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3 Things You Need To Do Before Putting Your Home On The Market

By Regina Gables | December 10, 2019

It's all too easy to get ahead of yourself when you want to sell your house. Chances are you've already started shopping around for real estate agents and scanning the online market place.

While it's true 78% of recent homebuyers say their real estate agent was a very useful source for information, it's important to get yourself organized and ready to begin the house-selling process before you jump right in.

That being said, here are three things you ought to do before entering the home-selling rodeo.

Get yourself organized

When your documents are disorganized, it can be difficult to find the financial papers and real estate documents you need when you need them. In the business world, approximately four weeks are lost every year waiting on mislabeled, untracked, or misfiled documents.

Consider starting a personal filing system to keep yourself organized and to make selling your home easier.

Up to 39% of event planners say that budget/resource management is one of their biggest challenges, so you're not alone if you're struggling to stay organized. Personal filing systems will help you keep track of your resources and finances.

Get rid of debt if you can

Many homeowners choose to sell their houses to pay off their debt. In fact, debt collection agencies recovered $78.5 billion in debt in 2016 alone.

However, it's a good idea to pay off any unsecured debt you might owe before selling your house. This is because the majority of the money you receive once you've closed on the house won't be going into your pocket. All the debt that's attached to the property is paid at closing from the sales proceeds.

That means your sales proceeds will be going toward paying the rest of your mortgage, your HELOC debt, your real estate agent, and your closing costs. Unsecured debt that isn't tied to the property is the debt that you'll need to pay off on your own. Credit cards are considered unsecured debt and aren't subject to settlement when a property sells unless an unsecured creditor obtains a judgment against you.

Paying off your credit card debt prior to selling your home can keep unsecured creditors from obtaining a judgment against you. It can also help to get your credit score in better shape for when you secure another mortgage on a new home.

It's important to remember that your credit score impacts you more than you think. Even in invoice factoring, the factor will only advance 70% to 90% of an invoice after checking out the credit-worthiness of the billed customer. You'll want to pay off any judgments that have been obtained against you to keep proceeds from closing secure.

Have your property inspected and serviced

Potential buyers that are interested in buying your property will have a house inspector come by to inspect the home before they close on it. But you'll want to have your own housing inspection prior to putting your home on the market.

An inspection will help you identify the issues that need to be fixed before marketing your home for sale. The fewer issues there are with your property, the higher your property will be valued.

Your roof should be inspected at least once a year under normal circumstances. Experts also recommend draining and removing the sediment from your water heater once a year, too.

Consider touching up any scuff marks around your home and re-painting your interior walls neutral colors to help potential buyers see themselves living in the space.

The process of selling your home isn't easy. But planning ahead, getting organized, and maintaining your home prior to putting your property on the market will help to make the process just a little bit easier.

Regina Gables is a Realty Biz News Contributor and a freelance writer. With a background in Journalism, she enjoyswriting on real estate topics such as home buying, real estate technology and opinionated editorials.
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