There is no simple answer to this, not in the Volunteer State, not anywhere — and that’s totally normal and OK! After all, selling your home is a big deal! Transactions on properties always carry a multitude of steps, many moving parts and an abundance of paths one can travel down. Does one hire a real estate agent or go it alone? How much renovation and restoration is required to make the property attractive? Those and many other considerations are necessary if you’re going to make a good sale. But don’t feel overwhelmed!
Taking each step one at a time can help you plan a good strategy and get to a good price for your home. With just a little bit of dedicated legwork and understanding of how home sales work in Tennessee, you can walk into the process prepared and set yourself up for success. Not every approach is for everybody, so it’s a good thing we can offer up more than one way to cross that finish line. We’ve compiled here a series of tips that can make the whole thing go much more smoothly and have you ending up with a very satisfactory return on your transaction. Read on and you will soon see, it doesn’t need to be as daunting as it can seem at the start!
Make it Attractive
If your goal is to garner the best price possible for the home you seek to sell, try putting yourself in the seller’s shoes. What is it they are seeing the moment they come to view the property? There are some pretty obvious superficial steps to take. Make sure the walls and ceilings have a nice fresh coat of paint on them, with all the dings smoothly spackled over. Take a look at the floors; they need to be polished and undamaged. Get a new stain laid down or even lay down new flooring if you have to. Get rid of any outdated or rusty electrical and plumbing fixtures. Clean the place up! And on the outside, make sure it has curb appeal. Make sure the lawn is mowed and the garden kept up. And consider getting a professional photographer to take the listing pictures. These simple approaches will help sell your home from the get-go.
It’s All About the Relationship.
Knoxville is a city on the cusp of amazing growth. In the past 5-10 years, this beautiful East Tennessee haven has already seen entire neighborhoods gentrified, local haunts transformed into must-see destinations, and run-down venues restored to their former glory. In tandem with this expanding infrastructure, and maybe because of it, the building scene in Knoxville has lately crescendoed to a new high. With this increase in business for most builders, the services they offer have become incredibly transactional. Customers call a new company in hopes of hiring them to create something special for their family (a new home, a renovation, simple maintenance, etc) and their call gets ignored for weeks. They finally speak to a builder and their unique needs and information get lost in the shuffle. Worst of all, issues arise during the construction process and there’s no one free to take a concerned customer’s call. Being busy is great so long as the customer experience is not sacrificed to accommodate more customers. Unfortunately, this sacrifice is a common trend as of late. In this very transactional world of new homes and renovations, it’s paramount to find the company that makes you feel heard. The company that puts more focus on the relationship you’re building with them than the funds you’re giving them is the company to trust. Find a builder that makes you feel known and cared for. When a builder takes the time to listen to you and to understand your vision for the upcoming project, not only will the end product be spectacular, but the journey getting there will be a fun memory to cherish for years to come.
Do Your Homework
Now that you’ve spiffed up the joint, take a look at the competition. An easy place to start is local listings. Compare the prices being paid in your neighborhood on similar properties. Make sure you are not undervaluing your home or sticking an unreasonably high price tag on it that will discourage buyers. Level up and start hanging out at open houses competing for buyers with you in the area. Take a look at what others are offering. Chat it up with real estate agents and gather intel on what features are popular with folks ready to acquire. Ask fellow open house visitors what their thoughts are on the property. Treat it all like you’re a super-spy to make it fun and learn enough in the process to customize your own sales approach!
FSBO or Real Estate Agent?
Tennessee’s regulations make it a little easier than some places to sell your home without a real estate agent, an approach known as For Sale By Owner (or FSBO). It’s a risky move, but it can save you on the back end with real estate agent fees. If you’re ready to be your own advocate, know that state law doesn’t require you to use an attorney, so you can do it if you want to. There are also flat-fee Multiple Listing Services (or MLS’s) that can easily reach real estate agents engaged by buyers (who themselves pay commissions). These can reach a lot of people in the area and draw prospective buyers. Of course, if you would rather not have to cover the bases on your own, then real estate agents are the way to go. They will know all the tricks of the trade. But be sure to offer a decent commission to keep them motivated!
Whatever way you end up going, be mindful of Tennessee regulations. Strict disclosure rules mean making sure you let prospective buyers know about any major structural or environmental issues on the property. Failing to do so can lead to legal action after the sale by either the buyer or the state, which can be a real headache, so be careful! Seek some professional advice even if you do decide to go FSBO.