6 Things You Need to Do Before You Call a Realtor

6 Things You Need to Do Before You Call a Realtor

How to Sell a House with a Realtor

Realtor Presenting Home FactsSo you've decided to sell your home, and you want to pay a realtor to help. They're the expert, so they'll do all the work for you--right? Before you waste your own time and theirs, read these 6 things you need to do to prepare your home before you hire a real estate agent to sell your house.

Selling your home is a process that can be fraught with pitfalls. Making the decision to sell in the first place can be difficult, and then you have to choose between selling it yourself and hiring a realtor to help. Bringing in a professional, however, doesn't absolve you of all work.

You can rely on your real estate agent to market your home, handle paperwork, and drum up potential buyers, but a smart homeowner expects to play a hands-on role. Learn how to sell a house with a realtor, and prepare yourself by taking these six steps before she visits your home.

How To Sell a House with a Realtor -- A Guide to Preparation

Think of your relationship with the realtor as a partnership. Both of you will have responsibilities, but trusting one another and communicating honestly are also keys to a successful home sale.

Research Home Values

Yes, the real estate agent will have the final say in setting the asking price of your home. However, it's in your best interest to do your homework and get up to speed even before she arrives.

Luckily, the advent of the internet has made it incredibly easy to research home values. You will want to check out "comps" -- that's real estate slang for homes that are comparable to yours in the neighborhood. Naturally, there may be many issues at play when it comes to a sale price, but this research should help set some parameters.

View up to 6 months of sales history on our site, and receive updates with our Market Insider Program

Gather Your Paperwork

While you're at it, gather up any financial documents related to your house. The first step is to find out exactly how much is left on your mortgage. An amortization calculator will allow you to create an easy-to-read chart of your financial status.

Additionally, if there are any liens or disputes that might hold up a sale, compile the paperwork relevant to those.

Spruce Things Up...

Don't assume that your realtor "has seen it all" or doesn't care about the state of your house. Although she might suggest that you stage your home before buyers tour it, you want to give her a good impression as well.

Clean your home thoroughly, put away clutter, and generally make everything presentable. Imagine your meticulous in-laws are coming to visit!

...but Don't Go Overboard with Improvements

At the same time, you don't have to embark on every home improvement project you've planned. Wait to ask your realtor's advice about which upgrades will net you the best ROI in the current market -- so that you don't concentrate your efforts in the wrong place.

Make an Inventory of Updates

Do make a list of what upgrades and renovations have been made over the years. It's not necessary to tell the agent what you spent on these, but give her a picture of the effort you've put in to improve the home. A relatively new roof, siding job, or kitchen makeover can significantly alter the asking price.

Have Your Schedule Up to Date

The realtor will want to know when she can schedule showings and open houses, so make sure to communicate any upcoming vacations, work requirements, out-of-town visitors, or other commitments. And don't forget to let your realtor know if you've planned a move-in date for your new home!

Final Thoughts

Learning how to sell a house with a realtor is an important step in the moving process. If you want to work with the best real estate agents around, give us a call today!

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