Selling your home may seem like an impossible task. Should you make any repairs before listing, how much should you list it for, how are you going to market your home and find a qualified buyer? Even after finding a buyer then what happens before you can get your check and hand over the keys? There may be several moving parts – like making sure the buyer does their part – when you’re trying to sell your home but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful. Below I have outlined the 8 most common steps for selling your home. Of course with step one being the MOST important – if you have the right agent working for you then the rest of the steps will be a breeze.
MEET WITH A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL
If you’re thinking about selling your home either on your own, with the help of a real estate agent, or to an investor there’s no reason not to meet with your local real estate expert. There’s no commitment required for you to meet with them and get their expert opinion of selling your home. It will be educational and help you identify your next steps no matter what they are. Finding an agent to work with can be as easy as a quick Google search or a post to your social media network of choice.
ESTABLISH A PRICE
Your agent will provide a market analysis, which will help you set an asking price. As difficult as it may be, it’s important to review the market analysis and consider your home price objectively. Before you decide on a price always ask what type of real estate market are you in. The typical rule of thumb is 4 – 6 months supply of homes is a balanced market, if supply is higher then it’s a buyer’s market and lower than 4 months supply would be a seller’s market. If priced too high you run the risk of your home sitting; potentially netting less than you would have if priced closer to market value in the beginning.
PREPARE YOUR HOME
View your home through the eyes of the buyer and ask yourself what you’d expect. Your agent will offer some useful suggestions. After getting your home ready professional photos are a must – sorry if you think that iPhone is good enough. For a few hundred dollars don’t leave this up to chance as the majority of home shoppers will rule out a home with bad pictures.
LIST IT FOR SALE
When everything is in place, your agent will put your home on the market. It’s critical you make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to view your home. Potential buyers may ask to see your home on short notice. It’s best if you can accommodate these requests so you never miss a potential sale. Luckily with today’s technology, many real estate agents use appointment setting software that allows you to accept or reject appointment requests via a quick text message. Showings = Potential Offers = $$$
OFFERS AND NEGOTIATIONS
If everything goes well, a buyer (and most often the agent who represents them) will present your agent with an offer. Your agent will present the benefits and risks of each offer. You will have the opportunity to either accept or counter any offer based on its merits. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about each offer: How much down payment, type of loan (Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA), closing date, are they waiving home inspection or appraisal?
At this point, you and the buyer have agreed to all of the terms of the offer and both parties have signed the agreement. Once this is done the buyer (in most cases) will be paying an earnest money deposit within a set amount of days. If not done the contract could become null and void, so your agent will be verifying it is done. If allowed in the agreement the buyer will then be scheduling any inspections they requested and contacting their mortgage provider.
While under contract, the buyer will work with their mortgage provider to finalize the loan and perform other due diligence. If they have any inspections or appraisals you will need to make the home available for them during that time. Once those are done if the buyer is allowed to request repairs or the appraisal doesn’t come back at the agreed-upon price your agent will notify you. This will feel like the longest 30 – 45 days of your life as you just wait for the closing day after the due diligence period ends.
The easiest part of the process – signing a few documents and collecting a check! This is the transfer of funds and ownership. Depending on when the buyer moves into the home, you will need to be all packed up and ready to move.
If you’re thinking about selling your home or just have questions about the housing market we’re always available to chat.