This guide is just to get you started: a brief summary of what you need to know about putting your home on the market, accepting an offer, and closing on your home.
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A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide
Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent and this easy to follow guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for the best price possible.
Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling
What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better prepare your home for the market. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might not price your home as aggressively as if your goal was to meet a certain profit margin. One of our agents will work with you to craft the perfect pricing and marketing strategy so you can ensure you sell your home as effectively as possible to reach your specific goals.
Step 2: Determine List Price
Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process, and there is always a sweet spot. When you price your property right where the market is bearing, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest and less foot traffic, and underpricing could potentially lead to receiving less than what your home is worth. One of our experienced advisors will work with you to prepare a comparative market analysis so you can have a thorough understanding of both recent comparable sales in the direct vicinity around your property, as well as current market conditions that could affect the sale of your property.
Step 3: Start Preparations
If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Pricing your home will mean factoring in your home’s condition and presentation. This can include getting rid of clutter, designing and presenting the property such that prospective buyers can envision themselves in the space, making small repairs, and doing a deep clean to ensure your home is in pristine condition. Your agent will help advise you based on what you’re looking to accomplish with your home sale.
Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy
One common misconception is that marketing every property is the same. Our team will work with you and develop an in-depth marketing strategy, from working with our proprietary network of agents and brokers well before the property is listed, to utilizing public relations campaigns, social media, and search engine optimization to ensure ads are promoting your listing to the right kinds of people. Your campaign will be tailored specifically for your property, so we can create the most ideal advertising and presentation that caters to the right audience, and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Step 5: Evaluate Offers
Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We will evaluate each offer together, going through every component of the contract so you can make the decision that’s best for you. We’ll also ensure the party making the offer is prequalified or pre-approved by a reputable bank / mortgage lender if they’re not paying in cash. Our team will speak directly with their bank / lender to ensure the buyer is qualified and in a secure position to successfully close on the purchase, and will work to obtain a proof of funds for cash-buyers.
Step 6: Accept an Offer
Once we deem that an offer is acceptable, we will ratify the contract and our team will prepare a list of next steps to help you navigate smoothly to the settlement table. All contractual items will be accounted for between offer acceptance and closing, including earnest deposit amounts, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, and a list of fees and who will pay them.
Step 7: Get Ready to Close
As we approach settlement, we may need to address some of the buyers requests, be it repairs, receipts, treatments, additional due diligence items, etc. Our team will assist with coordinating any contractor work with our list of trusted vendors / professionals, and oversee everything so that all items are done correctly per the contract. In the case that the buyer is financing their purchase, we’ll be meeting the appraiser to ensure that the appraisal goes smoothly. Throughout the transaction, we’ll also be in touch with the buyer’s bank / lender, and the title company to make sure that all financing and title items are moving according to schedule. Our team can assist with your moving out arrangements if need be, from coordinating staging removal and personal moving services, to forward mail, running errands, and attending to all last minute needs. We’ll also advise on how to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining, and ensuring the new owner has instructions for certain appliances that will remain in the home.
Step 8: Closing
You’ve reached the last step in the selling process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. The final step will entail meeting with the title company handling the closing, to sign off on all final paperwork and discuss any last minute items pertaining to the buyer, title, and completing the sale. Our team will help prepare you for this by ensuring last minute details are all accounted for, and there are no surprises. Congratulations, you’ve officially closed on the sale of your property!
Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.