8 Things You Should Know When Selling Your Home (It's Hard to Know What You Don't Know)
By Guest Author: Matt Cassadona
Selling a house can be just as exciting as purchasing one. The bittersweet moment that it's time to say goodbye to your house is emotional. From listing your house, running open houses, and sifting through offers, selling your house can be a ton of work, especially if you're doing everything yourself. Selling a home is not an easy task. If you’re planning on selling, here's what I wish I knew before I sold my house to help you prepare.
1)Selling a House Costs Money
While the term "selling" typically means that you'll be getting money in return, many people don't realize that selling anything takes both time and money, especially selling a house. When we were in the selling process, we incurred expenses beyond our normal basics. These included:
Deep cleaning after packing
Even if your house is already sold, you can still expect to have to leave it in good condition for the new owners. A deep clean is absolutely necessary whether you're moving out of your home before finding a seller or not.
Costs incurred to meet local codes
Sometimes people do renovations on their homes without checking their local codes. An example could be a wheelchair ramp that's not the proper measurements or a deck that wasn't allowed by the HOA. When you go to sell your house, all of these things must be taken care of.
Harpta & Firpta
In Hawaii, if you're a non-resident, but a U.S. citizen you'll be subject to a HARPTA, Hawaii Real Property Tax Act, withholding of 7.25 %. If you're a foreign investor, you'll be subject to FIRPTA, Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, withholding at 15%. Learn more about Harpta and Firpta on Maui.
Pipes can burst at any moment, and things that you've left broken that didn't really bother you will need to be repaired or replaced before the new homeowners move in. It's best to make repairs before you list your house so that you can guarantee everything in your home is in working order for anyone who buys the house. This can ensure that you get as much as you can for your house.
After you're all packed up and ready to move, your one final expense will be moving out of your home. It's best to work with moving professionals so that you can move easily with as little hassle as possible.
2)You'll Need to Specify Some of the Things You Take
Believe it or not, you might not be legally allowed to take things like curtains, chandeliers, and other furnishing and fixtures. Anything affixed to your home, including its walls, floors, and ceilings, is considered a part of the house and is part of the sale unless specified in writing.
We lost our favorite chandelier when we sold our house because we didn't know that it technically belonged to the house, not to us.
3)You Don't Have to Have In-Person Showings
We live in a digital age, so if you're someone who is uncomfortable with the idea of having strangers in your home when you're not there, you don't have to have in-person property tours. Instead, you can have a virtual tour that allows people to see every part of your house without the need to actually step inside.
There are tons of benefits to hosting a virtual property tour, such as minimizing the number of people in your house, attracting out-of-towners, and weeding out uninterested parties.
4)You'll Begin to See Flaws
All houses have issues. Some are small and others are major. When you live in a house with issues for so long, you stop noticing them and often forget about them in the first place. Anything from a crack in the ceiling to chipped paint will become noticeable in the home selling process.
All of the cracks, dents, and chips are an eyesore to homebuyers, so you need to fix those up so that you can sell your house for the best price. Once you start to look around for these things, you'll notice more and more of them every day, from a crack in the baseboard to a broken handle.
5)Your Opinion Matters To Your Realtor(If You Have a Good Realtor)
Realtors can provide you with an estimated value of your home and current market conditions along with a price opinion, but ultimately the price you list for and accept are yours to decide. The Realtor’s job is to make the process of selling your house easier on you from working with buyers and handling all of the complicated paperwork along with handling any negotiations that may arise. Your Realtor should collaborate with you, not simply tell you what’s going to happen.
With that example in mind, make sure to have open communication with your realtor. Let them know upfront what your expectations are and how you want to work together.
6)Your Neighbors Will Be Nosy
Everyone has experienced a nosy neighbor at some point, but when you start hosting open houses, your neighbors will suddenly become very interested in your home. People go to open houses for a number of reasons, so it's not technically fair to call them nosy. Some of these individuals will be coming to your house so that they can compare it to theirs if they're planning on selling soon as well.
You'll also see neighbors who have no intention to purchase your home. Going to open houses can be a fun activity and a way to see the inside of your neighbors' homes, so expect to see at least a few of them at your next open house.
7)Your House Will Seem Strange After the Sale
Once the sale of the house is finalized, you'll feel like a stranger in it. Even if you have thousands of happy memories there, it may still be uncomfortable for you after the house is sold because it no longer technically belongs to you. If you can, you might want to consider moving out of your home as soon as possible after the sale to avoid any bittersweet feelings for too long before moving on.
8)The Money Doesn't Last
Once you receive the money from the sale, your bank account will look huge. It doesn't last, though. You'll likely be in the process of buying or building a new home, which means that you'll use almost every penny of that sale in purchasing your new home, especially if you're upsizing. If you're downsizing to a luxury condo, you might be able to keep a few thousand dollars for your savings account, but overall, the money doesn't last forever.
Selling your house can be a stressful endeavor. Think carefully about your decision and make a thorough plan so that your sale is a smooth venture. Use the tips above to help you get started with selling your house.Posted by Evan Harlow R(S) 82003 on