So you’ve decided you’re ready to sell your home, congratulations! At this point, you may have a lot of questions and concerns about how the entire process works. In order to help you understand what to expect, I’ve outlined some of the key components of the home selling process below.
STEP 1 – Hire an agent.
The first step you’ll want to take is to hire a real estate agent. Now keep in mind, all real estate agents are not created equal. You want your selling agent to be familiar with the area and the current market and be knowledgeable on past sales, current listings, especially those that could be considered your home’s “competition”. While there are agents out there who work for a smaller commission than is standard within the industry, keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for.
STEP 2 – List your home
The listing agreement is a legal contract between the real estate broker and the seller. It not only establishes our relationship but details specific information on your home for potential buyers. The biggest decision when listing your home is to determine the ideal asking price – one that is realistic yet competitive and will work for your unique situation. In addition to gauging the current state of the market in your area, we’ll consider recent sales and comparable homes that are currently on the market before deciding on a price point for your home. Before we list your home, you’ll also want to decide which items to include and exclude in the sale – appliances, window treatments, your piano.. we see it all!
STEP 3 – Prep your home
Before your home hits the market, you’ll need to get your home in tip top shape. This means thinking like a buyer and figuring out how you can improve the appearance of your home to make it universally appealing to potential buyers. This means anything from de-cluttering and removing personal items to cleaning, to small repairs, even remodeling that bathroom you never got around too. Don’t worry, I’ll guide you through this process and assist you with everything from repair suggestions to getting bids from contractors, painters, landscapers, if necessary.
Another big part of this process is staging your home. The idea behind staging is to make your home as visually appealing as possible so that prospective buyers can envision themselves living in the space. You’d be surprised by how many people can’t see past purple paint or shag carpet or outdated fixtures – and it can mean the difference between a home that sells quickly and one that sits on the market.
STEP 4 – Advertising & Marketing
Once your home is prepped and staged, I’ll bring in a professional photographer to take high resolution photos of your home for print materials as well as virtual tours.
STEP 5 – Brokers’ Tours & Open Houses
Brokers’ tour is exactly what it sounds like, it’s an opportunity for brokers to preview the property so they know if it would be a potential match for one of their clients. Buyers are welcome at these tours as well, but for the most part, it’s real estate professionals checking out a new property.
Open Houses are held over the weekend and where we get most of our foot traffic. We’ll advertise your property’s open house the week before so people know it will be open to view. Open houses typically last 3 hours or so and are a great opportunity to show off what your home has to offer, and find perspective buyers. Often times, people see a home at an open house then return for a private viewing with their real estate agent.
STEP 4 – Offers
When we get our first offer, I’ll discuss the terms and conditions with you. Offers are generally presented in writing and include all the details and information about what the buyer is looking for. This includes what they are prepared to pay, how fast they’d like to close, what they’d like included in the deal, and any other conditions or contingencies. If we like the offer, we’ll accept it. But if we’re unhappy with what has been presented, we can either decline it all together, or continue negotiations by submitting a counter-offer to the buyer. I’ll work with you to make sure that you get an offer and a deal that you are pleased with.
STEP 5 – Home Inspections and other Conditions
Often a buyer’s offer includes contingencies for things like home inspections and financing that are there to protect their interests. Your contract will dictate a time frame during which the buyer is able to complete their investigations and negotiate any repairs with the seller. Once all conditions have been satisfied or waived, the deal becomes binding for both parties.
STEP 6 – Close
You’re almost done! The closing of the sale of your home is a formal process where all parties sign the necessary paperwork to complete the transaction… More importantly, it’s when you hand over the title, the keys, and the buyer hands over the check. Don’t worry, I’ll be there to help make sure it runs smoothly and all the formal details are taken care of. You just enjoy that check!