Selling a house takes work! But if you've never sold a house, you might think selling your house is simply a matter of finding a realtor. Sellers pay realtors a lot of money, typically 6% where I live, when you sell a house. Knowing you're going to pay the realtor thousands of dollars, you might think your realtor should take care of everything and you would be wrong.
First in a series of articles about selling a condo, this is a true story that's unfolding in my life. My father died almost 30 years ago and named me as the trustee for my sister. Growing up I often filled the role of third parent for my sisters so this wasn't a surprise although it's been a challenge at times.
Homeowners are responsible for selling a house they own.
Realtors help you build a plan and team of home professionals!
Selling a House Means Big Changes in Your Life
When I moved to Tokyo, it seemed like the right time for both my sisters to buy houses. After researching the areas where they lived, I gave each of them a budget for what they could buy, a moving allowance and more. At the time I'd already bought 5 houses and moved several times, so this was pretty natural for me.
What's fascinating now is getting ready to sell my sister's condo 20 years later. She will turn 62 next year and be able to move into senior housing which is necessary as her trust is almost out of money. This move isn't unusual for many people, as most seniors are prepared to deal with creeping taxes, and find they can't afford to remain in their homes even when they own them. We own the condo but just the taxes and condo fees are more $600/mo.
I don't live in the home being sold.
I'm not caught up in the emotional upheaval of having to move.
I'm feeling somewhat guilty that I didn't play a more active role in managing the maintenance on the condo. I tried for many years to let my sister live her own life, until she started being hospitalized frequently over the last 4 years.
Selling a House Means Getting It In Tip Top Shape
This week we're driving to Connecticut to put together a punch list with things that need to be repaired or replaced in my sister's condo prior to listing the home for sale. I know from experience that selling a house quickly requires you to price it right and have it “move in ready” when you list the house.
Here are the home professionals I will be meeting at my sister's condo in Connecticut this week. What makes this visit more interesting is that I've never done a pre-listing home inspection before, because I knew my houses and always followed routine maintenance to keep the house in good working order.
- A home inspector – has a process for reviewing and identifying problems that should be repaired before the house gets listed. You want to do this to improve the home's appearance and remove issues that the buyer's home inspection will raise that could delay the sale or affect the final price. Learn how a home inspection can help you …
- Realtor referrals (2) from my “realtor” sister – which makes this process more interesting. With three sisters we've got – our sister who lives there, a sister who's a realtor and myself, a serial homeowner (13 houses) and 8 years experience running a handyman business.
- A realtor who knows my sister, which might be helpful as we navigate selling a house remotely.
If you want to learn more about building your own team of home professionals for selling a house, click here to download my eBook, Who's Who on Your Real Estate Team.
Building a Plan for Selling a House
At the end of my visit, I should have a long list of recommendations for things to do in preparation for selling a house, or more specifically my sister's condo. Driving back to New Hampshire with my other sister, we'll prioritize and decide what we'll do and more important, which realtor we want to work with.
You're invited to join my journey on selling a house!
Photo credit to TheCondoShowroom.com, which reminded me that there may be some unique challenges associated with selling a condo.