Steps To Selling Your Home

Define your needs
Think about the reasons you are wanting or needing to sell your home.  Are you selling your home because you are needing more room for a growing family or are you looking to relocate for your job?  Work with your real estate agent to come up with a plan of action to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale of your home.

Price your home
Next you will have to come up with a price for your home.  Your real estate agent should have completed a Comparative Market Analysis to guide you in the correct amount.  Although it is your decision to set the selling price keep in mind that selling to high can keep your house on the market longer than anticipated.  Your home may be sentimental to you but to a potential buyer it is going to be a place for them to make their own memories.  You can also opt to get an appraisal done which could cost a few hundred dollars to get your house priced at the right amount according to the market.  There are many factors that can compete with the sale of your home.  New construction, other homes for sale and foreclosures in the same area are just a few.

Prepare your home
A clean home should always be kept when you are selling your home.  The first impression is most important.  Clean the windows inside and out and power wash the outside if needed. Keep the lawn mowed and weeds pulled for a perfect first impression curb appeal.  Keep clothes off the floor, clean the bathrooms, make the beds and keep pictures of family and friends to a minimal.  The potential buyers have to think of where they can put their furniture and pictures of their family and friends.  Try to keep furniture to a minimal so the room can look less cluttered and open up the room.  Keep the walls clean and touch up where needed.  Keep the kitchen free from dirty dishes in the sink.  Buyers will look in pantries and closets so keep things tidy.

Get the word out
After you decide to sell your house it is time to let everyone know your house is for sale.  This includes listing your house on the MLS, internet house sites, flyers, agent-to-agent referrals, media marketing, direct mail outs, yard signs and open houses.  The more exposure your house gets the better chance of getting people to know about your house.  Your agent will come up with a marketing plan to get the most exposure of your property.

Receive an offer
Once you receive a written offer on your house your agent will look over the offer and explain everything that the buyer is asking for.  The written offer should include the legal address of the property, the amount they are asking to purchase the home for, and repairs they require, type of financing or cash offer, contingencies, amount of down payment, amount of escrow, the title company that will handle the closing, settlement date and any option period.  At this point you can accept the offer, reject the offer or make a counter offer.  Once both parties sign the offer it becomes a legally binding contract.  If you have any question or concerns your real estate agent can address them them with you.

Negotiate to sell
Most offers require some negotiation before both parties agree on a written offer.  Negotiations can include appliances, repairs, price adjustments, closing costs or even changing the move-in date, just to name a few.  Your real estate agent will assist with the negotiation process and answer any question that may arise.  Once both parties accept the terms of the sale your real estate agent will execute the contract and deliver it to the title company.

Prepare to close
Once the offer is accepted to sell your house there may need to be a formal appraisal, inspection, survey if necessary and any repairs needed from the contract.  Your real estate agent will provide the expertise in dealing with the buyer’s agent and service companies.  If there is an option period, the buyer will want the inspection done before it expires to re-negotiate any other repairs that may be needed.  Depending on the contract will determine what repairs are necessary and at who’s cost.  If everything is acceptable with the buyer the offer will move forward toward the sale of the house.  Your agent will make sure the title company has everything prepared to get ready for the closing a few days in advanced and let you know if anything else is needed to bring to the title company.

Close the deal
The “Closing” is where the ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer.  Your agent will be present during the closing to assist in any questions you may have and guide you throughout the process.  Make a list of all utilities that need to be turned off or transfered a couple of weeks before the closing to provide the utility companies adequate time.  Bring the keys to your house to provide to the buyers.