Selling a house can seem like a daunting proposition. There are so many rules, laws, and procedures to be aware of and understand. There are so many steps you have to take before you even list your home. And if you’re planning on selling your house in Memphis, TN, you have to know exactly what’s important about selling a house in Tennessee as well as what the local market conditions are like.
The good news is that there are some best practices you can put into action that will minimize the frustrations and put you in a position to sell your house quickly.
Guide to Selling Your House in Memphis, TN
Figure Out How You Want to Sell Your House
Knowing how you want to sell your house might not sound complicated but you actually have a couple of different options when it comes to how you do it. How you make that decision will affect everything else that happens afterward so make sure you really consider it.
Your first option is to list the house on the open market with a real estate agent. This is how many people sell their home because agents are experienced in how the process works, handle all of the paperwork and also negotiate on your behalf. A good real estate agent will answer your questions and give you guidance about the Memphis housing market. Because of the work they do, agents take a commission fee, often five or six percent of the sale price. According to UpNest, the average commission fee is Tennessee is around 5.2 percent. This doesn’t include any closing costs that you are responsible for in this kind of sale.
If you don’t like the idea of paying a commission, you can opt to sell the house yourself in what is commonly referred to as “For Sale By Owner” or FSBO. This means you are in charge of the entire home sale process, which can save you money in fees. It also means you can negotiate the commission rate that the buyer’s agent will get before selling. The downside of this is that you’ll have to deal with all the paperwork, marketing, and negotiations yourself. There is also a lot of data to suggest that FSBO sellers often don’t make as much money as those who use an agent.
The third option is to not sell your house on the open market but rather to a real estate investor. If you don’t like the idea of paying commissions or dealing with all the rigamarole that comes with selling a house, you can ask a real estate investment company to make you a competitive cash offer. Not only do you avoid paying real estate agent fees but your house is sold quickly, often in a matter of days, and you don’t have to worry about all the pitfalls that come with selling on the open market, This option can be especially worthwhile if there are financial conditions (tax lien, foreclosure) or damage issues (mold, flooding, code violations) that will make selling your house extremely hard.
Consider Your Sale Price
If you decide to list your house on the market, the biggest decision you’ll make is how you set your price. It’s all about finding the ideal balance between your expectations and the conditions of the Memphis housing market. If you’re off by just a little, it could keep your house on the market for much longer than you like.
A smart way to get a sense of your home price is to look at what’s happening on the market nearby. How much are similar homes selling for on your street, in your neighborhood, or in Memphis in general? Look at homes that have sold and consider how much different the sale price was to the original asking price. The more granular you can get the better understanding you’ll have of your home’s current value.
Consider Curb Appeal & Home Appeal
When you live in a house, what’s important is how it looks and feels to you. But when you’re trying to sell a house in Memphis, what you like is no longer important. Now it’s about what potential buyers are able to see in your house and property. Can they see themselves living here? Do they look at the property and think that’s a place they’d like to call home?
In order to give them the chance to see themselves here, start by clearing out the house itself. It’s not just time to clean but also do a serious decluttering. You might like to have a lot of wall art and cover your shelves in collectibles but all of that is distracting to buyers. Clear out your personal belongings and give the house a neutral setting. You might even want to put some of your furniture in storage just to open things up.
It’s not just about prepping your house. It’s also about your property. Take a walk out in front of your property and consider the curb appeal. What’s going on with your property that might make potential buyers keep driving when they pull up? Does the exterior of the house need a fresh coat of paint? Does the lawn need to get mowed? Has the garden seen better days? Consider all of these potential problems and how you can solve them.
List Your Home & Think Like a Marketer
If your budget allows, consider hiring a photographer and home stager to make your house really pop in the listing. They’ll be able to make each room stand out and also give buyers a better chance to understand what it might look like if this were their home. Even if you can only afford to hire a professional photographer, that will make a big difference. According to VHT Studios, homes with pro photos in their listings sell 32 percent faster than those that don’t.
Listing your house isn’t enough. You also have to open your doors to buyers. You’ll want to host an open house to that potential buyers can come in and take a closer look. Don’t be surprised if you need to host multiple ones. Work with your agent to make sure you’re marketing these events well. Also, be open to drop-in visits for buyers who have different schedules or can’t make the open house. You never know who’ll make the first offer.
Review Your Home Offers & Begin Negotiations
Once you’ve started receiving offers, it’s time to sort through them to determine which is the best. If you only have one offer, your choice is easy. Accept it or don’t. If you have multiple offers, note the pros and cons and figure out what’s most important to you in order to choose the better one.
Some things you should be looking for include lender pre-approval, proof of funds to pay the full price, potential seller concessions, and how they plan to pay. It’s also good to know if there’s a buyer’s contingency (the buyer must sell their current home first) or any kind of timing issues. Certain buyers will look better than others on paper, but you’ll want to put in the work to determine who is the best option. The wrong choice could set you back and cost you a chance to sell quickly.
Time to Accept the Offer
Once you’ve figured out the best offer, it’s time to move on to the final stage. Remember, this means your house will be pending and other buyers will look elsewhere, so make it count.
The buyer will want to inspect the home so hopefully, they don’t find any issues that your pre-inspection missed. If they’re satisfied, the buyer will then finalize their financing and enter the underwriting period. The bank will then do its own due diligence and hopefully give final approval on the loan (or the buyer will just pay cash).
Once the bank is happy, it’s time to sign the titles and escrow documents. With that, the home is sold and you can move on with your life to the next adventure, where that’s here in Memphis, TN or elsewhere.