When we first thought about buying a new house last year we went to our loan guy to see what we could qualify for. If you are buying a house it is VERY important that you have a great lender. You can find one by asking realtors who they like. We qualified for a nice house, but on the condition of our old house selling first. My tween son was not handling the idea of moving well at all and I knew that selling our family home of 10 years and moving into a little apartment was not an option for us. I would hate living in a little apartment and probably buy the first house I could just to get out of the apartment. Moving twice would be too traumatic on my kids and I wanted to take my time looking and find my dream home. It would also be expensive and time consuming moving everything twice. Most realtors will tell you it is easier to sell your house first, but for us that was not an option. Maybe if we didn't have kids and a lot of stuff it would be easier.
We decided to refinance our current house and get the payment down as low as we could. We did a no-cost refinance witch gave us a slightly higher interest rate, but was no cost to us. We got our payment down low enough to qualify for a good sized loan on a new house without the condition of selling our old house first. The same month we refinanced, we found our dream home. We didn't think it was going to happen so quick! We made our offer in September but the offer was not accepted until the end of January since it was a short sale. We were able to get a loan for the new house and close without selling our old house!
So now I had to sell the old house. There is no way I wanted to pay 2 mortgages and take care of 2 yards!
Here are my steps to selling your own home:
1. De-clutter and Clean!
Since we now owned 2 houses I was able to pack up all of the clutter from the old house and take it over to the new house. I spent about a week de-cluttering and cleaning the house spotless.
2. Take lots of great pictures.
Back when we made our offer on the short sale I took outside pictures of my current home. I wanted to have some shots with a green lawn and leaves on the trees just in case we needed to sell our house in the winter. After cleaning and de-cluttering I took lots of pictures of every room. I just used a cheap point and shoot camera, nothing special. I used iPhoto to do a quick enhance of all the photos to make them look vibrant and beautiful.
3. Create a Blog
I spent an entire day creating a blog and posting all of the information I could think of on it. You can view my blog here: http://southoremhome.blogspot.com/
I spent 10 years decorating and fixing up this house, so it looked pretty good all cleaned up.
4. Comparative Market Analysis
Invite at least 3 realtors over to give you a free Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Let them know that you do not intend to list with them right away. We told the realtors who did ours that we wanted to try selling on our own first and if that didn't work out, we would give them a call. Some realtors can be really pushy so don't let any of them bully you into signing with them on the spot. You can also get CMAs online without a realtor having to come to your house. When you get your CMAs back you will have a good idea of what to list your house. We threw out the really low one and the really high one and set our price right in the middle.
Part 2 Next Friday!