If you’re selling a house in Lincoln, Nebraska, or anywhere really, you are going to have lots of questions about the process. It’s one thing to watch HGTV and see home-selling from the sidelines and it’s something else altogether to go into the home-buying process yourself. If you’re thinking of selling a house in Lincoln, Nebraska, here are five questions you need to ask yourself.
What Should I Know When Selling A House In Lincoln, Nebraska?
1. How Much Is My House Worth?
One of the biggest concerns any home seller has is exactly how much money they’re able to get for their house. It’s tough to know what the exact number might be until you actually start getting offers and begin the negotiation process. That said, you can certainly get a sense of how much your house is worth based on what’s happening in the Lincoln housing market right now.
The best way is to find out what other homes in your neighborhood or general area have sold for on the open market in recent days. These prices are available on the multiple listing services (MLS), a database used by real estate agents to share information about listings and properties. Everything from home prices to property details can be found here.
As you compare homes from the area, make sure you take the many differences between them and yours into consideration. Another home might be the same square footage or the number of bedrooms as yours, but there are many other factors that will differentiate the value of both. If one home is better maintained or comes with an addition or a furnished basement while the other one doesn’t, that will make a difference. It’s not always apples-to-apples.
2. What Is The Best Time of the Year to Sell My House?
It’s the age-old real estate question. The truth is, while there is a lot of data to suggest that certain times are better than others, you would probably get different answers from 100 people if you asked them this question.
In general, the market starts slowly in January but picks up steam by the time spring rolls around. The summer is traditionally the hottest season (no pun intended) for home sales but then things generally dip in the fall and flatten out in the winter. Then, the whole cycle starts over again. Of course, there are a lot of variables that affect that cycle and cause it to shift and change, especially on a local level.
Depending on the state of the market, it might not even make a difference. As recently as the middle of 2018, affordable homes in Lincoln were flying off the market within days regardless of when they went up for sale. That’s not always going to be the case, however, so it’s best to research your neighborhood’s historical sales figures to see if you can spot some local trends. What works in one neighborhood might not work in a different one, even if they’re close to one another.
The truth is, you can try to sell your house pretty much any time of the year. If the market conditions are right, your home is in good order, and the price is right, buyers are out there.
3. How Much Is It Going to Cost to Sell My House?
Often, home-sellers only think about real estate agent commissions and their closing costs when they consider the costs involved in selling a home. Those are costs that need to be considered, but they don’t take into account the many other costs that are involved in the entire process. And that process begins before you even put the home up for sale.
If you have the means, you never want to try to sell a house on the open market that isn’t in good condition. There’s just too much competition and too much risk for buyers to worry about. Instead, you’ll probably want to hire some professionals to help you make the most of what your home can look like. That means hiring a photographer to take great photos. It means hiring a professional stager to improve the look and feel of your home. It might also mean hiring a landscaper to improve the grounds and up your curb appeal. And if there are concerns about water or mold damage as well as any kind of disrepair, you’re going to want to have someone take a look at it and likely fix it. All of that is going to have costs attached.
Once you’ve listed your house and offers have started coming in, you’ll have to start thinking about the next round of costs involved as well. Depending on the state of the market, buyers might make demands or ask for concessions that will cut into the overall profit you take home from the sale.
When it comes to closing costs, its good to know what’s coming. If you’re selling your house for around $200,000, you can expect closing costs to come in around 1,800 and $1,850, which are slightly lower than national averages. In Nebraska, that includes an origination fee, tax service fee, appraisal fee, settlement fee, potential property survey fee, home inspection fee, and other smaller fees.
4. How Long Will It Take to Sell My House?
It depends. That’s the honest answer. It’s always going to depend on the condition of the housing market, the condition of the house, and what kind of price you’re willing to accept. The standing expectation for any seller is that you should expect your home to be on the open market for at least two or three months.
It might be much quicker, especially if you’re selling an affordable home. Or it might take much longer, especially if you’re selling a luxury home or the property needs a lot of work.
5. What Should I Do if My House Isn’t Selling?
The unfortunate side to selling your house on the open market is that it’s possible you could do everything right and by the book and still not see any quality offers come in. Or even if you do get good offers, something goes wrong during the closing process. Whatever your expectations might be for listing your house, it’s good to remember that it’s possible they will not be met.
If that’s the case, you have some options. The simplest thing you can do is remove your house from the listing service and take some time away from the market. Perhaps the timing wasn’t right. Or the housing market just wasn’t working for you. Or it was just bad luck. Sometimes a fresh start is just what you need for buyers to see your home with fresh eyes. It also doesn’t hurt to have a “new” listing again.
You can also take this as an opportunity to honestly assess what might be some problem areas in and around your house. Does it seem like buyers get cold feet after they see what the basement looks like? Do they seem uneasy about the state of the kitchen? If you have an idea of what’s not working, you have the chance to remedy it and make it more appealing. The less that buyers think about the work they have to do once they buy the place, the more likely they are to go through with it.
The third option is to take that house off the open market altogether and consider selling the house directly to a real estate investment company, like Element Homebuyers instead. These companies work with homes and properties that have a hard time selling on the housing market all the time. They can quickly assess your house and make you a cash offer. You won’t have to worry about fixing any problems or watching as costs pile up. You can take the cash, sell the house, and move on to your next house. This option can be especially beneficial if you have to move away from Lincoln quickly because of a job relocation or other reasons.