Home Selling Process: 8 Simple Steps to Selling Your Home
If you are thinking of selling your home and want to know the home selling process you have come to the right place!
Selling a home can be an emotionally and time-consuming process, especially if you are not familiar with the home selling process.
Understanding the typical steps in selling your home empowers you to make smart decisions about your choices. You will feel more confident in your home selling journey when you understand the chain of events and what’s required of you and others around you.
Use this step-by-step guide to sell a house the smart way.
8 Simple Steps For Selling a Home
Step 1: Meet with an Experienced Realtor
The home selling process can be a long and involved process but thankfully you do not have to go through it alone. A local, experienced Realtor will make the experience of selling your home stress-free while at the same time work to maximize your profits.
Using a local Realtor to sell your home has many benefits.
- Comprehensive market analysis. Your Realtor will provide you with local housing market analysis and take into consideration the current market conditions to help strategize ways to earn the highest possible return on your home.
- Comps. Realtors have access to a comprehensive list of comparable homes and understand the value of homes in your area.
- Setting the right price. Your Realtor will offer guidance in setting the correct price for your home to both sell quickly and maximize your returns.
- Attract buyers. An experienced Realtor will provide recommendations for staging your home, suggest property enhancements, hire professional photography, produce quality marketing materials, list your property on the MLS and host open houses and showings.
- Protects you, the seller. Your Realtor will protect you and your interests in the home selling process, negotiate for top dollar, and represent your best interests. An experienced Realtor will walk you through every step of the home selling process and recommend local resources needed during your selling journey.
Why would you not want a true pro on your side during one of your biggest financial transactions? When you are ready to get serious, contact experienced Northern Colorado Realtor Jason Grentz to get started.
Step 2: Establish a Price
One of the first things your Realtor will help you determine in the home selling process is “how much is my home worth?”
Your Realtor will help you go into this process with a clear understanding of the factors that affect your home’s value. A few of the most common factors are location, comps, condition, and updates:
- Location. You’ve likely heard the saying “location, location, location” and never is it more true than in real estate. Your home’s value will largely be determined by what the real estate market is doing in the city and neighborhood in which you live. Your home’s proximity to schools, entertainment, parks, walking paths, etc. can also affect the value.
- Comps. Location also plays a role in determining which comps your Realtor will pull to compare recently sold properties. Your Realtor will look for properties as close as possible to your home but also that closely match the features of your home, such as square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms, year built, etc. Your Realtor will also look at your competition, list prices of nearby homes, and time on market to help determine a correct asking price for your home..
- Condition & Updates. Every home is different, even in neighborhoods with similar floor plans. Any repairs or updates you have made can impact your home’s value. Though you generally do not recoup the full price of your update, most updates will have a positive impact on your home’s value. Discuss updates & repairs with your Realtor to determine which have the best return on your investment.
Many sellers mistakenly assume they can get the same amount as a friend’s home in another neighborhood or they can add full costs of upgrades to the home’s value. Unfortunately, these common mistakes can lead to overpricing and that affects the time on market and the quality of the offers received.
No matter how desirable your home is to buyers, overvaluing your home is a sure sign it will sit on the market or sell for less than if it was priced correctly. Working closely with a trusted, local Realtor who knows your area is the best way to set emotion aside and correctly value your home to sell quickly and at a competitive price.
Step 3: Prepare your Home for Market
Buyers are looking for the best home in your price range and your home’s condition will be at the top of their list to look for. Even if major upgrades are not in your budget focusing on these simple tips will ensure your home shows well to buyers.
- Improve curb appeal. A buyer’s first impression of your home is crucial in their decision-making process. Many buyers say they know within a few minutes if a house was “right” for them. Mow the lawn, prune bushes, weed and plant flowers, sweep & clear sidewalks and porch, pressure wash, and clean windows.
- Make any needed repairs. You want your home to be in the best possible condition. Take the time to fix any major defects that could discourage buyers. Some home loans even prevent buyers from purchasing homes where major repairs are needed.
- Remove clutter and personal items. This is one area where less is more. Buyers want to imagine what their items will look like in the home. Create space by donating unused items or renting a storage unit to house extra furniture, personal items, and knickknacks.
- Organize and clean closets and drawers. Messy closets give the impression the home does not have enough storage space. Place any items not immediately needed in storage to create an open, spacious feel.
- Clean every surface. This is the time to make sure often overlooked items are sparkly clean. Ceiling fans, blinds, curtains, baseboards, windows, clean it all till it shines.
- Fresh paint. Buyers are looking for bright open spaces. A fresh coat of white or a light, neutral paint goes a long way to freshen up a room and provides a clean new smell.
