You’ve made the decision to sell your home in Knoxville. Now what? Before you dive all the way in, take a moment to reflect on why you’re choosing to sell and what your ideal timeline looks like. Get everything in order to start the home sale process today with our Knoxville Home Seller’s Guide.
Your Motivation to Sell
Do you want to downsize or need more room to grow? Are you moving to your ideal neighborhood, or relocating for work? Based on your personal reasons, you can consider how the options on the table will impact your lifestyle and finances. Remembering your core reasons for wishing to sell will keep you on track to make the right decisions during the selling process.
Timing is Key
Establishing your timeframe for selling your property is vital. Decide whether you need to sell quickly or could afford to devote a little more time to the process. If time is of the essence, your plan of action will look different than a transaction with space to find the most favorable time to sell based on the market.
How’s the Market?
Just as when it came to buying your Knoxville home, you’ll need someone who’s well-versed in the Knoxville housing market to help you unload it again. You’ll need their insider knowledge to competitively price your property and sell at the right time so you can get the most out of your investment.
Fine-Tuning Your Financial Health
There’s no two ways around it—deciding to sell your property has a huge bearing on your current and future finances. It takes the help of a professional to maximize your finances’ potential, and that’s where we come in. We can help you visualize financial impact so you can plan effective tax savings and estate planning strategies.
You’ve made your game plan. Now, it’s time to take a look at the property you’re trying to sell. Your property may be full of fond memories, so it’s important to be aware of your home’s limitations and features as objectively as possible. Here are a few items to consider in order to wow potential buyers.
Take a step back from your property—literally. Walk or drive by a few times and compare the state of your home to the others on the block. Would you be interested if you were house-hunting? A new coat of paint could drum up the interest of prospective homebuyers, as could a freshly-paved driveway or new windows depending on how much you’re willing to put into the project. You can power-wash siding and walkways, hang easy-to-read house numbers, and spruce up your porch with a coat of paint and clean doormat to welcome in visitors.
Regardless of whether you decide to undergo any improvements to the structure itself, it goes without saying that a little landscaping goes a long way! Keeping a neatly-trimmed yard and adding in a few special touches like a cheerful flowerbed immediately piques a buyer’s interest.
Get Your Home Ship-Shape
While a cheery exterior can draw in a buyer, it will take a well-maintained interior to appeal to the average buyer. Simple upgrades like window repairs, polished doorknobs and fresh paint can do a world of good to the overall picture. Conversely, a buyer’s mental list of small items that need to be fixed can add up quickly and dissuade them from wanting to take the plunge. Less to worry about means fewer hurdles to get to the finish line, so making small improvements here and there is well worth your time.
With professional help you can develop a thorough disclosure statement to benefit both you and the potential buyer. You can also determine what home improvement measures need to take place (like termite and pest inspections) before getting your property on the market. It’s important to cover all your bases here.
Cleanliness and Staging
Now is the time to use your imagination! A little creativity can sell the buyer on the vision of making your home their own. Strike a balance between looking clean and lived-in. You can set out a vase of fresh flowers, rearrange your furniture and style your dining room table. Now is the time to clean your carpets or refinish your hardwood floors.
At minimum your home should be neat, free of odors and nicely-lit in all areas. Imagine coming in with fresh eyes or, better yet, ask a friend to take a walk-through and point out spots you could improve. You’ll want to invite buyers to see all of your home’s features, so leave closet doors open to display storage and organization potential. (And, relocate the clutter—at least temporarily. Having 20-30% of open space in each closet gives the impression of spaciousness.)
You’ve done all you can do. The house is fixed up, spotless and staged to perfection. All that’s left for you to do is…get out of the way. Yes, you read that right! Think of your own home buying experience. You, like most prospective buyers, were more comfortable strolling through the property accompanied by a Realtor rather than the current owner. With you out of the picture, potential buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions and discussing the property with their agent.
So, all your hard work preparing your Knoxville property for the selling process has paid off! The offers are rolling in and you’re ready to move on one. Not so fast! You’ll want to take your time here—let us tell you why.
Read the Fine Print
Although it may be tempting, you just can’t go on the offer amount alone. For starters, the initial offer is rarely final. Various terms and conditions presented in the offer can influence the final sum, so you’ll want to accept professional assistance in navigating each individual offer.
Your agent’s job is to fairly negotiate contractual terms and find a mutually beneficial agreement that meets everyone’s needs. If you’re selling in Knoxville, odds are that you’ll have multiple offers on your home, and the right agent will help you make the right choice with a thorough, objective assessment of each.
Terms and Conditions Apply
An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential purchaser and you, the property’s seller. Laws vary from state to state, but in order to be a legally, binding agreement, the agreement may require consideration to be held in the closing agent’s escrow account pending the fulfillment of conditions or contingencies in the effective agreement. This can all take some time, but there are a few things you can do to streamline the process.
Firstly, maintain written records. You can transcribe all verbal agreements including counter-offers and addendums, then convert them to written agreements to be signed by both parties. Your agent can assist you in drafting all the paperwork for your sale and make sure that you have copies of everything. Once you’ve chosen your offer, you and the buyer will be given a timeline to mark every stage in the process of closing the real estate contract. Promptly meeting the requirements smooths out the negotiation process and also ensures both parties keep to their agreements.
You’re almost there! Your Knoxville property is ready to be transferred to its next owner, and they’re ready to make their own memories in the home. Here are some important ins and outs of the selling process.
From Top to Bottom
Your home will probably undergo a series of inspections, as most buyers will have one or more licensed property inspectors examine all areas of the home from the roof down. If your agreement with the buyer is contingent on financing, a licensed appraiser will take a look too as a third-party for the lending institution. It’s a good idea to accept buyers who’ve obtained a lender’s pre-approval, approval letter or written loan commitment; it’s a better guarantee of approval than a simple pre-qualification from their financial institution.
Close It Down
An attorney or title company will act as closing agent. In doing so, they’ll examine and insure clear title to the real estate by certifying that your title is free and clear of mortgages, leases, restrictions and leans by the close date. They’ll also include all new encumbrances of this kind in the title.
Your agent can guide you through the push-and-pull of contingencies, or conditions set by the buyer that need to be met before the the contract can be legally binding. (This usually includes a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified inspector.) The buyer will consider the property inspection, review all the pertinent documents and obtain financing and insurance on their end. If these marks are met successfully these contingencies will be removed; otherwise, the buyer will request a renegotiation of the terms (usually the price). This is where your agent’s expertise is really going to come in to tie up all the loose ends.