Steps to Selling a House

Whether you’re upgrading, relocating, or just ready for a change in surroundings, selling a house is a big decision with lots of moving pieces. Fortunately, with the help of a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about your market and the steps to selling a home quickly, you can streamline the process and minimize the stress of selling.
To get you started, here is SetSchedule’s guide for sellers, including tips for selling a home quickly and smoothly.

Step 1: Choose a listing agent

Your listing agent will be your partner and advocate throughout the home selling process, advising you on the best steps to take and what to do in order to get your home sold. SetSchedule can help match you with a qualified local real estate agent who has experience with properties just like yours, and knows the intricacies of your market. Since your listing agent will be responsible for marketing and showing your home, as well as protecting your interests throughout the transaction, choosing one that you can rely on is essential to your home sale.

 

Step 2: Determine the value of your home

Your listing agent will prepare you a comparative market analysis for your home, which includes information about similar properties in your area and their selling prices. By looking at the comparable homes that have sold within 3 months, you can get an accurate portrait of your house’s market value – that is, what a buyer would be willing to pay for it. At this point, compare the market value of your home to the outstanding balance on your mortgage loan, if you have one, to determine whether you can afford to sell right now.

 

Step 3: Prepare your home for sale

Embrace minimalism as you stage your home: Get rid of the extra knickknacks and clutter, as well as anything personal in the home. That means packing away the family photos and kids’ artwork in favor for some more generic décor that allows visitors to envision themselves in your home. Also be sure to clear out as much as you can – you may have relied on the ability to cram the clutter into your closets before regular guests visit, but prospective buyers will want to see your closet space. Clutter and mess will make your home feel cramped and raise concerns about how much storage space you have available, so try to streamline the “stuff” as much as possible.

 

Step 4: Be patient while your agent markets and shows your home

According to Realtor.com, it takes 65 days, on average, between listing a home and getting an offer, so be prepared to wait. Your listing agent will be hard at work advertising your property through a variety of channels, be it online, print advertising, radio/tv, or word of mouth. You may want to host an open house to invite more traffic and increase exposure, although the value of an open house is a subject of debate among real estate agents. Your agent will also set up appointments for prospective buyers to tour your house and stay in communication with buyers’ agents to answer questions they may have. While the waiting is often the most difficult part, having an agent that you trust can make it easier.

 

Step 5:   Consider your offers

Hooray – the offers have started coming in! Time to start reviewing the purchase offers that have been submitted and negotiate the sale price. Be sure to review the offers carefully, including how much of the closing expenses the buyer is offering to pay and any contingencies that are included. If you’ve received a lowball offer, don’t ignore it – submit a counteroffer instead and see if you can negotiate a price that’s fair for all parties. Remember that additional time your home spends on the market is an added expense to you. On the other hand, resist the urge to immediately sign off on the offer with the highest price. Carefully review the contingencies and consider whether the buyer has been pre-qualified for a loan – if the buyer got too excited and promised to write a check that exceeds their available financing, they’ll have to back out before closing. If the goal is to sell your house fast, then look for the offer with the fewest contingencies, which means fewer chances for the buyer to back out of the contract.

 

Step 6: Have your home appraised and inspected

Different agents have different opinions about whether an appraisal or inspection should be done first, but ultimately, a buyer will have an appraiser and inspector look carefully at your home to ensure the pricing is fair and that everything is in working order. An appraisal will tell the buyer what the home is worth, while the inspection will tell them the condition of the home. The buyer will take the information from the two professionals together and make a final decision about what price they will pay for the home, and whether additional repairs are needed before they buy.

 

Step 7: Negotiate repair requests

The buyer may request certain repairs to be made before they agree to buy the home. If you’re in a hurry to get out of your old property, you can instead offer a lower price so that the buyers can afford to do the repairs themselves. If the buyer, instead, presents you with a laundry list of repairs they expect to be made before they buy the house, see if they’ll agree to a more reasonable list – typically, sellers aren’t expected to make cosmetic repairs, for example, so offer to pay for any big fixes, like the broken water heater or any structural damage, but pass on the ones that are cosmetic in nature. Again, keep in mind that delaying the closing will cost you money, so weigh the benefits of offloading the house quickly, even if it means lowering the price to save you the delay of repairs.

 

Step 8: Closing

Closing day! It’s time to sign a stack of documents and officially transfer ownership of the home to the buyer. Gather together the deed to your home, if the home is paid off; your driver’s license or other photo identification; the keys and security codes for the house as well as remotes for garage doors, if applicable; receipts for any agreed-upon repairs; and the warranty and instruction manuals for heating, cooling, and plumbing systems plus any appliances that stay with the house. Your real estate agent can guide you through the process and let you know what documents or information you should bring with you at closing. Do a final walkthrough of your house, checking all drawers and closets to make sure you haven’t left any items behind.
Selling your home can be grueling, but having a real estate agent to rely on can alleviate some of the stress. If you’re thinking about selling your house, contact SetSchedule to be connected to a local agent who can partner with you through the home selling process.

 

Selling your home can be grueling, but having a real estate agent to rely on can alleviate some of the stress. If you’re thinking about selling your house, contact SetSchedule to be connected to a local agent who can partner with you through the home selling process.

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