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Steps To Selling


You might be thinking of selling your house because you have more space or are ready to downsize. Or maybe you're moving for school or work reasons. It doesn't matter what reason you have; it is important to prepare for the sale. This can be stressful and emotional, especially for first-time homeowners. You probably feel a strong emotional attachment to your home and you are likely making the largest investment of your life.

You have the advantage of being a first-time seller. You spent time researching the right home and gathering financial documents. Next, you will spend your time making your house attractive to potential buyers. Depending on your plans, there may be additional stress when you are simultaneously buying and selling.

Guide For First-Time Home Sellers

These ten steps will give you some of the best tips to sell your house.

  1. Identify your selling motivations.

  2. Find the best time to list in your area.

  3. Commitment to a representation strategy.

  4. Home improvements complete.

  5. Make your home more affordable.

  6. Sell your house by staging.

  7. Promote your listing effectively.

  8. Keep an eye out for closing hurdles.

  9. Get out.

  10. Meet closing obligations.

  11. Identify your motivations for selling

Take the time to understand your reasons for selling. It can be difficult and costly, so make sure you are certain that you want to sell.

  • Contact Finances:

    Call your current loan servicer for information about your mortgage balance. This is the first step in understanding how much equity your home will have when it's time to sell. This figure will help you plan for the future and budget for any improvements that you need before you list.

  • Create A List Of Non-Negotiables:

    List your must-haves and deal-breakers. For example, how long do you have to move? How much do you have to spend on home improvements before listing? What is the minimum price you are willing to accept for sale?

Find The Best Time To List In Your Area

Knowing the market conditions in your area can help you determine the best time to list. For example, you might be able to wait for a seller market. This is when more buyers are searching for homes than homes are available. This gives sellers more negotiation power, which can lead to higher prices.

The first half of May is traditionally the best time to sell your house. This is both to maximize your profit and minimize the time on the market. Research shows that homes listed in this window sold six days quicker than the average and for $1600 more. 2020 however, changed the rules. The prime selling season extended well into the off-season.

A Representation Strategy Should Be Embraced

First, you need to decide if your house will be sold on your own ("for sale by owner") or if it will be sold through a real estate agent. Only 10% of the sellers who reported selling their homes in the last year engaged an agent. Another 10% tried to sell their home on their own but sought out help from an agent.

Consider the pros & cons of each option. This includes how fast you can sell your house, the market temperature, and any unique features that might require negotiation skills.


To Hire An Agent

  • Ask for recommendations.

  • Each potential agent should be interviewed.

  • Do not hesitate to negotiate your contract.

  • Trust the home-selling advice of your agent.

Complete Home Renovations

Selling your home is a process that requires effort, regardless of whether you have the time or not. You want potential buyers to fall in love again with your home as you did when they first purchased it. Therefore, make sure your home is ready for move-in so that it appeals to as many buyers as possible.

Research shows that sellers who hire professional help spend on average $4,953 to prepare their homes for sale. However, the type of repairs and upgrades that you make will depend on your home's condition and the needs of potential buyers. A real estate agent can help you identify the things that should be on your list. Here are some tips to help you make your home more beautiful, no matter what.

  • Pre-Inspection:

    While it is likely that your buyer will conduct an inspection as part of the purchase process, sellers may opt to perform their preinspection. 25% of sellers who had a relationship with an agent had an inspection completed before they contacted an agent. Why? Pre-inspection is a great way to avoid unexpected costs and allows you to correct any issues that an inspector might flag.

  • Increase Your ROI With The Most Popular Home Improvements:

    Think about adding some of the features that buyers today love, like a steam bath, professional kitchen appliances or heated floors, or radiant heating.

  • Keep Your Curb Appeal In Mind:

    Spend some time in your front yard to make an impression. Powerwash, your driveway and sidewalks, add seasonal plants to pots or garden beds, overgrown trim plants, and rake leaves.

Sell your home as-is to avoid making costly improvements. While you may end up with less cash, selling a home as-is is a great way to speed up the sale process and reduce upfront out-of-pocket costs.

Your Home Should Be Priced Competitively

Finding the right price for your home can be difficult, but it is essential in a successful sale. Accurately priced homes are more likely to sell quickly. Research shows that 57 percent sell homes at or above the listing price when they receive an offer within the first week. This drops to 50% the second week of the market and trends downward the longer it goes.

You can sell your house quickly if you use all of the tools available to you.

  • Search Comparables:

    Also known as "comps," comparables are records that show the sale prices of homes in similar situations. It is important to ensure that the comparables you use for reference are in the same area and size as your own home.

  • Hiring An Appraiser:

    A professional appraisal of your home may cost you between $300-$700. However, it is a worthwhile investment if it helps to sell your house quickly and at a fair price.

  • Trust Your Agent:

    Your real estate agent should have a deep understanding of the local home values. This will make them a valuable resource in determining the best listing price. They can also help you determine the best pricing strategy to attract the most interest and possibly even incite a bidding war.

Sell Your House By Staging

You should prepare your home for sale by organizing your furniture and decorating it in a way that is appealing to as many potential buyers as possible.

