When Should You Contact a Realtor About Selling Your House?
It isn’t too long after you make the decision to sell your home that a long list of to-dos starts to grow. If you are like most homeowners, the item at the very top of the to-do list is to hire a top-rated real estate agent. As a general rule of thumb the earlier you contact a realtor to sell your house, the better.
However, it isn’t always feasible to contact a realtor months before selling due to sudden job or family-related changes, financial changes, or a sudden shift in the real estate market. Below is a general timeline that will help you decide when to contact a realtor about selling your house.
It Is Best to Contact a Realtor 12 Weeks Before You Plan to Sell If:
Your Home Needs Renovations or Updates:
One thing that will without a doubt slow down a home sale is necessary renovations. This will be discovered during the home inspection process so it is best to hire a realtor early, have a pre-listing inspection done, and have a good idea of what you need to fix before your home will be ready to sell.
Necessary fixes include foundation issues, electrical, HVAC repairs, plumbing, mold, and infestations.
You Are in a Slower Real Estate Market:
In a hot real estate market homes move quickly on and off the market. But in a slow market, homes can sit on the market for months which makes them less attractive and could lead to price reductions.
Contacting a realtor early will give you time to prepare your home to attract as many buyers as possible as quickly as possible.
You Are Selling and Buying at the Same Time:
Selling a home is stressful but it is even more stressful to buy a home while selling your own. To avoid an overly difficult situation that could lead to slower selling or a lower sales price you should contact an agent early to handle the sale of your home.
It Is Best to Contact a Realtor 6 Weeks Before You Plan to Sell If:
You Have Already Begun the Selling Process:
The selling process requires a bit of extra initial work most notably with decluttering, deep cleanings, and staging. If you have already begun decluttering you are a step ahead of most sellers at this point. Continue your decluttering as it will increase your home’s sale price as will a deep cleaning and staging.
You should also work to improve your home’s curb appeal as this will without a doubt add to your home’s marketability and final sale price.
You Have Only a Few Minor Maintenance Issues to Fix:
If you have kept up with your home’s maintenance and taken great care of your property you are most likely going to be able to wait to contact a real estate agent until six weeks out.
With very little to fix other than a few minor issues, your home will be nearly prepared to sell.
You Are Comfortable Selling Your Home:
If you have been through the selling process before or if you are comfortable with the current housing market conditions you won’t need as much input from a real estate agent until it is time to list your home.
It Is Best to Contact a Realtor 1 to 4 Weeks Before If:
Your Home Is Mostly Prepared to Sell:
If your home is already decluttered, deep cleaned, and only needs a minor cleaning you are further ahead in the selling process than many homeowners. With such a good head start you can relax a bit and wait to contact a realtor
Market Conditions Are Changing Quickly:
If the market is in a constant state of fluctuation with home values rising and falling rapidly, you may want to wait until you are closer to listing so that you will have the most accurate market value.
You Are Rushed to Sell:
Everyone would like the extra time to prepare to sell their home, but that isn’t always the case. Rushed home sales occur all the time. With the right real estate agent, you should be able to quickly list and sell your home.
How Can a Realtor Help Sell Your Home?
You may be tempted to forgo the realtor and sell your home as For Sale by the Owner. Most homeowners who try this, especially in a slower market, end up needing a realtor’s assistance in the long run. A realtor will assist you in several very beneficial ways:
- Preparing your home to sell:
- Pre-listing inspection
- Deep Cleaning
- Curb Appeal
- Listing your home:
- Uploading professional photos
- Writing a compelling listing blurb
- Marketing your home:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Open houses
- Word-of-mouth marketing
- Negotiating a final sales price
- Reviewing and explaining closing documents
- Assisting in signing documents
Choose the Right Realtor for You
When you are ready to hire a real estate agent it is important to take your time and do all of your research to find the agent that will assist you during your selling process.
To ensure you find a qualified realtor, you should interview at least three candidates. Ensure that the agent you choose has experience selling your type of home as well as homes in your area.
After you choose an agent you should conduct an initial walkthrough with the agent. During this time he/she will suggest home improvements, connect you with reputable local contractors, set up staging services, and perform a comparative market analysis.
When you choose to contact a realtor, it will depend largely on your timeline, the current housing market, as well as the condition of your home.
Remember, it is better to contact an agent too soon rather than too late. So if you are considering selling, reach out to a trusted realtor today.