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How to Prepare to Sell Your Home in 6 Months

What You'll Learn: Determine What Steps You May Need to Take in Preparation for Selling Your Home.

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How to Prepare to Sell Your Home in 6 Months

While in some cases, selling a home is the result of a sudden life change or job relocation, for many of us it is the result of months of serious consideration and planning. If you’re thinking ahead to the home sale process, you may be ready to begin crunching numbers and setting priorities. Find out how to prepare to sell your home in six months so that you can be ready to make your next big move.

Selling a Home Within the Next Six Months 

Having six months of lead time before your home sale gives you a distinct advantage over sellers who are reacting to a short-term shift in the market or a significant life change. That’s because it allows you to take your time, plan ahead, market effectively, and launch your listing rather than having it thrust on the market with little preparation.

In addition, it gives you and your agent the time you need to study the comparable properties in your area and see what’s working and what’s not. You can better gauge pricing, needed repairs, and buyer preferences so that when your listing hits the market, it is optimized for current demand.

What are Your Goals for Your Home Sale?

Now is the time to begin thinking about your goals for the months ahead and for the home sale itself. Some possible goals may be the following:

  • Garnering the maximum sale price
  • Closing on a specific timeline
  • Selling As-Is or with minimal improvements
  • Selling at the same time that you’re purchasing
  • Selling with complicated circumstances e.g. shared ownership, inherited property, short sale

Understanding your goals will be key to the strategy you develop for your home sale. You’ll want to think not only about the sale process for your home but also the moves you’ll make following closing. 

Talk with Your Trusted Real Estate Professional

One of the first things you’ll need to do is talk with your trusted real estate professional. They can help you better understand current market conditions and project how trends will affect a home sale six months down the road.

Here are some of the things you need to discuss:

  1. How much do you need to clear from the sale of your home once closing costs and commissions have been paid?
  2. How much work are you willing to do to get the home ready for sale? Do you have money available for professional staging, renovation, or other upgrades to enhance your home’s value?
  3. What do you need to do to your home to optimize it for the market? Do you need to declutter? Will you need to board pets during showings?
  4. Will you be relocating to a new city or state? Will you need a referral to a real estate agent in that market?
  5. What is the timeline like for your sale and subsequent purchase? Will you need to include a home sale contingency in your purchase offer or would you like to explore other options like a bridge loan so that you can sell and buy simultaneously?

Add Value to Your Home Now 

If you want to maximize the value of your listing, this is a great time to make needed repairs and improvements. Talk to your contractor and ensure that any changes will be completed well ahead of your six-month schedule so that they can be included in your photos and property description.

Create a Strategy for Your Subsequent Purchase 

If you’re upsizing to a larger or more luxurious home, you are probably putting the proceeds from your sale toward that property and securing additional financing. If you’re downsizing, however, you may have funds left over that need to be invested. 

If the property you’re selling is from an inheritance or is an investment property, there may be significant tax implications that go along with the sale and the use of those funds. Work with your real estate agent and financial advisor to crunch the numbers and determine the strategy that makes sense for your next steps.

Get Ready for the Logistical Demands of a Home Sale 

Most importantly, a six-month timeline for your sale helps you get ready for the day-to-day realities of a home sale. You’ll have people coming in and out of your home. You’ll need to keep it clean and neat and ready to show at a moment’s notice. You may need to pack away some personal items and declutter the space so that it looks its best. The months ahead give you an opportunity to prepare yourself and your family for these requirements.

Selling your home in six months gives you plenty of time to prepare and optimize your home sale process for added convenience and profitability.

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