Selling a house in Tennessee

If you own a home in Tennessee, there’s a good chance you’ll find someone who wants to buy it. The state welcomed more than 55,000 new residents between July 2020 and July 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As more and more people flock to volunteer states, they are willing to spend a lot of cash to get root. According to the Tennessee Realtors report, the state’s median sale price reached $357,000 in May 2022, up 23% from a year earlier. There are signs of a slowdown in the housing market, though: Redfin data shows an upward trend in the number of listings with falling prices.

So, is it time to cash in on your home’s value? Or, if the market is really cooling, is it better to wait? Read on for a complete guide to selling your home in Tennessee.

Are you ready to sell?

Just because your home is worth more than you bought it doesn’t mean you have to rush to the market. If you’re buying another home at the same time as selling your current home, you need to consider timing. Can you pay short-term rent if your current home sells before you can find a new one? If you’re moving to a new city, have you calculated how the cost of living compares to your current town? Finally, how is your financial situation? Mortgage rates have been soaring. If you need to borrow a lot of money for your next home, what will your monthly payment be? Once your bank account is ready for sale, it’s time to prepare your property.

First impressions are important in real estate. Before you consider putting a “For Sale” sign in front of your home, consider these three questions to make sure it’s ready for prime-time viewing.

1. Is it worth upgrading your home before selling?

It’s easy to think that a major renovation—such as a new kitchen—would dramatically increase the selling price of your home. But the reality is that most large projects won’t recover their full cost when resold. So instead of investing tens of thousands of dollars in remodels that may or may not pay off, consider these cheaper ways to boost your property’s value.

2. What should be repaired before selling the house?

To fix or not to fix? This is the question many homeowners face when preparing to list their property for sale. While obvious issues like water damage from leaks should be addressed, you don’t need to bother with extensive repairs to sell. It’s wise to ask a real estate agent for professional advice on what can be left as is and what might turn off a potential buyer.

3. Should you furnish your home?

A professional stage brings star power to your property. Think about the same way you might want to dress for an important date: You want to change that special someone’s head. Furnishing your home for the right buyer can do the same. It could be as simple as tidying and tidying up, or it could mean something bigger, like renting furniture to give your living room a new look. Either way, the results can be good news for your bottom line: Staged homes are selling for about $40,000 more than their 2021 list price, according to the Real Estate Staging Association.

You want to list your home when it spends the least amount of time on the market – the best time to sell is when it sells the fastest. With that in mind, Redfin data shows that the best time to sell a home in Tennessee is usually late spring and early summer, especially between May and July. Buying activity tends to dry up in the winter, so it’s wise to list when the weather is nice.

Find a Local Tennessee Realtor

While statewide data trends are helpful to Tennessee homeowners, the reality is that real estate is a localized industry. Individual cities and towns can vary widely. In Nashville, for example, the median sale price for a single-family home is $490,000 (as of July 2022), compared to buying activity in Memphis, where the median price is less than half that of $233,250. Be sure to find a real estate agent who specializes in your specific area and has a proven track record in helping clients maximize their profit potential. Seek referrals from friends and family, and interview several candidates before choosing who to work with.

Wait, some sellers might say, don’t I pay a commission for hiring a real estate agent? Yes. Your agent’s fee is typically 3% and the buyer’s agent’s fee is typically 3% (the seller bears both at closing). However, this cost often proves to be a very worthwhile investment. According to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors, agent-assisted sales tend to outnumber those handled by owners—$58,000 more, in fact. Therefore, the phrase “making money is about money” is certainly true in the real estate field.

Price your home competitively

You can take some initial steps yourself to start calculating your home’s value, but your agent will be an invaluable resource in helping you determine the right asking price for your home. By helping you view a portfolio of properties that have recently sold, you’ll get an idea of ​​what buyers are willing to pay for a home with similar characteristics to yours. The ultimate purpose of “competitive” pricing is to stimulate actual competition. By getting multiple buyers interested in your home, you can put yourself on the path every seller wants: bidding wars.

Tennessee law requires sellers to complete a Residential Property Disclosure Form listing any defects that could affect the property’s value. This is a standard form and you just need to be honest about everything – for example, if you fail to disclose a past leak and it is clear that you are aware of the problem, you may be liable in court. You will fill out the form when listing the property, and you will also need to update it before closing to confirm that nothing has changed in the meantime.

Additionally, if your property is part of a homeowners association or has an apartment with shared space, be prepared to submit documentation about the building and the association’s financial status. Potential buyers also want to know if there are any upcoming special appraisals.

Need to sell your home fast?

Selling a house can take a long time. In some cases, the shutdown may take approximately 50 days to complete. If you don’t have that time, here are some ways to sell your home faster.

  • Find iBuyer: Depending on where you live in Tennessee, you may get a quote from iBuyer in less than 24 hours. For example, Offerpad buys properties in Nashville, while Opendoor buys homes in the Chattanooga, Nashville, and Knoxville-Morristown markets. But be aware that you’ll pay for the convenience of speed: iBuyers often offer prices below market value.
  • Sell ​​cash: If your home is in need of expensive repairs, you might see this as a negative. For companies that buy homes for cash, though, repairs are an opportunity. Finding a company to buy a house in disrepair is easy – but finding a good offer is hard. These companies are looking for deals that can solve problems quickly and make decent profits.
  • Listed as is: Another option is to list your home on the open market, but with an “as is” disclaimer to expedite the selling process. The as-is listing shows that the seller will not negotiate with the buyer: no concessions, no payment to resolve the issue. You still have to disclose your property honestly, but this eliminates the back-and-forth haggling that often slows down real estate transactions.

When it comes time to finally close, you don’t have to do as much as a seller. The buyer will do the final drill, so make sure the property is in good condition beforehand. You can go and close the case if you want, but you can also hand over the power to your lawyer to handle the final details and hand over the keys. All you need to do is settle your budget for expenses.

The cost of selling a home in Tennessee

The biggest item for sellers is real estate commissions. Unless you manage to negotiate a lower fee, you will likely pass about 3% of the fee to your agent and another 3% to the buyer’s agent. While 6% of the purchase price can feel overwhelming, the good news is: you won’t have a lot of other closing costs.

Seller’s settlement costs

In 2021, the average closing cost in Tennessee will add up to $3,911, according to ClosingCorp. However, the buyer is responsible for a significant portion of this money. In volunteer states, buyers pay real estate transfer and mortgage taxes. Here’s a rundown of some closing costs that sellers may pay:

  • Title Insurance: There is no set standard for who pays the cost of title insurance in Tennessee, although some title companies say sellers in the southern part of the state typically cover the cost. Title insurance can be expensive—more than $2,500 for a $500,000 property—so have your agent try to negotiate with the buyer to cover the cost, or share it with you.
  • lawyer fee: When it comes to lawyers, it is wise to hire one to represent your interests in the transaction. You’ll pay for their time, but the peace of mind you’ll feel knowing the contract has been finalized is invaluable.
  • Seller Offer: If a buyer’s home inspection reveals any problems with the property, they may ask you to help cover some of the closing costs. It’s up to you to agree to a concession or not, but it’s not uncommon.

Don’t forget to set aside money for the cost of hiring a moving company. If you live in the area, the cost shouldn’t be too high – probably around $1,600. However, if you’re moving away from Tennessee, you should be prepared to hand over a ton of cash for the long-distance move.

take the first step

There are many steps to selling a house in Tennessee, but the first one is simple: Do some interviews with different local real estate agents. Ask lots of questions to find out how they will handle your business and your personal situation. Be sure to ask them what they think about dual agency: it’s legal for the same agent to represent the buyer and seller in Tennessee, but it’s up to you to approve the arrangement.

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