell your home for the best price, and on your timeline.

2. Should I Work With a Real Estate Agent?

In 2019, the National Association of Realtors reported that 89% of home sales are through licensed real estate agents. 

Agents will take a commission from the selling price of your home, so you’ll have to decide if their work is worth the price. Real estate agents and brokers will work to market your home and assist you throughout the selling process. They can save you time and answer questions if you are unfamiliar with the process.

Before you sell your house and before you sign any client paperwork, be sure to pass it by other real estate professionals to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.  

3. How to Prepare Your House for Sale

Before you put your house on the market and sell it, it needs to be move-in ready. This means that your home should be prepared so you can sell and move out of it almost immediately. 

Take care of all necessary improvements and cleaning around the house, both inside and out. Now is the time to get rid of broken or unused equipment and anything else you aren’t planning on bringing with you to your new home. If you aren’t sure what needs to be done, hire a home inspector, and write down any recommendations they make.

Don’t feel like you have to sink a lot of money into your house before you can sell it. Some homeowners will pay for new carpeting, only to discover the buyer wants to install wooden floors. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to be clutter-free. Remember, potential buyers have to imagine themselves living there, and a cluttered house will make that harder to do.

Once you’ve organized and packed away the majority of your possessions, you can take pictures. You may want to hire a professional photographer or work with someone who knows the importance of light, angle, and home staging.

4. Where Will I Be Living?

Once your house goes on the market, you’ll need to be ready to move right away in case it sells. Anyone who’s moved before knows that the logistics are always more complicated than they seem at first glance, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time. Reserve moving vans and storage units if necessary. Every bit of preparation you do in advance will make your move-out date easier and less stressful.

Selling your home is considered one of life’s biggest stressors, right along with the death of a loved one or starting a new job. Research and preparation will help you to feel more in control of the situation before you sell your house. The more you know about the process, the better your decisions will be, so don’t hesitate to ask your realtor any questions you might have. 

5. When is the Best Time to Sell a House?

Local markets are not always favorable to sellers. When it’s a “buyer’s market,” that means there is a surplus in the supply of homes for sale relative to buyer demand. Still, if you’ve run into financial trouble, are divorcing, or are unable to get a line of credit from your bank, you may feel like you have to sell despite the market conditions.

If you need to sell now but fear you’ll lose much of your investment by selling on the traditional market, you should consider the alternatives. 

A sale-leaseback program enables homeowners to sell their house quickly without having to move out right away. Instead, you’re able to lease your home back, making your move-out timeline much more flexible.

Sell and Move On Your Schedule

It’s important to fully understand your options before making a decision. Ask questions before you sell your house so that you can feel confident in whatever decision you end up making. You should choose a team that will allow you to work on your own timeline, so you can receive a fair rate.

If you aren’t ready to move but need to tap into the value of your home, you still have options. Consult a financial advisor to learn more.

Key Takeaways

If you’re thinking you might want to sell your house, there are important questions you should ask. Talk to a financial and real estate expert to learn more about the process and alternatives available to you.

Real Estate
Tom Burchnell
Written by Tom Burchnell
Director of Product Marketing

This article is published for educational and informational purposes only. This article is not offered as advice and should not be relied on as such. This content is based on research and/or other relevant articles and contains trusted sources, but does not express the concerns of EasyKnock. Our goal at EasyKnock is to provide readers with up-to-date and objective resources on real estate and mortgage-related topics. Our content is written by experienced contributors in the finance and real-estate space and all articles undergo an in-depth review process. EasyKnock is not a debt collector, a collection agency, nor a credit counseling service company.