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Smart Advice for Selling a Home: Your Questions Answered

Selling your home is serious business. Between fixing it up and getting it sold, you’ve got a lot of decisions to make. And you’re bound to have questions along the way.

Well, you’re not alone.

Dave’s fielded lots of questions from home sellers like you over the years. Here are just a few that can help you make your next home deal a smart one.

I found the perfect place, but my current home hasn’t sold yet. Is it okay to buy a new one?

Read Dave’s lips: Never buy a home until your current one sells! You simply can’t predict how long your home will linger on the market. It could be a month. It could be a year. No home is worth depleting your savings. You might as well send Murphy a handwritten invitation to wreak havoc on both places!

Beating other buyers to the punch may be a contact sport in a lot of markets these days, but that’s no reason to make a mistake with zeroes at the end. Cool your jets and wait until that Sold sign is firmly planted before moving on to the next place. Your future self will thank you for it!

I owe thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Should I sell my home and downsize to give Sallie Mae an early eviction notice?

Before you make a move, determine how your mortgage stacks up. If 40–50% of your income goes to your house payment, it’s hurting your ability to plow through your debt snowball. In that case, selling your home is a smart idea. Look for a place that enables you to cut your mortgage payment to no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay.

Find expert agents to help you sell your home.

If you have a reasonable mortgage payment and really love your home, then there’s no need to make a drastic move. Stay put and look for other ways to cut your expenses. Eating rice and beans a few more nights a week might be all you need to get out of debt more quickly.

Is it better to spend money fixing my home up before listing it or to sell it as is for a lower price?

There’s really no right or wrong answer. Both options take time and emotional energy. If you can’t foot the fix-it bill without going into debt, then selling it as is may be the way to go.

But pros will tell you show-ready homes always sell better. That’s because buyers don’t have to strain their imaginations to look past the flaws. In most cases, you’ll get more than you put into the home. For instance, let’s say you spend $10,000 on fresh paint, new flooring and a deep clean inside and out. When it’s all said and done, you could see a $20,000 boost to your sale price.

Your best bet is to talk to a real estate agent you trust. A true pro will walk you through your options so you can make the decision that’s right for you and your budget.

I’d like to save money by selling my home myself. Is this a good idea?

Selling solo may seem like a great way to save money. But according to the National Association of Realtors, the typical home sold by an agent in 2016 fetched $245,000. That’s $60,000 more than the typical “For Sale by Owner” home sold for!

Working with an agent provides two big benefits:

  • Exposure: A real estate agent exposes your home to thousands of potential buyers through the Multiple Listing Service. No matter how many flyers you post in coffee shops, you’ll never have that kind of reach.
  • Expertise: Let’s do a simple comparison. How many homes have you sold in your life? Well, a good agent likely closed that many transactions last week! That kind of experience will help you avoid costly errors and get the most money with the least hassle.

Even Dave, a seasoned real estate investor, knows the value of a pro when it comes to selling a home. Look for an agent who has your best interests at heart and treats you like a partner, not a transaction.

Get Advice You Can Trust

Let’s be honest. If you’re reading this article, it’s a pretty good sign you don’t have all the answers. And that’s okay! That’s where an expert comes in!

Check out Dave’s real estate Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs). You can trust an ELP to give you the same helpful advice you’d hear from Dave. Why? Because ELPs are Dave fans too!

If you’re planning to sell your home, why not work with the best of the best? Find the top agents in your area today!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

Sell Your Biggest Investment With Less Stress

Find a Seller's Agent

Sell Your Biggest Investment With Less Stress

We know agents near you who can give you peace through the process.
Find a Seller's Agent

Sell Your Biggest Investment With Less Stress

We know agents near you who can give you peace throughout the process.
Find a Seller's Agent