8 Steps to Selling Your Home

There are a lot of details to be handled when selling a home. It is my responsibility to streamline the home sale process for you. This overview will help you understand the various steps along the way.

1. Define your needs

Write down all the 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 need 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. I will work with you to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.

2. Set the price

Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. You will 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. It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so our expertise is invaluable at this step. I will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done. This typically costs a couple hundred dollars.

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 percent 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

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 can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers. A home with too much “personality” is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized décor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs. Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression. Make sure you have cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.

4. Get the word out

Now that you’re ready to sell, we will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including: The Internet, Open houses, Media advertising, Agent-to-agent referrals, Direct mail marketing campaigns. In addition to listing your home in the MLS, I will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. I will structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest.

5. Receive an offer

When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, I will first find
out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then I will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. 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 very well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. I also know what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items: Price, Financing, Closing costs, Repairs, Appliances and fixtures, Landscaping, Painting, Move-in date.

7. Prepare to close

Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. I can spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. 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 your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing.

8. Close the deal

“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. By being present during the closing, I can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise.