How to Sell a House: A Complete Guide for Sellers

Before you dive into the world of selling your house, it's important to take a step back and assess your financial situation. By organizing a few key elements upfront, you'll set yourself up for success...

Before you dive into the world of selling your house, it's important to take a step back and assess your financial situation. By organizing a few key elements upfront, you'll set yourself up for success and make the process a little less overwhelming. So, let's start with some basic housekeeping items to get things rolling.

Check your home value

Naturally, one of the first questions that comes to mind when selling a home is, "How much is it worth?" In the past, you would need to hire an appraiser and wait for a professional opinion, which could cost you a few hundred dollars. However, thanks to technology, you can now get a free home value estimate within minutes.

HomeLight's Home Value Estimate tool is a great option because it combines housing market data with your personal insights about your property. By answering a few simple questions, you can provide valuable information that the internet might not be aware of. This way, the estimate becomes more accurate and tailored to your specific home.

It's worth noting that while online tools are a good starting point, they may not provide complete precision. The accuracy of your home value results will depend on the availability of real estate data in your area. Nonetheless, it's a helpful tool to give you an idea of where to begin when pricing your home.

Calculate your equity

Now, let's talk about your home equity. This refers to the value of your home minus your mortgage payoff. It's an essential figure to know because it can significantly impact your financial situation. Recent data from CoreLogic shows that the average homeowner gained a remarkable $33,400 in equity between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021. So, estimating your equity might make you even more excited to sell.

Estimate your net proceeds

Your home equity is not the same as the amount of money you'll actually receive from the sale. To get a rough idea of your net proceeds, you'll need to consider selling expenses, such as agent commissions, taxes, and fees. To simplify this calculation, you can use our easy Home Sale Calculator, which will guide you through the process.

A cabinet full of plates in a house for sale. Source: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Start the process of packing and decluttering

Believe it or not, it's never too early to start packing. Moving always takes longer than expected, and you'll want to declutter your space for showings anyway. Begin by boxing up items you won't need until you move into your new place. Consider storing excess towels, out-of-season clothing, bulky kitchen appliances, and any sentimental items that are displayed on shelves or walls.

If you find that you're running out of storage space in your home, you can always rent a climate-controlled unit for temporary storage. Additionally, if you have old furniture or accumulated junk to discard, it might be a good time to line up a dumpster rental.

By taking care of these initial steps, you'll be off to a great start in the home-selling process. Remember, it's essential to have a realistic understanding of your home's value, equity, and potential net proceeds. This will help you make informed decisions and set the stage for a successful sale. So, take a deep breath, dive in, and happy selling!

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