Eight Steps to Selling Your Home

1. Define your needs.

Determine your reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. For your goals, write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. Work with me to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.

2. Determine Pricing Options.

Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. The goal is to set a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers while balancing the need for traffic with  your bottom line. 

You will also need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area. 

Remember: You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3% of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.

3. Prepare your home.

Most of us don’t keep our homes in “showroom” condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. But when your home is listed for sale, it is time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tip-top shape.

The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important. I will work with you to take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers and you can read more on my Increasing Your Home’s Appeal page. 

4. Get the word out.

Now that you’re ready to sell, I will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including: the internet, print marketing, signage, open houses, networking and more. The first one to six weeks are the most critical time and you can rest assured that my marketing plan gets the job done.

5. Receive an offer.

When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, I will work on your behalf to determine whether the buyer is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. I will then review the proposed contract with you, taking care to explain what the contract stipulates regarding what is required of both parties to execute the transaction.

The contract, though not limited to this list, should include:

  • Legal description of the property
  • Offer price
  • Down payment
  • Financing arrangements
  • List of fees and who will pay them
  • Deposit amount
  • Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
  • Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing
  • Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home
  • Settlement date
  • Contingencies

At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding.

6. Negotiate to sell.

Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. I am well-versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in our area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. You and I will work together to review the clauses in the agreement, what you will net from the sale, and what areas are easiest to come to terms on. Some negotiable items include:

  • Price
  • Financing
  • Closing costs
  • Repairs
  • Appliances and fixtures
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Move-in date

7. Prepare to close.

Once you accept an offer, there are a number of things you and the buyer will need to do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Rest assured I will spearhead this effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers.

If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate our next steps.

You should also begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so.

8. Close the deal.

“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. I will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned.

Contact us about selling a property