Selling your home can be incredibly stressful, especially if you have never gone through the process before. If you are planning on listing your home for sale, it is important to understand all the aspects that are involved. Here are the six steps you can take to successfully sell your home.
Hire the Most Qualified Seller's Real Estate Agent
One of the most important decisions that you will make is who you hire to sell your home. Be sure to hire an experienced agent with a good sales record and references.
Take your search online to ask for recommendations, read reviews, and check ratings. Visit each agent’s website to read testimonials and to get a feel for how they conduct business.
What can you learn from their website? Do they provide interesting and helpful content, or do the websites feel outdated? Are photos plentiful and sharp?
Interview no less than three agents. This way, you’ll have a way to gauge the average and to see how each agent made you feel when communicating. Did they make you comfortable? Were your questions answered sufficiently? Did anything feel strained or awkward? Choose an agent that’s qualified but also that you like.
Maintenance and Staging for Success
It’s crucial that the house is in excellent working condition with a solid foundation, sturdy roof, and everything functioning in between, such as plumbing and electrical. Not only is it the right thing to do for the buyer, but an inspector will be evaluating the integrity of the home prior to closing, so any problems will likely be revealed at that point.
Staging a house means preparing it for sale so that it’s visually appealing to buyers. It involves decluttering, making rooms appear larger, cleaning, depersonalizing, and accessorizing to complement the home’s best features. Staging is not about making the home look like it belongs in a magazine; it’s about creating an inviting environment that elicits buyers’ emotions, imagination, and creativity.
Understand that people will be opening drawers, closets, and under-sink cabinets, so make sure these areas are also clean, organized and that under the sinks are dry.
Don’t forget the curb appeal! Stage the outside, too.
Set the Right Price
Don’t trust home valuation calculators online. They’re not accurate and can’t account for things like upgrades, renovations, or whether your neighborhood has depreciated or appreciated over time.
Your real estate agent will come prepared with a CMA, which is a comparative market analysis. They will take into consideration price comparison of recently sold homes within the neighborhood, as well as the state of the housing market in general.
You want to be fair to you and the buyer, so your agent will help guide you on setting an appropriate price range to attract buyers quickly but not overprice your home. Remember, the goal isn’t just to sell your house — it’s to sell it quickly and for top dollar!
If you price too high, your house might sit on the market for months without a single offer. If you price too low, there may be buyers willing to buy it at that price, but you will miss out on valuable time to negotiate with other offers. People also get suspicious of houses that are listed on the market for too long or have had the price reduced more than once.
It’s important that you (and your pets!) aren’t home during showings. The buyer’s agent will access your house key via a lockbox that your agent installed on your door. That agent will be the one giving a tour of your home to the buyer.
You’ll be notified in plenty of time before a showing so you can tidy the house and leave. The viewings normally take 30 minutes to an hour. Your agent will call you when the tour is completed, and you can return home.
Offers and Negotiations
Your agent will carefully review each offer with you. Keep in mind, it’s not all about the price tag. Ask your agent to clearly define any contingencies that may be in the offer, such as financing clauses, inspection clauses, closing dates, or the length of time the offer is valid.
Your agent will negotiate for you so that you get the best deal possible within reason. After all, they’re experienced and know how to work with buyers and close a deal while keeping their clients’ priorities and goals in mind. You won’t communicate directly with the buyers; only your agent will.
The Closing Process
During closing, your house will be appraised, inspected, and, if necessary, surveyed.
The appraisal is a professional estimate of your home’s value in the current real estate market based on comparable properties that have recently sold and on how well your house has aged, as well as any upgrades you may have added.
The home is inspected for issues such as foundation, roofing, plumbing, and electrical systems, pests, and anything else the bank thinks might pose a threat to its investment.
A survey may also be required to ensure that there are no boundaries/boundary disputes with neighboring properties.
There’s also a title check, and other legal steps that both you and the buyer(s) must go through before the transfer of ownership is finalized.
After the closing process is complete, the contract is locked in, and you’re ready to close the sale, turning over your keys and ownership to the buyer.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to get your house ready for sale and even more to sell it once it’s listed. However, these six steps will give you a basic idea of what to expect when selling your house.
Talk with your real estate agent for more information about how to successfully sell your house fast and for a fair price.