How To Sell Your House In Charlotte, NC
If you’ve never sold a home before, it probably sounds like a very daunting challenge. There are so many rules and processes to know. It might feel like there’s so much to do before you even list your home. And if you’re planning on selling your house in Charlotte, NC, you have to know the specific conditions of the local market and best practices to make sure your home sells quickly.
The good news is that there are some tried and true practices you can put into action that will minimize the frustrations and put you in a position to sell your house sooner rather than later. This complete guide to selling your house in Charlotte, NC can show you some of the best practices to sell your home in Charlotte, NC and move forward.
Step 1: Figure Out How You Want to Sell Your House
This might seem obvious, but you actually have a few different options when it comes to selling your home. How you make that decision will affect everything else that happens in the process so make sure you make the right decision for you.
Your first option is to list the home on the market with a real estate or listing agent. Many people do this because the agent is experienced in the process and will handle all of the paperwork and negotiations for you. A good agent will also provide you with answers and guidance when it comes to the local housing market, prices, and how you can make your house stand out in the crowded marketplace. For their efforts, these agents will often end up taking around five-to-seven percent commission fees. While these fees are negotiable, it is an expense a homeowner generally must bare. You’ll also likely be responsible for various closing costs and fees related to the home buying process.
Your second option is to sell the house yourself. Known as “For Sale By Owner,” or FSBO, this option means you are in charge of every aspect of the home sale. The benefit is that you don’t have to give up the listing commissions, which could save you thousands. You can also negotiate the commission rate with the buyer’s agent before selling. The downside, of course, is that you will be dealing with all of the paperwork, scheduling, marketing, and negotiations. Unless you’re very experienced in dealing with these kinds of things, it can make for quite the overwhelming headache.
The third option is to sell your house directly to a real estate investor. Whether you list with an agent or go the FSBO route, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of stressful scenarios and potentially many months of uncertainty. Those who want to avoid those potential pitfalls can ask for a competitive cash offer from a real estate investment company. You avoid realtor fees and commissions and get to sell your house quickly instead of taking chances on the open market. This option can especially beneficial if there are any conditions on your house (tax liens, code violations, etc.) or if you’re relocating outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Step 2: Decide on Your Sale Price
If you decide to list your house on the market, the biggest decision you’ll make is how you price it. If you want to start seeing offers roll in quickly, you have to try to find the perfect balance between your own expectation and the current conditions of the Charlotte market. If you’re off by even a little bit and your home appears overpriced, it could set the process back by weeks or even months.
A good way to figure out how much you should be asking for your house is to simply look around at what’s already happening in the market. Don’t just focus on the city or region but your specific neighborhood. Even getting down a street level will give you a clear idea of what the current values are here.
Look at the houses that are currently for sale to see what their asking price is, but also make sure you look at what has recently sold. Doing so will help you create a realistic idea of the difference between what your neighbors want versus what they’re actually getting. This could help you avoid the headaches and delays they’ve had to deal with because they priced their home poorly.
You might also consider whether or not you’re willing to let the home sit on the market longer in order to get the price you want. Or if you want to sell quickly, perhaps you figure out what your ideal price is and then list the home for slightly less in order to entice buyers.
Step 3: Prepare Your House & the Curb Appeal
You might love your home as-is but once you put your home up for sale that’s no longer important. What’s important is what potential buyers are able to see in your house and property. Can they see themselves living here? Do they see a house that’s ready to live in or do they see a house that’s going to need some work?
First things first, go about decluttering the house. You might like a lot of things on countertops and shelves but all of that is distracting to buyers. Clear out accent pieces and extra items in order to make visual room for their hopes and dreams. You might even go as far as to put larger items in storage just to give the house more of an open feel.
You’ll also want to tone down the decor. All of your flashy pieces, unique pieces of art, and eccentric patterns should go in storage as well. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about the buyer.
It’s not just about prepping your house. It’s also about preparing your property. Think about the curb appeal. Does the exterior need a wash or a fresh coat of paint? Does the lawn need to get mowed and the garden need to get cleaned up? Whatever small touches you can make so that your home looks a little bit more attractive during a drive-by will pay dividends.
Step 4: List Your Home & Market It Well
Your listing agent will take care of all the particulars, but there are plenty of things you should be considering when you list your home in order to make it stand out.
If you can, hire a professional photographer and stager to come in and make your house really pop. They’ll be able to make each room shine while also giving buyers a chance to see what it might look like if they lived there. Even if all you did was hire a photographer, that will pay off for you as the difference between a home listing with pro photos and generic photos is staggering and sets the tone.
You can’t just list a home and hope for the best. You have to open your doors, literally. Host an open house (or four) in order to entice buyers for a closer look. Work with your agent to make sure there’s enough signage and marketing around the open house so people actually show up. Also, be available for drop-in visits and for people to see your home when you’re not there. You don’t want to turn anyway anyone who could potentially make an offer.
Step 5: Review Your Home Offers & Begin Negotiations
Hopefully, you’ve done a good job getting your house in order and marketing it well. If that’s the case, you’ve probably got a few offers to sift through. Each offer will have its own pros and cons and you’ll have to figure out what’s most important to you and which buyer seems like the most likely to get fully approved and finish the deal.
Some of the considerations you should be looking for include pre-approval from a lender, proof of funds to pay the full price, potential seller concessions, whether or not they are paying cash or financing, if there’s a buyer’s contingency (the buyer must sell their current home first), or any kind of timeline issue. Certain buyers will look better than others on paper, but you’ll want to put in the due diligence when deciding which offer you’ll accept. The wrong choice could mean a lot of lost time and money.
Step 6: Accept The Offer
Once you’ve figured out the best offer and decided to take it, don’t assume that completes the process. It simply means you move on to the final stage. The home will go into pending so other potential buyers don’t consider it, so you’ll want to make sure this is likely to turn into a sale.
The buyer will have a chance to inspect the home, so hopefully, you’ve already done a pre-inspection and have not’ hidden anything from them. If they’re happy with the inspection, the buyer will then finalize their financing and enter the underwriting period. The bank will do its due diligence on the buyer and home contract in order to give a full loan approval.
Once the bank is happy, all that’s left is signing the titles and escrow documents. With that, the home is sold and you can move forward into the next stage in your home-owning journey, whether it’s in Charlotte or elsewhere.