As the “busy season” is starting to wind up this year, it’s time to start working on strategies to list your home for sale and get the most exposure possible for it.  When the market is as hot as it is, people start to think that they can just throw anything on the market and someone will come and buy it at any price.  That’s not really the case, and can lead to disastrous results.  Here are three things to think about before listing your house for sale.

Top Three Questions

  1. What is your net? The St. Louis Association of Realtors has a net sheet.  I’ve seen some agents use it and some who don’t in their listing presentation.  Basically, it shows what you can expect to take to the bank after the sale of your home, minus all fees and expenses.  It’s important to know what the net is because if you have to sell your home for less than the loan payoff and fees, you are going to have to bring money to the table.
  2. What are the true selling points of your home? The old saying “location, location, location”, is a nice saying, but you are going to have to have something that a buyer is going to want.  Think of what you’ve done to the home since you purchased it.  Did you replace interior doors with six panel doors?  Did you paint the home with current colors with a professional finish?  Build a new deck?  There are any numbers of things that you can do to make someone interested in your home.  One note of caution:  Sellers sometimes make the mistake of thinking that because they paid x for an improvement, that improvement is worth at least what they paid and sometimes more.  As an example, see my post on the 10,000 gazebo.  The sale price of the home is more dependent on what people who are actively looking to buy value.
  3. Where are you going to go when the house sells? This is a question I always ask on a listing appointment.  Where are you going?  Have you purchased your dream home?  Are you moving in with a partner, friend, or family member?  This is an important question because it shows willingness or a commitment by the seller to actually move.  Also, houses can sell in less than 30 days, so if you have no place to go, it’s going to be really tricky to find a new home in that space of time.

There are probably a million other things to consider when listing your home for sale in St. Louis, and the listing process can be confusing.  After all, pricing your home for sale can be difficult.  My best advice would be to listen to and get to know your agent when they make suggestions and keep an open mind.