As the season turns, many homeowners who had bunkered down for the winter are emerging from their shelters ready to sell. It’s the ideal time to put your house on the market, with many first-time buyers looking to invest in their first property.

Selling a home comes a lot of small to-dos and considerations, so what exactly do you need to know before listing? Find out how to buy a new home while you sell your first one, which professionals you need to involve in the process, and how to properly set a price for your home.

What is My Home Worth?

Sure, you know what you bought your home for, but how many years ago was that? The real estate market can change significantly year over year, so even if you bought your home recently, the price has likely changed since then.

The value of your home can be affected by a variety of things, either positively or negatively, such as:

  • Renovations and upgrades
  • Commercial developments in your neighborhood
  • The fluctuation of the real estate market and economy
  • Your length of ownership

To make sure that you sell your home at a price that is fair to both you and a potential buyer, you should do some research to figure out exactly how much your home is worth. You can get a good idea of your property’s value by:

  • Looking at other, similar homes for sale in your area.
  • Having a home appraisal
  • Having a realtor determine market value.

How to Buy and Sell at the Same Time

If you’re selling a house, chances are you are also buying a different one. But you probably need the money that you put on your current house to finance your new one, right?

Don’t worry, the solution is a lot less complicated than it may seem. Once your home is on the market, and you have decided to put an offer in on another, include selling your current home as a condition or term of the purchase.

That way, buying your new home depends on the sale of your current one. The seller will likely wish to include a time limit (for example, “within 30 days from today”), to make sure that they aren’t stuck waiting on your sale for too long, so try to put your house up for sale before you choose another.

Finding a Buyer

How you find a buyer depends on how much time you want to put in to your own home sale and how much of the work you want to do yourself.

If you have a realtor, they’ll likely do most of the work for you when it comes to advertising. They’ll post the listing on relevant real estate websites (like MLS), and will reach out to other realtors who may have clients interested in the property.

If you don’t have a realtor, or you want to lend a hand, you can:

  • Share your property on your social media profiles to friends and family.
  • Place a free or paid ad on a classified site, like Kijiji or Craigslist.
  • List your home in print ads and newspapers.

Remember to tidy up clutter before taking any pictures to place in ads so that your home looks its best to interested buyers.

You or your realtor can also host open houses on top of scheduled viewings to allow for drop-ins and casual home-seekers in the area. You can make your home more appealing by landscaping the outdoors and staging the indoors, either yourself or through a professional.

What Professionals Will I Need?

For the most part, which professional you choose to enlist is entirely dependent on you as most are optional. While you will always need a lawyer if you are transferring a property deed, you can select the following professionals as you see fit:

  • A home appraiser. A home appraiser does a detailed review of your home and sets its current market value.
  • A realtor. Realtors help to sell your home by listing the property and assisting in finding buyers. They can also help to field offers and negotiate as well as ease you through the selling process from start to finish.
  • A home stager. A home stager can help to give your home a facelift by bringing in and arranging furniture and décor that makes the home more appealing for photos and viewings.
  • A landscaper. If you’ve neglected the area surrounding your property, a landscaper can help to improve the curb appeal of your home.
  • A cleaning service. Maids and cleaning services can be helpful for busy sellers, or sellers with children and pets, especially right before an open house.

Although professionals are an extra expense in most cases, they can be invaluable when it comes to getting your property ready for buyers.

Taking the Steps to Sell

Selling your home is a big decision, but with the proper planning and professional assistance, it doesn’t need to be complicated. Plan ahead, take it one step at a time, and remember that there are professionals to help with just about any of your home selling needs.

Are you planning to sell your home this year?

Posted by Brittany Foster

Brittany is a writer, editor, and content manager interested in law, marketing, and technology. She's been writing for LawDepot since 2014.