The Skills You’ll Need to Sell Your House

See also: Negotiation Skills

As people detangle the meaning of home from a physical space and become accepting of differing communities, they no longer have to stay in one place for an entire lifetime. In fact, the average duration of homeownership in the United States was 13 years in 2018. However, moving house is demanding, and having the right skills is essential if you want to tackle the house selling process by yourself.

In this article, we’ll take you through the skills you need to complete the process:

Suburban house surrounded by autumn leaves.

Financial Planning

Selling a house is no easy feat; it requires time, money, and strategizing. The better you plan your finances, the stronger your chance of maximizing your profits will be. Here’s how to begin:

1. Set a Target

If you have a mortgage, start by setting a monetary target for your sale. Setting it higher than your remaining mortgage is in your best interests to gain a profit and avoid foreclosure. If your house sells for less than the remaining mortgage, you’ll lose control of the process to your lender. And if you’re behind on your mortgage payments and suspect that the house won’t sell for enough, it’s better to postpone the sale and work on saving up to pay the lender timely.

2. Consider Your Expenses

Next, you need to allot a budget for the preparation of your house. Include the finances required for repairs and necessary renovations. Add in the money you’ll need to hire trucks and helpers to move your belonging. If you’re aiming to advertise your home through social media and websites, include an estimate of the money you’re willing to spend on promotions. 

3. Analyze Profits

Consider the value of neighboring houses and compare your place with them: do they have wider lawns, and automated features? Once you estimate the value, see if it’s enough to cover any remaining mortgage and give you the profit you desire. It’s critical to ensure that the money you’re getting is enough for you to move into a new place.
Additionally, in The US there’s a tax break you’ll benefit from if you have been using the place as your principal residence for two to five years. According to 2020’s Home Buying Kit for Dummies, you’ll get a significant tax break: up to $250,000 profits for single taxpayers and $500,000 for married couples filing together are excluded from tax. The required time is reduced to one year if the individual selling the place cannot care for themselves mentally or physically.

4. Decide Feasibility

Analyze your financial plans thoroughly to see if it's worth selling the house at this stage. The alternative is to slowly save up, add more value to the place, and then proceed with the sale. However, if you just want to move out quickly without investing more in it, contact home buying companies, like Flip Fox Valley, to get an instant cash offer on the spot, no matter the condition it’s in.


If your financial picture looks robust, you should invest your time developing the preparation skills you’ll need to get the best value for your house. 

1. Assess the Condition

Begin by thoroughly analyzing your place's condition – its internal structure and external appearance. Hiring a foundation inspector can be a valuable investment as they’ll get to the root causes of your problems, especially if you’ve begun seeing a suspicious number of cracks around. Take notes of the plumbing situation, ventilation and heating, and electricity. Assessing the exterior should be your last step. Begin by looking for fading paint, pest infestations, moldy walls, and cracking surfaces.

2. Get Repairs Done

Remember that no matter how pretty your place is, the need for repairs will bring its price down. So, your first expense should constitute repairs. Fix leaky faucets, clear out the air filters, fill in cracks, and then move on to paint and polish. Structural issues will likely cost you more as professionals handle them best. Keep updating your financial plans as time progresses to make sure selling the house is still feasible for you.

3. Declutter

Decluttering here refers to more than stowing the trash away. As you plan to list your house for sale, you should begin moving your personal items out. Buyers like to see a clean space where they can envision their personalization and future lives, and your coat rack in the back will likely not help them. You can keep furniture items and basic necessities on hand but remove everything you’ll be able to live without temporarily.

4. Renovate

For the renovation, use your money wisely. Begin with bathrooms and kitchens as they can have a considerable impact on the value of a home, and investing here can yield more than 100% of the cost. Start with fixing the looks and move on to resource and energy-efficient additions like eco–taps. The incorporation of eco-friendly materials like bamboo and quartz can be a great selling point as well.
Also, consider any selling point of the house you can add value to. For instance, is there a fireplace or a swimming pool in the house, or maybe an open lawn or a vintage patio? Anything that attracted you to the place when you moved in will attract buyers now, so find ways to polish these features so you can market them better later.

Marketing and Networking

Once your house is prepared, you need to join the right circles, list your property on appropriate websites, and adopt a proactive approach to communication.

1. Proper Photography

Good photography skills are essential for you to catch the attention of a wider pool of clients. Consider hiring a professional photographer. If you’re going for it yourself, get your best camera out. Asking a friend who is good at photography is a great idea too. Yes, you can take pictures on the phone, but only as long as it has a decent camera. Get your house’s best angles, and make sure to photograph any unique selling points we talked about.

Natural lighting is the best for retaining a place’s dimensions in photographs, so take your pictures in the morning or before the sun sets. Take a few photos of the neighborhood as well to give the viewers an idea of the surroundings, and be sure to include the area’s best features too. Enhance the photographs by using an editor to ensure the colors do not look dull in the pictures.

2. The Right Time

Entering the market at the perfect time is in your best interests. The demand for houses is the greatest in summer and spring, so plan your entry to get the maximum profits. You should begin renovating in autumn and winter, or maybe spring, and have the house listed by the beginning of summer.

3. The Right Platforms

Marketing on the right platforms to an appropriate audience is essential. List your house on websites that gather information about the places on sale. Make the most of social media too as it can be a powerful tool if leveraged correctly. Join relevant Facebook groups, post the pictures publicly and boost the posts. Make sure to modify the settings to include your target audience’s demographics to ensure your money is spent correctly. Ask your friends and family members to engage with the posts and share them.

4. Communication

You can lose potential clients to competitors if you do not communicate with the clients on time. Respond timely, know how to pitch your property, and set meetings at your and your client’s earliest convenience. Wait for a couple of offers before deciding to take one to ensure you’re going with the best option. Do not extend the waiting period for long, however. The longer your property is in the market, the more its value can go down.


Selling a house without a realtor can be intimidating, but if you work on your strategy and timeline, you can get clients easily. Work on your financial planning, preparation, marketing, and networking skills, and keep our guidelines in mind. If you feel like the process is too much for you, a real estate agent can always be of help. On the other hand, if you just want to move out instantly without any hassle, reach out to cash home buying companies that operate in your area and get an instant offer.

About the Author

Ronica Samuel: I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about technology, news and gadgets in general. I have been a technical writer, author, and blogger since 2010. I am an industry watcher who stays on top of the latest features and am extremely passionate about juicy tech news and anything related to gadgets.