As you know, listing your home on the open market with a real estate professional isn’t free, and there are other costs to consider as well. There are repairs, chores, and a lot of hard work that goes into getting your home ready for the market. Here are some helpful tips on the costs of preparing your home to sell in The Roanoke Valley.
Repairs, Staging & Yard Work, and Commissions…Oh My!
First things first. The home has to be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. Windows should be done inside and out, grout and tile cleaned and repaired, baseboards and molding need lots of cleaning attention, and all of the obscure areas such as window sills and ceiling fans. If you have pets, pay particularly close attention to pet hair and odors (we recommend plug in air fresheners). Of course, you can clean yourself, but you will not be able to do it with the accuracy and efficiency of a pro. In addition, keeping the home clean for showings, open houses and surprise visitors can take a lot of time and energy.
Never, ever, ever neglect the yard when selling your home. Your will want to make sure your yard had excellent curb appeal and isn’t overgrown or filled with weeds. Just like the cleaning, you can do this yourself, but you will some have some hard work ahead of you. You will want to:
- Trim back trees and bushes
- Weed the lawn and open areas
- Plant flowers and appropriate shrubs and plants
- Fix anything in need of repair (cracked sidewalk?, driveway need sealing?)
- Add fresh paint to outdoor trim, mailbox, doors, etc.
- Add seating and other staging elements on patios to make the outside areas more welcoming
The backyard should be warm, inviting and well manicured. The front yard is your first impression, make it a good one!
Storage & Moving
Even if you are still living in the home, once you put it on the market, it is smart to get some of your personal items packed and stored, ready for your move. Having your personal items around the home can make it feel cluttered and dissuade buyers from having interest. While your home is listed, you will need somewhere to keep your stuff. This might require storage offsite. If you are staying somewhere temporarily until your house sells, you will likely be paying rent in addition to your mortgage. (And don’t forget, two sets of utility bills.)
Once your house does sell, there are the costs of moving. Will you have movers help? Will you do all the packing yourself? Will you need a truck? These are all costs to consider and factor into your budget.
Listing Fees, Agent Fees, Administrative Fees and Notary Charges
While our team does not charge these, working with some other agents also brings a plethora of fees and charges you may not be prepared for. (These charges are IN ADDITION to the commission, which we talk about below.) Agents will pass on a number of fees to you for marketing, listing, and administrative tasks such as clerical work and printing. You may even face costs for notarization and other small charges that add up fast. Again the Living In Roanoke team does not charge these, we even have a free notary at our office for you, but you should be aware that some agents do charge.
Your Mortgage and Taxes
If you have a mortgage on your current home, you will want to know exactly what the payoff amount is at any given time. Additionally, your mortgage company will charge interest up until the moment your new buyer closes on the purchase of your home. That interest amount is sometimes a surprise on the settlement statement (Closing Disclosure, or CD), so be sure to check with your mortgage company. Also be aware that you will owe property taxes through the day of closing as well. Another service we offer is to help you estimate these important costs on our CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)
This is often a significant fee, and most real estate professionals work very hard to earn it by serving clients well, taking care of all the details of marketing, home access, contracts, addenda, inspection hurdles, and a smooth closing. But that is not all… The commission fee also allows your real estate professional to stay in this very expensive business (websites, phone systems, staff, insurance, licenses, association memberships, business license taxes, and the list goes on…).
So be sure to ask your real estate professional what that commission fee will be. The Living In Roanoke team ALWAYS shows you our fee right up front on our CMA, and you never pay anything up front when listing your home with us. Additionally, we actually give you choices on the cost of that commission fee based on the service level option you choose.