The Home-Selling Process
There’s a lot to go into selling a home, and it’s not all paint and yard signs. The first step for any homeowner really should be talking with a professional. Not only can they help you get a firm understanding of the current market, but they’ve got the experience to help you understand what changes, if any, you may want to make to present your home in the best light and get the best price you can.
That doesn’t mean your home has to undergo an extreme renovation, but it may mean undertaking a few quick fixes (or price/ expectation adjustments) if there are things that need to be updated that you don’t have the means or time to do before your house hits the market.
Getting your Ducks in a Row
- Get in touch with an agent. You may be a savvy DIY-er, but somethings really should be left to the professionals. While it is certainly possible to sell your home by owner, you’ll be undertaking a process that can range from stressful to risky if you don’t use someone who has a solid understanding of both the market and the requirements and process involved.
- Get some numbers. The other bonus to having a licensed Realtor in your corner is having someone help you position your home in just the right price point. They’ll do this by getting comparative homes that have recently sold or are for sale in your area, and choosing a price point that puts you in a squarely competitive position.
- Prepping your home for sale. While you may not be in a position to completely renovate your home – or you may not even need to – an agent will be able to help point out some quick fixes you can make to present your home in the best light possible. Whether it’s simple staging fixes or slightly less simple upgrades, a responsible and seasoned agent will give you good insight into what changes you may need to make to get the best price as quickly as possible. A fresh coat of paint, clearing away clutter, and planting some flowers can go a long way when you’re trying to showcase your home for potential buyers.
Showing Your Home
- Prepping your home for showing. You thought you were done with prep work didn’t you? Surprise! Now that you and your agent have taken the time to talk through what updates and changes need to happen to get your home market ready, it’s time to talk about what kind of staging needs to happen to get your home open houses and show-ready. This means you’ll spend a lot of time scrubbing, de-cluttering, and maybe even minimizing. The trick here is not to show potential buyers how great of a home this has been for you, but instead to show potential buyers how great of a home this could be for them. That means that they need to not be bombarded by family pictures, random everyday clutter, and souvenirs – however wonderful and meaningful they may be. You’ll want to get your home as clean and ready as you can, and do all you can to keep it that way.
- The offer. This comes hopefully sooner rather than later – but when it does, you’ll take the next step towards getting your home sold. A buyer will present their offer – likely through their buyers agent – and you and your agent will review the offer and do one of three things: accept the offer, counter the offer, or ignore the offer. Once this process is complete, you’ll move on to the next step:
- Opening escrow. Your agent will open escrow on your behalf and order a title policy. At this point, they’ll schedule the closing and you’ll move forward. A few more things will happen in this process:
- Appraisal. The buyers financing will likely require an appraisal of the property, and so you’ll need to comply with any appraisal scheduling that comes your way.
- Inspection. Your agent will be able to give you some insight into what types of things the inspector will be checking here. Make sure your home is cleaned and prepped so the inspector has access to everything they’ll need.
- Inspection requests. Following the inspection, the buyer may have requests for repairs based on the report. You should review these carefully to determine whether they’re repairs you’re willing to make. Keep in mind, though, that the sale is not complete and the buyers are able to cancel the transaction.
- Closing. That’s it! The appropriate professionals will provide you with necessary documents to close the transaction and transfer the property into the buyers name.