The Complete Guide to Selling Your House in Oklahoma
Whether it’s your first time selling a home or you’ve found yourself with more than one property, and it’s time to sell another, selling your house can be a stressful and complicated headache. It’s rarely a smooth process.
In fact, it’s rarely a quick process. Homeowners hoping to sell their homes fast are often caught off guard by things like a lack of buyer interest, negotiation deadlocks, surprises during inspections, potential buyers with expansive lists of demands, and more.
It’s not uncommon for sellers to come away from a home sale with the desire to never go through the process again.
According to the National Association of Realtors, a 2017 study found that only 62% of homeowners were satisfied after going through the selling process.
That’s an awful feeling to take something that was a part of you and your family only to come away unhappy after you finally seal the deal.
Some of that headache can be avoided with a little research and homework before starting. In this guide, we’ll look at the fundamentals of getting your home sold to help you navigate the waters.
Timing the Sale of Your Home
One major point of dissatisfaction with selling a home is how long it can take.
It’s a common cliché to hear that real estate is all about location, but that’s only partially true. Timing is really everything. The local market around you (your neighbourhood, your city, the county) are huge factors in how quickly (or slowly) your house will sell.
That might be disheartening if you want to sell your home fast, but that’s the nature of the real estate business. Markets constantly shift, and there could be periods of several months at a time where it’s best to avoid listing your property.
Don’t let anyone tell you that any particular season is right. Spring isn’t a good time to sell a home just because it’s spring.
One study from Homelight found that April was the best time to sell a home in San Francisco, while that same month was the worst time to try to list a home in San Diego.
You want to do a more precise analysis of the local market. This includes reviewing real estate transactions and home sales data all around you. That data, year over year, will show you the best time to sell.
Sale by Owner or With an Agent?
It’s your property, so ultimately you decide whether you want to try to sell your home For Sale By Owner (FSBO) or with a real estate agent. There’s pros and cons to both.
The benefits of FSBO include:
- Not paying the 4-6% listing agent commission
- You have complete control over the listing price
- You know your neighborhood better than anyone else
- You control the schedule for showing your home
- You have the inside scoop on marketing the best parts of your house
On the other hand, there are plenty of benefits to working with a real estate agent:
- They have a deeper understanding of pricing strategies and understand the fair market value
- They’ll be objective when listing and negotiating your home
- Their experience with marketing likely means far more exposure
- Buyer agents are paid on commission and are less likely to show an FSBO home with no guaranteed commission
- Agents really know paperwork and will make the process much smoother through closing
Selling your house FSBO (For Sale By Owner) might sound like a clever way to save on selling costs, but in reality, selling your house without an agent is risky and often times even more expensive than selling with one. Although selling your home FSBO does allow you to have 100% control over the sale.
- You need proper marketing (online through MLS or other portals)
- You need to have constant showings to bring traffic through your home
- You’ll likely pay more in commission (usually around 6%) when selling FSBO. That means selling a $200,000 house, for instance, might mean $12,000 less in your pocket at closing.
- Selling FSBO can often take longer to sell if selling at all
- If selling with an agent, you would receive the commission back in the selling price (minus the selling agents commission) through negotiations and concessions. Selling FSBO leaves you paying that commission upfront without guaranteed commissions at closing.
Selling your house is all about selling it for a good price in the shortest amount of time possible. You want all the money you can get with as little effort as possible.
One thing to remember is the time it takes to sell a home. If you sell it on your own, you’re responsible for everything and will need to make time for that. An agent can handle the majority of the work, so you don’t have to dedicate so much of your time managing listings, marketing, offers, showings, etc.
With that said, you likely aren’t the only client your agent has. They’ll be juggling your sale alongside others, so you’ll need to communicate clearly your expected timeline to make sure everyone is on the same page and that your expectations can be met.
If you’re considering a real estate agent, make sure you speak to more than one and ask the right questions to find an agent that meets your needs.
How Much Should You List Your Home For?
According to data from the National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the median equity gain from a home sale in 2017 was $47,500.
Remember that’s median; it’s not a guaranteed equity gain. The proceeds from your home sale could vary substantially, so you’ll need to do market research to determine what you’ll generate from your home.
A good starting point is to use calculators online to get an estimate of what your home might be worth. These typically let you plug in basic home info or your address to determine the basic market value of your property.
But don’t stop there. You need to work on some other factors to determine a good selling price for your home.
