As an organizer and a constant planner being without a time line makes me crazy.  This is how I empathize with homeowners going through the process of selling their homes.  The task of selling your home is large and can be overwhelming especially when processing each and every detail needing to be addressed.

A real estate agent will be the one to lay down the timeline for selling your home.  They should also be the individuals with answers and solutions to keep your timeline on track. Of course, there will be blips along the way.  That is the nature of real estate however with an experienced agent in your corner you will be able to visualize each step throughout the journey and this will help decrease the stress that inevitably comes along with change.

The best time to meet with a local real estate agent is before you are ready to actually put the sign in the yard.  This will allow you time to get your ducks in a row before people are inspecting every inch of your home to see if it is worthy to be their next home.

About two months before you think you will be ready to put the house on the market there is a list of things to check into.   You will want to go over every inch of your current financial situation; get together a budget and see exactly where money is coming in and going out.  This is the time you will also process an estimate of expenses to list the house for sale verse the equity in your home.  This will be the amount available towards the purchase of the new home.  This is also the time to get all your important papers collects such as the homes title, mortgage and insurance paperwork.

Two months is also a good starting point to allow you to process the urgency in your move.  The more urgent the move is; say for job relocation, the more aggressively the list price will need to be.  If you have time and are moving to have more space then maybe you will be able to wait a bit longer for the right buyer at a higher price point.

The two month point is also the time to assess the homes condition.  It is the time to get the major and minor repairs done to make sure your home shows well and passes an inspection.  There are three basic problems homes have; cosmetic, functional and ones that can’t be fixed.

Cosmetic issues are items such as the color of the paint on the walls, nasty carpet or torn screens.  Functional repairs are those that might take some money but will help increase the value of the home.  Think about the appliances, roof, plumbing, electrical and main structural elements.  Eliminate the expensive reasons people will have when the inspection shows them.  There are also some problems that buyers will have that you can do nothing about such as the school district, the neighbors siding color or the traffic on the road.  Those will be issues the buyer will know exist and will have to take them or leave them.

This is the beginning of the home selling time line.  Two months is the perfect amount of time to get serious about selling your home and begin to look into local real estate agents for assistance in getting you and your house ready to sell.