Thinking of selling a home in North Carolina? It’s not as simple as listing your place, getting the money and handing over the keys. You need to make sure you’re following your state’s legal requirements, budgeting for closing costs, and taking the right steps for a smooth and successful sale. Read on for the most important considerations when preparing to list your place in the Tar Heel State.
Are you ready to sell? Preparing
The first step to selling your home is knowing where to go next. If you’re trying to sell your home while buying another, it can be complicated — especially in a market with low inventory and rising interest rates. So, whether you’re renting for a while or if you’re in a strong financial position, start the process with a firm understanding that you can buy a new home while you wait to sell.
Is it worth improving your home before selling it?
Most home renovation projects don’t recoup their full cost when they go up for sale. For example, statistics show that a small kitchen renovation can save only about 72 percent of its cost. So before investing in any expensive upgrades or remodeling efforts, be sure to do the math to see how much you’ll need to spend, with a realistic estimate of whether it will make a meaningful difference to your final sale price.
What should you fix before selling your home?
Regardless of the decor, a home in poor condition can turn off prospective buyers. Some issues, especially the more noticeable ones, will need to be fixed before you allow anyone to visit the property, and some repairs shouldn’t bother you. A smart move to consider is hiring a home inspector to appraise your home before listing it. Since the buyer can hire their own inspector once they’ve entered into a contract, this is an opportunity to get out ahead of potential problems and limit the potential for rebate claims.
Preparing your home
First impressions are everything in real estate. With that in mind, hiring a home staging service can go a long way in selling your home in North Carolina. You can stage the property digitally, making it look more attractive than online photos, or you can spend extra money on an interior designer to physically adjust the layout and rent furniture. Even if you don’t hire a professional, make sure to at least clean and organize every room to create a wow factor.
When is the best time to sell a home in North Carolina?
The best time to sell a home in North Carolina is when most people are looking to buy. From late spring to late summer, homes spend a few days on the market in many of the state’s major metro areas. For example, in Charlotte, homes spend less than 15 days on the market between June and August 2021. In Wilmington, there’s a big difference between July, when homes spend 40 days on the market, and, say, January, when the number is more than 60 days.
Finding a North Carolina real estate agent
While it’s important to research historical data on pricing patterns and dates on the market, the best way to maximize your profits on selling a home in North Carolina is to work with a professional. Local real estate agents have a finger on the pulse of the market in the city they’re selling in: how many homes are currently listed, what new properties may be coming on the market soon, how buyers are feeling, and more. Ask friends and colleagues in the area for recommendations of real estate agents who have bought or sold their homes to start your search.
Price your home competitively.
Once you’ve chosen a real estate agent, it’s time to figure out the most important number: your asking price. When you’re working to figure out how much your home is worth, you’ll want to look at the comps—recent sales of similar properties in your area—to find out what buyers in the market have paid for comparable homes. Pricing your home is all about trying to attract interest from as many buyers as possible to stimulate a competitive spirit. Think about it: If a buyer sees a lot of people walking around in public, he or she may feel rushed to offer a gift. Additionally, if you can attract multiple offers, you may be able to create a bidding war that raises your asking price.
Documents and statements in North Carolina
The state of North Carolina requires sellers to complete a four-page disclosure describing all defects that could affect the home’s value. You need to be honest about everything you know about everything from the septic system to the roof. If your property is part of a homeowners association, expect to submit a copy of the association’s records, including budget, cash reserve information, and minutes from the association’s board of directors for the past year.
Want to sell your home fast?
If time is not on your side – for example, you need to relocate immediately or need the money as soon as possible – there are alternative ways to consider for a very quick sale. However, remember that selling fast often means selling for less.
- Consider iBuyers: iBuyers specializes in making real-time home offers, and most of that activity is online. Just enter your address and other information, and the company’s algorithm will spit out a ballpark offer. Most of the time, someone will come visit your home in person. It eliminates a lot of traditional home selling work – but it also eliminates a lot of your profit because these companies need to make money.
- Search for funding: From individual buyers sitting on more liquid assets to real estate investors paying entirely up front, cash deals bypass the lengthy process of waiting for a lender to sign off on a buyer’s financing application.
- Sell it as is: By listing your home as is, you are telling prospective buyers that what they see is what they get. So, you won’t have to deal with back-and-forth haggling over the price tag or credit inquiries due to any problems with the home inspection.
- Add an instant ban appeal: Simply investing in some simple curb appeal — like repainting your front door, adding a few flower pots, or washing your driveway — can grab buyers’ attention and speed up your timeline.
The closing: what to expect
In addition to preparing your home for sale, it is important to understand how much it will cost to sell your home in North Carolina. If you are still paying the mortgage, you must pay the proceeds from the sale. There are other costs to cover as well.
Home selling prices in North Carolina
The biggest line item in selling a home in North Carolina can be paying commissions to the real estate agents involved in the transaction. Typically, this means 3 percent for your agent and 3 percent for the buyer’s agent. So if you sell a house for $400,000, you will pay $24,000 in real estate commissions. That 3 percent figure isn’t necessarily set in stone. When talking to real estate agents, be sure to ask if there is room for negotiation.
You also need to budget for moving expenses. If you’re moving closer, that figure could be around $1,600, according to HomeAdvisor. However, if you are traveling across the country from North Carolina, be prepared for much higher prices. And if you need to store your belongings while you wait to move to a permanent new location, be sure to plan for any short-term rental fees and storage costs.
Sellers’ closing costs
In addition to handing over real estate commissions at closing, be prepared to pay these fees as well.
|Title insurance||In North Carolina, depending on the terms of your agreement, you may have to pay for a title insurance policy. The price varies based on the amount of the loan. For example, a title insurance policy on a $500,000 home with a 20 percent down payment would cost $1,035.|
|Transfer taxes||Sellers cover the cost of transferring title in North Carolina. The state real estate transfer tax is $1 for every $500 of assessed value. Therefore, the transfer taxes on a $500,000 property would be $1,000.|
|Accommodation fees||You may need to pay an escrow account to manage the buyer’s actual funds.|
|Seller discounts||If the home inspection finds some issues, the buyer may be able to agree to some discounts in an arrangement that helps cover some of their closing costs.|
|Attorney’s fees||Your real estate attorney – and the state of North Carolina requires one – should also be paid at closing. Costs vary depending on the size of the attorney and how much time is spent on the transaction.|
Take the first step
Now that you have a good idea of how to sell a home in North Carolina, get the ball rolling by interviewing at least three different real estate agents. Be sure to ask these key questions to find out how they can tailor their approach to help you get the best deal on a timeline that works for you.