Steps to Selling
There are many steps to selling your home from getting it show worthy to listing it on the MLS to showings to offers and negotiations. Feeling unprepared or overwhelmed is expected. That is why having a trained and experienced local real estate agent on your side can make all the difference! Our business is selling homes and we know how to get you through the sale of your home in the least stressful way. Below are the steps to selling to help you visualize what this process looks like. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions and remember we will be there for you every step of the way!
STEP 1: CHOOSE A REALTOR
Interview several agents and ask HOW they will market your home and what they do that other agents don’t. Make sure they take professional photos of your home and provide other valuable listing tools like showing apps that text you when your home has a showing and give you valuable feedback. They should be doing MORE than the average agent and they should be able to show you examples. Don’t choose a Realtor who just puts your home on the MLS and lets other real estate agents do their job for them.
STEP 2: SET YOUR ASKING PRICE
Accurate pricing sells homes. The price your home enters the market with can mean the difference between creating a bidding war and sitting on the market for months. Listen to your agent and let them do a Free CMA on your home. Once they have toured your home ask them to prpare a NEW CMA based on seeing it in person. The highest price is not always the best price. Look at the low and high prices they give you and pick a number that is reasonable & will get the most guaranteed offers.
Get a FREE CMA on your house!
As local real estate agents who KNOW your area, we can use our knowledge of the current market conditions AND the most up-to-date sales data to provide you with a more accurate estimate of the value of your home.
STEP 3: PLAN & PREPARE
Plan ahead by choosing the right time of year to sell and take the time to prepare your home before you list it. Ask your agent for a list of repairs that will improve the asking price. Start preparing a list of things you need to do before you list it and set dates to get them completed by. Choose the best time of year to list it and have everything completed before then. If you think you will need a moving company or moving truck then start researching local movers and how much time in advance they need to be notified and how booked up they are currently.
STEP 4: REPAIR & RENOVATE
This is the time to look at your home through a buyers eye, fix any major issues and do the updates that are necessary. Focus on small improvements which will push your homes value up like upgrading the cabinet hardware or installing a new kitchen sink. You do not need to entirely renovate a room to raise the value. Kitchen & Bathroom improvements will drive the price up & are the most important with floors & paint a close second. And don’t forget curb appeal!
STEP 5: DEEP CLEAN & STAGE YOUR HOME
The difference between a staged house and an unstaged house can translate into THOUSANDS of dollars in the sales price. Clean your entire house thoroughly including the basement and garage. Buyers will be looking into every nook and cranny so be sure to organize closets and cabinets and throw away old food & junk you don’t plan on taking with you when you move. Clutter often makes rooms seem smaller, and overwhelming decorations may prevent a potential buyer from envisioning their own style in a room. Rent a storage unit and pack up as many things as you can live without and bring them to storage. Put away family photos and store personal items in drawers and cabinets. Stage your home so that each room is attractive, every closet is clean and organized and countertops are clear of clutter.
STEP 6: LIST IT
Review your listing agreement with your Realtor and make sure it contains all of the contingencies you require like how much time you need to move out after closing, are appliances and window treatments included, and what financial terms are required including pre-approval letter or proof of funds. Read everything carefully and ask your agent what other sellers are asking for to give you ideas. This is a contract and you do not want to forget anything crucial. Be prepared for your Realtor to come in and take photos. Ask your agent to preview the property remarks before publishing to the MLS. Make sure they include all of the important details about your home and are creative and stand out. Be honest but be rememberable. Describe special details that aren’t always obvious. A compelling description can make your house stand out from the rest and bring a higher offer. The first day your home enters the MLS is important so be sure to plan on listing it first thing in the morning.
STEP 7: PLAN AN OPEN HOUSE
Not every agent is willing to put forth the time and effort it takes to put on an Open House and not all homes need an Open House. A successful Open House can attract attention from people searching nearby and create a buzz around your home often creating a potential bidding environment. Ask your Realtor what they provide in a showing report and be sure they collect valuable feedback so you can make small improvements where needed.
STEP 8: REVIEW OFFERS & NEGOTIATE
When you’re looking at an offer, it’s not just about the price it is also about the terms. Review each offer carefully and ask questions. Pay attention to the type of offer a buyer is making; a conventional loan has different requirements than a VA loan. Find out what the ABSOLUTE responsibility of the Seller is for the loan type. Aside from that, each repair request from the buyer is NEGOTIABLE. Ask yourself: Who is absolutely the most guaranteed to close the deal. Make sure you get a pre-approval letter or proof of funds.
STEP 9: ACCEPTING an OFFER and CLOSING TIME
Once you’ve finally accepted an offer, inspections will be done to satisfy both the buyer and the mortgage lender. Additional repairs are sometimes negotiable and the cost can be split between the buyer and seller and many times are not required at all. Many sale agreements are incredibly complex so be sure to ask your Realtor before shelling out more money.
STEP 10: MOVING
Depending on how far you’re moving or how much stuff you have, you may require a moving company or a moving truck. Professional movers may seem pricey at first but when you look at the time and money to get similar results, you may re-consider. Call and set your moving date and start packing! Many places like U-HAUL sell moving boxes that are made to make your move easier. Label everything with what is inside it and what room it goes in. Recruit friends and family if needed.
BONUS TIPS ON HOW TO SELL YOUR HOME FAST
List when the market is high and in the season when moving is the most common for your area.
Make sure the outside of your home is clean and attractive. Plant flowers and clean up for the best first impression.
Smart Homes SELL – add smart lightbulbs and thermostats to increase value and make your home more attractive.
Keep Pet areas clean & fresh. Put away pet beds and toys before showings and use plug-in freshners near pet areas.