As the economy improves, today's sellers are facing a very different environment than they were before the housing market stumbled in 2006.

Today's housing market features new procedures and standards, not the least of which are continuing borrowing hurdles for prospective buyers. If you are thinking about a home sale in the coming months, it pays to do a thorough overview of your personal finances and local real estate environment before you put up the "for sale" sign. Here are some general issues to consider:

Make sure you're not underwater.

You may want to buy a new home, but can you afford to sell? The term "underwater" refers to the amount of money a seller owes on a house in excess of final sales proceeds. If what you owe on the home – including all selling costs due at closing – exceeds the agreed-upon sale price, then you will have to pay the difference out of pocket. If you're not in a situation where you absolutely have to sell now, you may want to wait until your financial circumstances and the real estate market improves.

Evaluate your finances.

Before you sell, make sure you are ready to buy or rent. Making sure all three of your credit reports (https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action) are accurate is an important part of that process.

Consider "for sale by owner" vs. "for sale by broker."

"For Sale by Owner" (FSBO) signs were a common sight in many neighborhoods during the housing crisis. Shrunken home values convinced many sellers to sell their property themselves rather than pay 5-6 percent of profit in broker commission. However, consider what a licensed real estate broker could accomplish in your specific situation. Many experienced brokers have market knowledge and negotiating skills that could potentially get a better price for your property. Deciding which route to take shouldn't be an overnight decision. Check leading FSBO and broker sites and talk with knowledgeable friends, attorneys and real estate professionals to learn as much as you can.

Think twice before spending on improvements.

Not every home construction project pays off at sale time. Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report (http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2015/) tracks both pricing and cost recovery for leading remodeling projects. Before fixing up a bathroom, kitchen or any other area of your home, research whether the work will actually pay for itself at sale. For many sellers, it might be advantageous to hire a licensed home inspector to identify any structural, mechanical or major appliance repair issues that could delay or compromise a sale.

Don't forget moving costs.

According to the American Moving and Storage Association, a leading industry trade group, the average professional interstate move of 1,220 miles costs an average of $5,630; in state, the average moving cost is $1,170. After all the costs involved in selling a home, don't forget how much it costs to relocate.

Bottom line:

Selling your home requires planning. Before putting it on the market, get solid, qualified advice on how to sell smart in a still-recovering housing market.

Nathaniel Sillin directs Visa's financial education programs. To follow Practical Money Skills on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PracticalMoney.

(7) comments

ThomasMaloney

For most people living around my area, they normally get very busy right about the time that they're trying to sell their house - you have to show it off in its best light of course! Chances are that they'll look for storage in Southern Suburbs to clear all the junk and clutter out and keep the house as clean and neat as possible for an open house since that's the best time to get a good offer!

ChristopherJames

A potential buyer looks out for various factors on their house hunt. Apart from just beautiful interior and exterior, they would also prefer a clutter-freee home so temporarily clear your belongings out and store them in a storage unit. It it the same here in Brisbane too where a neat and tidy home sells much faster than the latter.

EdwardThirlwall

I think that there are a lot of people who make a living out of buying and selling homes just by doing up the storage rooms and splashing on a new coat of paint. Flipping is really the best way for you to learn how to maximise the potential of a home so that you can make a profit out of doing minimal changes to the initial building!

sharonhunt

Once might found the perfect new home, it can be hard to not get hidden away in the excitement. However, you need to complete all the steps in your homes buying process and give attention to the final home inspection, also called your walk through.

MelBrandle

It is important to see your home from the buyer's point of view. What will they be looking out for? Is it the ample storage space or is it the homely ambience that they are after? Keep things simple and welcoming in order to entice them to buy to feel at home.

sharonhunt

In case you are commencing almost any enterprise you should understand the particular intricacies of the enterprise. The simplest way I've found to master concerning real-estate investment is always to examine exactly about that buying a house in houston. Yet once you know that you must use everything you discovered.

sharonhunt

A different beneficial investment decision with property or home available for purchase is usually in the event the current Lo Romero Property For Sale market is usually advertising the item for just a minimal selling price.

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