When Should You Contact a Realtor About Selling Your Home

While selling a home seems to be a pretty cut and dry endeavor, there are actually quite a few different variables that can shape the process.  Everything from marketing to preparations will vary based on the home and real estate market as well as your timeline and preferences.  Most homeowners know that hiring a realtor will increase their odds of quickly selling their home for a great price.  But when should you contact a realtor about selling your home? Below are a few general guidelines to help you decide.

Selling your Home

Contact a realtor 12 weeks before if:

You are new or overwhelmed by the selling process:

Selling is stressful, especially if you are new to the housing market.  To ease your worries it is best to contact a realtor early on.  He or she can walk you through preparations, selling, and closing as well as increase your chances of a better sales price.  You should also contact a realtor early on if you are buying a home while selling yours as the process will be more complicated and could possibly take longer.

Your home needs renovations:

If your home is older or hasn’t been taken care of you will need to pick and choose between upgrades and renovations that are necessary and those that you should bypass.  A pre-listing inspection will turn up large issues such as foundation, electrical, plumbing, mold, or infestation problems that you will most likely need to fix before listing.  If your home is in need of basic upgrades such as new light fixtures or a fresh coat of paint, those updates can be discussed with your realtor and avoid putting money into upgrades that will not increase your home’s value.

Your are selling during a slow or stable market:

Home value estimates can shift dramatically during a fast paced volatile market, however the opposite is true during a slow market.  Home values won’t shift overnight which means your home’s value will be nearly the same even if you wait to list for a few weeks.

Contact a realtor 6 weeks before if:

You are comfortable with the selling process:

If you have sold a home before or feel comfortable with the selling process you should be able to wait until 6 to 8 weeks before you need to sell to contact a realtor.

Your home has a few minor maintenance issues:

If your home is only in need of a fresh coat of paint or a few freshly planted flowers you can wait a bit longer to contact a realtor since there won’t be any major upgrades to complete.

Contact a realtor 4 weeks before if:

Your home is ready to sell:

If you have kept up with maintenance, performed necessary upgrades, and completed the process of decluttering and deep cleaning you may be able to wait a bit longer to contact a realtor.

You are selling during a fast moving market:

Home values can change quickly during a hot real estate market, which means if you get your home assessed months before listing, your home value could change.  This will impact your listing price and possibly cause delays or other issues down the line.

The average time that homeowners contact a realtor is approximately six weeks before listing.  This leaves enough time to prepare their home, develop a marketing plan, and get their finances in order. But that doesn’t mean you need to wait that long to contact an agent.  If you are concerned about selling your home, reach out to a trusted realtor who can guide you through the selling process.

When To Contact a Realtor to Sell Your House
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