Selling a home is not as simple as listing it and hoping you find the right buyer. It’s a bit more complex, involving pricing, negotiation, home inspection, and curveballs including unexpected issues that may crop up. While the steps in selling a house are similar in any state, Pennsylvania has some unique real estate laws.
Here is a home selling guide for the Keystone State.
Work with a Real Estate Agent in Pennsylvania
While it can be tempting to sell your house on your own, expert professionals can serve you best. Real estate agents who operate locally know how to navigate the market better than anyone else. They can bring in more potential buyers, determine the value of your property, market it accordingly, and weigh in on the offers you receive. They’ll also employ tried-and-tested methods of how to sell a house fast.
Determine the Best Time to Sell
Timing is crucial and can make a difference in selling a house quickly. In Pennsylvania, harsh winters can often keep potential buyers indoors. However, the ongoing pandemic has allowed homebuyers to do virtual tours of properties from the comfort of their homes, no matter the season. The general direction of the local economy and mortgage interest rates also come into play. Generally, more people buy homes when interest rates drop, as is the case today.
Tackle Home Improvements
Doing small repairs and upgrades can mean a significant increase in your home’s value when it is time to sell. Hold off on major renovations. Focus on what matters most – to you and future buyers. A good real estate agent can advise you on the most sought-after upgrades in your market.
Price it Right
Setting the wrong price can leave the property sitting on the market for weeks on end, whereas the right price attracts buyers quickly. To determine the market value of your home, start by comparing the prices of recently sold homes in your area with a similar size and features. If you work with a real estate agent, they’ll provide you a comparative market analysis or comps, and use it as a basis for recommending the best price for your home.
Stage Your Home
One of the most effective home selling tips is to stage a house. Staging refers to dressing up your home to showcase its best features, impress buyers, and sell it quickly at top price. The goal is to encourage buyers to envision themselves living in your house. Your agent should be able to help you pinpoint specific changes that will add value to your home and attract buyers who come for viewing, virtual or otherwise.
To stage your home:
- Declutter, deep clean, and depersonalize to make it easy for buyers to visualize living in your house
- Touch up the paint, do repairs, and let natural light in
- Rearrange furniture to open up the space
- Improve curb appeal to create a great first impression
Market it Well
Marketing includes taking professional photos to writing up descriptions of the house. Some of the marketing tools that are helpful for home sellers are:
- Virtual tours
- Print advertising
- Open houses
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
Be Willing to Negotiate
When a buyer comes to you with an offer, be ready with a counteroffer. In Pennsylvania, a seller has 72 hours to respond to an offer. The buyer and the seller can negotiate as many times as needed until an agreement is reached. You can authorize your agent to accept offers and draft the purchase agreement indicating the details of the transaction such as price, disclosures, and conditions.
Get Ready for an Appraisal and Home Inspection
Home appraisals and inspections occur after the seller and buyer sign the purchase agreement. An appraisal is an objective estimate of the value of your home, which a lender relies on to gauge whether the money being borrowed by a buyer is in the ballpark of the appraised value of your home. A home inspection assesses the physical state of your home, the findings of which can sometimes make or break a deal (e.g.; an unstable foundation, a sagging roof, mold). Consult your agent to help you prepare for the results of both – and the renegotiations that might ensue.
Take Care of the Paperwork and Pennsylvania Disclosures
State law in Pennsylvania (68 Pennsylvania Statutes Section 7304) requires that home sellers must disclose any known issues or material defects with the property before a real estate sale is completed. A real estate agent or a lawyer can advise you what you need to disclose under the law.
Want to learn more about the market when selling your house? RE/MAX Direct has the tools and resources to kick start your home selling process. Call us today at 610.430.8100 or email remaxdirectwc(at)gmail(dotted)com for the faster and easier way to sell your Pennsylvania home.