The first thing you will want to do when looking to sell your home is decide what the price should be. The first step in doing that is finding a home inspector who can recommend changes to be made to the house. Make sure you understand the differences between an appraiser and an inspector as well, which is covered below. Once you have found one, you should prepare your house for the inspection. And eventually, when you find a buyer, preparing for the appraiser. The inspector will ultimately have recommended changes, so preparation for the first inspection isn’t something to stress over.
1.) Finding a home inspector
The first step can often be combing through local and online directories, including search engine results. Compile a list of agents, and if you’d like look up their license number up on the Texas Real Estate Commission website. An alternative that can be helpful is to directly ask your real estate agent for recommendations, or ask them about any firms you find. Make sure whichever firm you choose that they service your area, or even better, specialize in your county/city. After you have selected one, you can begin preparing for the inspection.
2.) Preparing for the appraisal
Just as you would for an interested party touring your home, you will want to prepare your home for the inspector. Though part of their job is to make recommendations on what you should repair or fix, it is best if you begin that yourself before they visit. For some help, look at this article [insert article link] for advice on fixing up your home. For a brief summary of said article, repair basic things like your blinds, baseboards, faucets, knobs, and other cheap but noticeable value-adding items that are easy to replace. Deep clean, as it is the cheapest way to add value. And focus on curb appeal, since it creates instant lure. This includes lawn, plants, cleanliness, a couple of cheaply bought trees, and you’ve been given the gift of a great first impression. But remember, ultimately you are not stuck with the appraisal price.
3.) Following through on any advice given by the inspector
You can ask your real estate agent if you need to, but often the simplest way to decide if you should make repairs or upgrades, is to do a cost/benefit analysis. If it costs less to make the upgrade then the value added to the home, then it is a good idea to follow through on it. For example, let’s say replacing the patio roof would cost $1,000, but it would increase your home value by $3,000. Obviously in that case, it is recommended to make those changes. Fairly straightforward.
4.) Understanding the difference between an appraiser and a home inspector
While they both require licenses to do, there is some key differences between the two. The home inspector is there to tell you if anything is wrong with your home, and to tell you what you could roughly expect to get for the home on the open market. The appraiser on the other hand, is generally something that the bank requires to pay out on any loans. So if the listing price is $150,000, and the buyer offers $160,000 and half of that will be covered by a loan from a bank, the bank will send an appraiser out. If the appraiser says the home is only worth $140,000, the bank will not supply said loan. We will be covering more about this difference in a future article.
5.) Deciding on the final price to list your home at
After you have made any upgrades, and had the inspector come out a second time if there were any major changes made, you can look around to see what similar homes went for. If the homes that are similar in nature and price to yours, sell in 1-2 days, then consider slightly raising the value. But be wary of raising it too much, as it can be very limiting to have your capital tied up in a home stuck on the market that no one is interested in. Especially if you are trying to buy another home when you sell your current one. Ultimately, use the advice of your inspector and your agent, with input from any other parties on the deed to the house, to decide on the final price.
Let us know if you have any questions or need any assistance selling your own home! We keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to real estate in San Marcos, Texas & the surrounding areas, so we’d love to help you price your home appropriately and sell it at a price you’ll love!