Selling the family home? Consider Your Homeowners Insurance

20 Apr
Selling your home? Consider homeowners insurance rates, policy and coverage.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 5.5 million homes are expected to be sold in the United States this year and the prediction for next year is a 4% rise.

Selling a house can be difficult but it’s a necessity if you are moving your family to a new city or town, or just want a new place to call home. Despite the difficulty, plenty of us will be putting our houses on the market this spring.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 5.5 million homes are expected to be sold in the United States this year and the prediction for next year is a 4% rise.

Preparation is the best way to make sure your home sells quickly and for a price that you feel is fair. Here are a few tips for making sure the sale of your home goes smoothly:

  • Use a Real Estate Agent: Despite the fact that real estate professionals charge a fairly hefty commission, selling a home without the expertise of an agent can be difficult, especially if you’ve never done it before. An agent can help you establish a realistic price, take photos, handle negotiations and list your home on the MLS.
  • Stage Your Home: Unless you clean and stage your home, be prepared for it to sit on the market for a while. It’s probably not necessary to hire a professional stager unless your home is going to be empty, or your furniture is in really bad shape. In addition to staging you should make as many small repairs as possible to give your home a fresh look.
    Declutter your home by putting your personal items and excess furniture into a storage unit so your home looks larger and not as cramped. A new coat of paint is a great way to make your home look newer, cover up any stains and give it a fresh new home smell.
  • High Quality Photos: The majority of home shoppers start the process online. If they don’t find the photos of your home appealing there is a good chance they will move on to the next home. Have professional photos taken and make sure there are plenty of photos so potential buyers can see your entire house.
  • Price it Right: Pricing your home can be a difficult task as you most likely think it is worth more than potential buyers will. If you price your home incorrectly there’s a good chance it will sit on the market for a long time and become what is known as a stale listing. You may be required to lower the price or pull it off the market for a while. Get the pricing right the first time and your house will sell quickly. 

Insurance is Very Important

There will be a wide variety of people going through your home so your homeowners insurance has never been more important. Make sure your policy is up to date and you are carrying the proper amount of coverage. Here are a few insurance issues to consider when it comes to selling your house:

Liability: A major component of your homeowners insurance policy is the liability section. This will protect you in the event a person is injured in your home. This can be an issue with so many people going through your house.

Be sure to secure or better yet, remove your pets from the property when it is being shown. Dog bites are common and can be an expensive claim, especially if the person who was bit sues.

If you have a pool, make sure it is gated and any potential buyers keep their children away from it. The same goes for trampolines, tree houses and other outdoor structures.

While most experts recommend carrying at least $300,000 in liability coverage, you may want to up your coverage levels while your house is on the market.

House is Vacant: If your home is going to be vacant because you have already moved out you should definitely up your policy limits. Vacant houses are a much bigger risk. This is due to the fact that if a pipe breaks, there is a break-in or other damage occurs, it can be days or weeks before someone notices.

Ask your agent or a neighbor to check in on the house every few days if possible to make sure all is well.

Theft: It may be hard to believe but theft does happen when a house is on the market. Never let a potential buyer into your home unless a licensed real estate agent accompanies them.

Lock away valuables or move them offsite to a safety deposit box until your home is sold. While your insurance policy will cover a theft claim, your premium will be headed up. Preventing a theft in the first place is the best way to keep your insurance costs low. 

Renters Policy: If you are moving out of your house while it is on the market or have moved into an apartment before closing, you may need a renters insurance policy. If you have moved the majority of your belongings to an apartment, condo or rental house, you should talk to your insurance agent about a renters policy.

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