Getting Started

Maybe you’ve outgrown your current space…or you want to move into a better neighborhood…or you simply want to move closer to your work…whatever the reason for moving, there are a few to-do’s before the “For Sale” sign goes up:

Determine affordability

Look at what you owe on the home (your unpaid principal balance) and what the home is worth today (see below for help estimating). Then factor in all the other costs associated with selling your home, such as: any needed home improvement costs; closing costs; moving costs, etc. Make sure you are aware of the financial consequences of selling your home (and moving to a new one) before you take the next step.

 

Review market conditions

Analyze your local market, including the current inventory of homes for sale, recent sales, and housing prices. Are homes moving quickly, or are they staying on the market for a long time? Are you prepared for a quick sale or do you need time to find a new home? Helpful sites like Trulia and Zillow as well as local real estate firms are a good starting point for this information.

 

Decide how to list

Select how you’ll market and list the home (e.g., with a real estate agent or for sale by owner). There are pros and cons to each, but unless you are experienced at selling homes, it usually makes financial sense to get professional help—homes sold by agents typically sell at a higher price and spend less time on the market. An agent will also help you determine the best pricing for the house, they’ll market the home, and they’ll be your advocate throughout the process.

 

Prepare your home

Inspect your home—inside and out—for needed repairs, cosmetic updates, and general maintenance. Don’t make the mistake of not thoroughly inspecting your home to look for areas of improvement.

Tip: Potential homebuyers may struggle to look past unique landscaping, brightly-colored walls, or lots of personal touches (family photos, memorabilia, etc.). You want to make the home as attractive as possible to as many buyers as possible—think neutral, simple, and free of clutter. You also may want to rearrange the furniture (staging) to better showcase the home’s assets.

BEWARE

SCAMS

Learn how to identify and avoid scam artists who promise immediate relief from foreclosure.

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FAQ

ANSWERS

Find the answers to common questions concerning your mortgage and the various options to avoid foreclosure.

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GLOSSARY

TERMS

Visit our glossary of key terms to increase your understanding of the foreclosure options available.

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