Home staging is a process that can take many forms and require different levels of effort. However, here are some key tips.

  • Depersonalize, Declutter, And Clean:

    Too much stuff can make a home feel small and cluttered. In addition, too many personal items, such as family photos, can make it difficult for buyers to visualize themselves living in your home.

  • Choose A Staging Plan That Suits Your Needs:

    There are many levels of home staging available, depending on your budget and timeframe, as well as how important staging is in your area. While the homeowner can do some staging, larger projects require professional assistance.

  • Takedown Children's And Pets' Belongings:

    While many buyers are dog owners or parents with young kids, they want to see their families in the house, not yours. Repair pet damage and remove all pets' possessions. Clear out toys, gates, high chairs, and other items that could cause harm.

Market Your Listing Effectively

After your home has been ready for buyers, the next step is to get your listing in front of as many buyers as possible. Here are some tips to help you list your home.

  • Advertise Across Multiple Media:

    Homebuyers today search online for listings to find homes. They also look for signs on their front lawns that say 'for sale' and 'open houses.' As a result, your listing will be seen more often, which means more potential buyers will find it.

  • Investing In Professional Marketing Photos:

    With the majority of buyers (and agents) searching online for homes, your MLS or home's online listing is what most people see. Professional photos can make your home stand out. You should ensure that the photos are high-quality and realistic. You might even consider doing a video tour.

  • Create A Compelling Listing Description:

    Your listing description must highlight the best features of your home and the amenities buyers are looking for in your area. Include any most popular amenities in your areas, such as a rooftop deck or a backyard pool. Keep your listing brief and avoid using real estate jargon.

  • Schedule Showings:

    You've done all the hard work to prepare your home for buyers. Make sure that you allow as many viewings as possible. A showing is more than a clean home. You should make sure that shoppers can leave feedback. You should keep track of all visitors and, if you are selling your products on your own, have a third-party representative host your tours to make sure buyers feel at ease sharing their thoughts.

Keep An Eye Out For The Closing Hurdles

If you have a home that has been on the market for some time and it is not selling as fast as you would like, you might need to go back and do some of the above steps: make home improvements, set a price, and market your property effectively.

The biggest obstacle to home-selling is getting a great offer. However, once you have signed the contract, it doesn't mean that the problems are over. These are some potential problems that could arise between accepting an offer and closing.

  • A Bad Home Inspection Report:

    When major problems are discovered, buyers might walk away from a deal if they feel the repairs are too costly. Be prepared to negotiate, regardless of whether the inspection uncovers small fixes or major problems.

  • Too Low A Home Appraisal:

    If your buyer is financing the house, the lender will usually order an appraisal to ensure that the property is worth the loan amount. The buyer must pay the difference in cash, or the house will be repossessed if the property's value falls below the loan amount.

  • Financing Failure:

    During the underwriting process, your buyer can lose their financing. It could be due to new debt, missed payments on credit cards, or changes in employment that make the bank feel there is too much risk in financing your home.

Getting Out

  • Moving Costs:

    Moving is costly and time-consuming, no matter where you are moving. A local move that is less than 100 miles can be serviced by two movers with a truck and costs $80-100 per hour.

    Make sure to prepare for any unexpected costs on your move day.

  • Timing It Right:

    Not only are moving costs high, but timing is also crucial. Sources show that 61% of sellers buy within 12 months. Temporary housing might be an option if you are buying and selling simultaneously. This will allow you to not worry about timing the sale and purchasing perfectly, which is rare.

  • Be Ready To Move Quickly:

    The average time to sell a house is between 65-93 days from listing to closing in 2018. You must be out of your home by the closing date.

Complete All Closing Obligations

You, as the seller, are responsible for certain legal documents and processes when closing on your home.

  • Make Repairs And Get Certifications:

    It is your responsibility if you have been asked to make repairs as part of your post-inspection negotiations. In addition, if the buyers requested (and you accepted), any inspections or certifications such as a sewer line inspection, or roof condition certifications, should also be completed.

  • Submit Property Disclosures:

    In most states, and sellers are required to disclose any known defects and issues that could impact the safety or value of the home. This is called a Property Disclosure. These should be written and documented before closing. The specific rules and procedures will vary depending on where you live.

  • Estimated Closing Costs:

    Selling a house is expensive. Before closing day, review your closing costs to be prepared for what you will see. Sellers can expect closing costs of 8-10% of the property's sale price. This amount includes your agent's fee, the buyer's agent's commission (typically paid by the seller), taxes, and fees. These costs can be deducted from the proceeds you will receive if you have equity in selling the house.

  • Sign Documents:

    the last step is to show up at your closing appointment. This is where you will sign all legal documents related to the sale of your property. You can sign with your buyer at the same time, depending on where you live.

  • Handover Keys:

    The keys are given to the buyer after leaving the premises and according to your contract. You might give the keys to the buyer if they are taking immediate possession. Depending on your agreement, it might be sooner.

  • Closing The Transaction:

    The settlement agent, either the closing attorney or the escrow company, will record the deed to the property with the county. They will pay your remaining mortgage balance and all closing costs and ensure you get your profit.

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