Steps to Selling Your Home

1) Define Your Motives for Selling

Start by making a list of reasons to sell your home. It may be because of a new job opportunity, or because you need a larger house. It's important to write down how quickly you'd like to sell your home and what your expectations are on the price. Seeing your list will help you set accurate expectations and plan. Once realistic expectations have been agreed upon, find a trustworthy real estate agent to work with you.

  • Before you decide on selling your home, you should consider renting it out. There are many advantages to renting your old home. Not only do you maintain a secure and appreciating asset, you also receive extra passive income.

2) Understand Your Homes Value

The objective is to get the best selling price for your home. Begin by looking at the state of your home. What are other homes similar to yours pricing at? What does the local market dictate? Keep in mind that the home seller can be slightly biased on the value of their home. That's why it's important to work with a real estate agent to set the final price. The agent may recommend that a professional appraisal is done, the appraisal will be completely unbiased. The price of the home needs to be close to market value. If the house is underpriced your losing money, if the house is overpriced it will sit on the market for too long. Homes that've been listed for too long scare away potential buyers who think there's something wrong with it. This could cause your home to be listed below market value in order to sell.

3) Get Your Home Ready for Sale

Maximize the perceived value of the home for the buyer. Go through all the rooms and remove anything that can subtract from the value of the home through the buyers eyes. Oftentimes the homeowner misses all the little nuances because they're used to seeing everything, it's best to ask a friend to go through the rooms with you, they'll notice something you missed.

Every room should be spotless and well lit for showings. The bathroom and kitchen are most important. There should be no visible rust or grout and no outdated fixtures. No faucets should be leaking and making all minor repairs before listing is necessary. Things that didn't bothered you may reduce the value of the home in the buyers eyes. The outside can't be forgot, all sticks, debris, and yard items should be tucked neatly away or thrown out. The yard is the first impression and has to be tidy. Once the house is showroom ready, it's time to get people to see it.

4) Market Your Home

Getting people to look at your house is easy. Their are a list of ways to do this: yard signs, open houses, direct mail marketing but the main source of traffic is going to come from the internet, more specifically the MLS. The MLS is the Multiple Listing Service, it does the job of bringing Buyers and Sellers together.

5) Negotiate and Accept an Offer

It's time to get serious, you're gonna have to be the most professional business person you can for this part of the process. Negotiating are going to have to take place in order for both parties to get what they want. A good real estate agent will always shoot for the win-win. Your agent should be an expert in the art of negotiation.

Some common negotiation points:

  • Price
  • Repairs
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Move-in Date
  • Financing

6) Closing

You've accepted an offer to sell your house, contract fulfillment is the last part. You might need to appraise, survey, inspect or repair the property. Your agent will hand the buyer's agent and all the different services that need to be completed to satisfy the contract. If everything checks out and the house is in good condition upon formal inspection, the sale moves forward. If not you or the buyer might walk away from the deal or re-negotiate the contract.

Once the sale goes into the final step the deal gets closed. Ownership of the title is transferred to the buyer and the exchange is made. Your agent will be on premises for the entire exchange, you may even choose to have a lawyer with you. Right before closing your going to want to make sure electricity/gas/cable and all other services are canceled or transferred to the new buyer.

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