Getting Ready to Sell

Your final decision to sell could be months away but it is never too early to start preparing. Consider the following:

Set Your Timeline

The spring market (January-June) is the most popular time in Essex County, New Jersey for homeowners to list their properties but it is also the most competitive. By April and May, inventory tends to pour on the market. Then again, in June and July, some buyers are super motivated to close on a home so they can move in and get settled well before the school year starts in September. And interestingly, we have seen some unusually strong sales in the Fall for the past few years.

It’s best to call in a Realtor at least two months before listing it to give you time to prepare the property and get a sense of the market.

Where Are You Going?

It’s not easy to time the sale of your home with the purchase of another. Most people want to buy something and then sell their current home but it that is not possible, and if you need the funds out of your current home to buy another, choosing a temporary rental might be an option.

Checklist For Documents

Here are some tips to get your paperwork in order and to have a smooth transfer of title:

  • Deed: Your attorney will want this but if you have lost it, a new one will be ordered.
  • Mortgage information: Your attorney will need this in order to close out your loan.
  • Survey: A drawing of the boundaries and description of the major characteristics of the land and the structure(s) upon it.
  • Town Permits: Any permits that you have pulled to make improvements should be closed with the township.
  • List of Upgrades: It is helpful to provide potential buyers with a list of improvements and upgrades made over the course of your ownership.
  • Environmental Remediation: If you had an oil tank pulled or decommissioned, radon or mold remediation, treatments for termites or other pests, asbestos removal, well-water testing, lead testing or remediation, etc, you should gather this paperwork.
  • Instruction Manuals and Warranties: Instruction manuals are not required but t’s nice to leave them. Warranties for major appliances, a new roof, boiler, hot water heater, etc are important to pass on.

Anticipate Inspection Issues

It will save you time, stress and money if you address at least some of the known repair items like the following. You can probably make these repairs for less money than the amount a buyer will ask for in the form of inspection credits.

  • Leaking roof, faucets or pipes
  • Backed up drains and running toilets
  • Boilers and fireplaces that need servicing/cleaning
  • Loose railings, ripped screens, cracked window panes, broken sash cords in windows
  • Creaky doors
  • Broken gutters
  • Heaving or uneven sidewalks