- Review comparables of recently priced homes in your area, especially those close to your home
- Focus on prices and sold homes similar in size, age, and that were listed or sold within the last 90 days
- Look over expired listings that didn’t sell to see how pricing (and price cuts) impacted the listings
- Consider pricing based on online search ranges, like buyers searching in “180k to 200k.”
Don’t forget when you’re pricing your home to sell that you need to factor in other items and costs that will reduce the money you make from the sale of the property. This includes:
- Marketing and materials costs if you’re selling FSBO
- Up to 6% real estate agent commission
- The remaining mortgage you owe on the property while you wait for it to sell
- Taxes owed
- Utility costs
- HOA fees
- Closing costs
- Contractor and renovation costs
Don’t fall into the trap of pricing your home below the local market only to discover that you’ve lost virtually all your net proceeds in fees and costs.
Getting Your Home Inspected
Getting your home inspected for sale (pre-inspection) is optional since most buyers will have an inspection done. One will be done as a requirement from a lender if a buyer seeks financing. The benefit to a pre-inspection is that you’ll know about any major issues well in advance, so you have the opportunity to address them.
This is important because as many as 15% of home sales fall through because a buyer backed out as a result of an inspection.
Inspection costs vary from around $200 to upwards of $700 or more, but having that information will help you avoid strong-arm negotiations and set a more accurate price for your home. It can also clue you into what repairs are critical and what updates can be negotiated with the buyer.
According to a 2016 Consumer Housing Trends report, roughly 83% of homeowners make improvements or renovations to their homes before listing them for sale.
There are two different kinds of updates you’ll face as a seller; necessary updates and repairs that can impact buyer decisions and cosmetic updates to improve the home’s value.
It’s important not to categorize your updates the wrong way because it bite you when potential buyers come calling. With that said, it’s possible for some updates to bleed over into both categories.
For example, the most common updates include painting, bathroom renovations, landscaping, and new flooring. Most of these are done more for aesthetic appeal.
If your home has aging fixtures and appliances, it might not seem like a huge concern, but, according to Bankrate, these are things that turn off buyers and can impede you from getting a higher offer on your home.
New hardware throughout your home might cost you $500-$1000, but it can make a huge difference. Whether it’s a seemingly small update or repair, don’t leave it for the buyer or for negotiation. It could prevent them from making an offer altogether.
Listing Your Home
If you want your home to sell fast, then you have to position it to do so. Homeowners who do the bare minimum and just list their property with a catchy description will be waiting a lot longer for offers to roll in.
You need to make your house stand out beyond other listings, so this is where you go all in once. It’s time to list your home for sale.
The process of selling your house involves some very important steps: choose an agent; have an evaluation done; fix a list price; perform necessary repairs and upgrades before selling your home; advertise your property with pictures and description pages online or in the newspaper; promote your property with selling signs, open houses and hand-outs; get it ready to sell; negotiate a selling price and contract of sale with potential buyers.
Here are some other important things that you should do before listing your home:
Clean your home – Every inch of your home should be cleaned, and not the kind of clean where you’re having company come over. This is even beyond the “clean” when the family is gathering at your home for the holidays. Hire a professional company to come in and clean every square inch of every surface, so your home is as close to “new home clean” as possible.
Stage your home – Buyers want to be able to see themselves living in a home when they view it, and that’s hard to do when someone else is living there. They can’t picture a life there with their own family when they’re staring at your things and pictures of your family. The best approach is to move your things to your next home or into storage and stage the home with neutral furniture free of personal belongings.
Not only does staging a home for sale increase the dollar value offered by potential buyers, roughly 50% of buyers’ agents see a positive impact on the buyer’s view of the homes.
Get professional photos – Put the smartphone away, and don’t let your friend or even your agent shoot generic photos. It’s worth it to invest in professional photography for your home. According to a survey from Redfin, homes with photos taken using a professional camera/photographer not only sell faster, but they fetch more money… $3,400 more on average.
Selling Your Home Fast
Listing your home for sale traditionally is a complex process but manageable with the right information and taking the time to do some research and preparation. Keep in mind, though, that a traditional listing isn’t the best way to sell your home fast.
There are a lot of steps involved, from updates and prep to listing, marketing, and waiting for offers, negotiation, etc. On top of the lengthy process, you can see from the tips above that there’s some (potentially substantial) out of pocket costs to help improve the odds of attracting buyers.
But even then, there’s no guarantee a home will sell.
The above tips can help you prepare to sell your home, but if you need to sell your home fast, consider selling direct to W Properties. We buy properties in any condition around Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK, and we pay cash on every offer – often in less than 30 days.
Contact W Properties to learn more about how to sell your home fast.