Costs to expect when selling your home

Often, when you think about what you’ll make from selling your home, you think mortgage payoff subtracted from the sale price.  However, there are other expenses you will need to consider when selling your home. Here is a brief list of the primary expenses that you need to be aware of.

  • Home Prep:  Prior to putting your home up for sale, you’ll want to be sure it looks its best.  That may mean some landscaping, repairs, and/or face lift efforts like painting or new carpet.  Some of this you can do (depending on your handyman skills), and some you’ll need to hire contractors for.  Either way, this will cost money, but done properly, will equate to you getting more for your home.
  • Services and Fees:  After you’ve finished getting your home ready to list, you then need to consider the fees of marketing and selling.  Depending on who you use as your real estate agent will depend on what you will need to spend on marketing. You’ll want professional pictures and videos taken, and you’ll want your home marketed online on sites beyond the typical real estate sites (i.e., Zillow, brokerage sites, etc.).  I pay for and facilitate those services for my clients, but not all agents do. Once you accept an offer, you need to anticipate your estimated closing costs. The type of costs that are included in this bucket called “closing costs” vary, but they usually include the commission paid to your brokerage (they pay the buyer’s agent out of their commission), and sale prep fees such as deed stamp and administrative fees.
  • Post Sale Costs:  After the sale, you need to also anticipate the costs of getting you to your next home.  Are you moving out of state? Then you’ll need to calculate the costs of all the logistics of getting you there, such as packing, moving and temporary lodging.

Selling a home (and buying a new one), is a project, and a good real estate agent (… ahem…) will also wear the hat of a good project manager for you.  This is something to ask about when talking to prospective agents. The link below is a good article that goes into a bit more detail. Have you had any experience selling a home where you had unanticipated costs?  Chime in below and share your voice of experience!

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Posted on October 1, 2019 at 9:16 am
Jim Smoak | Posted in General Real Estate, Prep To Sell |

Fall decor tips when selling your home

Step back and ask yourself if fall decor (pumpkins, scarecrows, and other seasonal ornamentation) will make it harder to sell your home?  Most staging experts agree that staging your listing with fall decor is valuable as long as you do so judiciously. However, not all holidays are exciting to everyone.  The point of staging is to make your home feel warm and welcoming not cluttered and overwhelming. Don’t let your autumn decorations be the focus. Instead, accentuate your spaces to help potential buyers see your home’s possibility.  “Less is more” is usually the right way to go as you decorate for the season.

Additional tips for staging your home in the Fall:  

  • Think about a fresh coat of paint; never anything too garish.  Neutral colors is recommended to accentuate rich and bright accent pieces.
  • Get the lighting right – in the fall, the days are shorter.  Open your blinds and curtains, letting in as much light as possible.
  • Create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere – that can be as easy as using lots of pillows and throw blankets in your decor.  Also, light decorative candles to add cozy ambiance.
  • If you have a fireplace, make it the focal point of your decor.  Surround your clean fireplace and mantel with tasteful seasonal decor.
  • Don’t forget to add seasonal scents by putting apple cider on to warm or burning a cinnamon candle.
  • The outside of your home can benefit from a seasonal touch-up too.  Remove dead plants and debris and keep your lawn edged and watered. Highlight your front stoop with a harvest-themed wreath or a pumpkin or two.
  • Remember, the goal is to accentuate your spaces to help buyers imagine themselves living there.  Aim for cozy without going too far.

Let me know what you’ve done in the past to decorate for fall by dropping a comment below!

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Posted on September 16, 2019 at 10:21 am
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

Should you remodel before selling your home?

Some homeowners are hesitant to update/remodel before selling, which is understandable, but there are a few things you should consider before making a decision. Here are some myths about remodeling to sell that homeowners should debunk before deciding.

  • MYTH #1: Homeowners want to remodel AFTER they purchase the home – Typically, buyers can’t visualize the end result from remodeling. In most cases, buyers want to purchase a fixer upper AND pay fixer upper prices or buy a house they can move into immediately that doesn’t require work.


  • MYTH #2: Remodeling takes too much time – Experienced contractors can make remodels an efficient/fast process. Remodeling can also save a seller time as homes that are freshly remodeled/updated will sell much faster than those that are outdated or need repairs.


  • MYTH #3: Remodeling won’t pay off – Strategic remodeling of your home, the right areas such as the kitchen or bathrooms, CAN payoff. Small upgrades like replacing faucets and light fixtures or adding a fresh coat of paint can have a huge impact on the appearance of your home. If your budget is tight, spend on updates that will make your entire house feel new and updated, such as paint or flooring.


The MLS is the top resource for flippers to find homes. They find those with outdated kitchens and bathrooms, remodel them and resell for top dollar, but they purchase them for bottom dollar. Why not do the updates yourself and sell your home for top dollar? 


Below is an article on Forbes that this info was pulled from; check it out as it’s a decent read.  If you’re approaching this situation, or have been involved in this process before, drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts!


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Posted on September 11, 2019 at 10:39 am
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

How to stage your home to sell, even with kids and clutter underfoot

There are many articles providing tips on staging and decluttering.  Most do a good job on outlining the statistical benefits of good staging and giving good practical how-to’s, as does this one.  But this one is especially good because of it’s focus on families with kids. 


The author roles up her sleeves and talks about the reality of a family living in a home vs. selling a home.  “… decluttering isn’t so easy when you have enough Legos to build an empire along with miniature cars and trucks to fill it.” says it all. 
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Posted on July 27, 2019 at 12:20 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

Doing this one thing can help sell it faster

Let me cut to the point of the article; this is about doing a pre-inspection. I fall in the 80/20 camp on this. I think it’s a good idea 80% of the time, but there is always 20% of the situations where it may not be a great idea (ok, maybe 90/10, but you get my drift). The article gives good detail, but here are a few of the reasons to do so:

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Posted on July 27, 2019 at 9:04 am
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

Manage the stress of selling your home

I get it. Selling a home can be a stressful process. But it can be especially stressful if you are in the dark and are uninformed! This article talks about a study that showed the many reasons why home sellers were stressed. Yes, it can be a completely stress free experience, but much of what this study found can and should be reduced or eliminated. Continue reading

Posted on July 12, 2019 at 1:45 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

5 secrets to make your home sell faster

This article gives some good tips on getting your home ready for sale. It’s not exhaustive as it doesn’t include what you should consider repairing, but it’s a good list of high impact basics. A few things I would add to each category: Continue reading

Posted on July 11, 2019 at 9:00 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

How to paint your way to a profitable, faster home sale

Although it’s hard to determine how much a good painting update can add to the selling price of your home, there’s good evidence that it does. There’s also good evidence that it can help your home sell faster, and time is money! This article provides a summary of preferred colors and focus areas, as well as a few good examples.  Continue reading

Posted on July 9, 2019 at 3:19 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

Here’s how to draw in buyers and get a higher price

When readying your home for sale, you want to make sure you’re presenting the best “product” possible to potential buyers. What does that mean? Well, there are two general type of investments you can make your home more marketable; functional and cosmetic. Functional items such as HVAC or roof repairs or replacements won’t necessarily increase the selling price of your home, but they may be necessary. Continue reading

Posted on July 9, 2019 at 2:52 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Selling My House

This is a good article that illustrates the common maxim, knowledge is power.  All the info in the article is good, but the important items include: Continue reading

Posted on July 8, 2019 at 7:52 pm
Jim Smoak | Posted in Prep To Sell |