- Eliminate bad odors. Replacing carpet and applying fresh paint are great ways to freshen up a home and give it a new feel. Take care of pet odors, hide the litter box, spay air neutralizers. Before showing consider putting out fresh flowers or baking a batch of cookies.
An experienced local Realtor will walk through your home with you and provide these and other suggestions to boost your home’s appeal to buyers. Often times directing you to areas that you may have overlooked.
Step 4: List your Home on the MLS
You have put in a lot of time and energy into getting your home ready to sell. At this step in the home selling process it is time to list your home to attract buyers and get noticed.
The real estate market is competitive and the Multiple Listing System (MLS) is the place to be when it comes to selling a property. When your Realtor lists your home on the MLS, you gain access to the biggest pool of home buyers out there.
When your home is listed on the MLS it is automatically fed to thousands of local and national real estate websites giving you increased exposure to motivated buyers, many of which will get a direct link to your home in their inbox.
Most Realtors subscribe only to their local MLS but when you list your home with experienced, local Realtor Jason Grentz your Northern Colorado home will be listed in both the Denver area MLS and the Northern Colorado MLS. This dual listing attracts more buyers and gives your home a greater reach. Having an experienced Realtor who knows your local area on your side makes all the difference.
Step 5: Offers and Negotiations
This is an exciting step of the home selling process. When you receive an offer on your house, it is important to review it carefully.
The offer will tell you the price the buyer is willing to pay and under what terms. You will review the offer with your Realtor to discuss the terms and conditions and decide if the offer is right for you.
After reviewing the offer, you will have several choices. You may choose to accept the offer as is, make a counteroffer with changes, or reject the offer completely.
In many cases, you will want to negotiate to get what you want and need. These negotiations take the form of counteroffers and your Realtor, skilled in contract negotiations will advise you through this process.
Common real estate terms that may need to be negotiated:
- You receive an offer lower than your asking price.
- Your buyer asks you to cover a portion or all of the closing costs.
- You receive multiple offers.
- A buyer asks for items to be included with the house.
- A buyer asks for repairs to be made.
Step 6: Under Contract
In this stage of the home selling process, a buyer has made an offer and you have agreed to terms and accepted the offer.
During this early stage of the contract, both the seller and the buyer need to go through contingencies. The buyer must secure financing and the home must pass inspection and be free of defects. Other contingencies may exist, based on the contract. Most real estate contracts have a list of contingencies that both the buyer and seller must complete before closing.
If either the seller or buyer fails to meet the contract contingencies the contract becomes void and either party has the right to back out of the sale.
Standard Real Estate Contingencies:
- Home appraisal. If the home is assessed lower than the asking price, the buyer may ask the seller to reduce the price.
- Loan contingency. A lender may choose to deny a loan based on buyer qualifications or property deficiencies.
- Home inspection. During the process of the home inspection, the buyer may request the seller to repair items or cover the cost of repairs. This can lead to contract renegotiations.
- Preliminary title report. A title investigation will show if there are any liens or assessments that may be on the house.
Step 7: Final Details
You are almost there! At this point in the home selling process, you are counting down the days to closing and will need to finalize last-minute details.
- Ask buyer to release contingencies. If the buyer had any contingencies in their contract, ask them to “release them” or affirm they have been resolved.
- Review title and escrow documents. Prior to closing, you will receive a copy of your closing documents to review so there are no surprises. It is important that you read and understand these documents. If you have any concerns or do not understand terms, ask questions.
- Make any repairs negotiated in the contract.
- Pack and clean. Remove all possessions from the home, unless specified in the contract. The home should be move-in ready for the buyers at the closing table.
- Notify utilities of address change and set up mail-forwarding.
- Collect manuals and warranties. For items staying with the home, place manuals on the kitchen counter for the new buyers. Also, leave any extra keys and the garage door opener.
- Final walkthrough. The final walkthrough typically occurs the day before or morning of the closing day. The buyer and their agent will walk through the property one last time to make sure everything is ready to transfer ownership. If anything is left undone it can delay closing.
Step 8: Closing Day!
This is an exciting day, it’s closing day! You have put in a lot of time and energy into the home selling process and you deserve to celebrate today.
The closing date is when the sale transaction is officially complete. You will sign a lot of paperwork, including signing the deed to the property over to the buyer.
If you have any questions, this is an important time to ask them. You have the right and should know what you are signing.
The closing will likely take place at the escrow or title agency’s office. Your attendance may not be mandatory. Discuss with your Realtor if you may sign paperwork ahead of time, if necessary.
After the paperwork is signed and funds have been distributed, you have officially sold your home. Congratulations, a celebration is in order!
You have come a long way, a typical closing takes about 50 days. But by following these easy steps, you will have successfully managed the home selling process.