Selling your home can be a complicated process. And if you’ve never sold a home before, you likely have no idea where to even start. Having a checklist of what steps to take can help you make sure you’re right on track throughout the whole process. Read on to find the basic steps for selling a home.
Think Carefully About Why You’re Selling Your Home
Before anything else, make sure that you’re completely positive you want to sell your home. You don’t want to be in the middle of this process only to suddenly change your mind. Try writing a pro-and-con list. If you’re not completely sure you want to sell, or if it’s not the best time for selling, you might want to put it off. Find trusted professionals who you can talk to as well. The average person takes several months after first thinking about selling to actually list their home. So don’t worry about taking your time. Plus, when you know your specific motivations, it will help a great deal throughout the process.
Find the Best Time to Sell
Research what the best time for selling homes is in your area. Understanding the real estate market in your area can really help you out throughout this process. Set a timeline for the best time to sell your home. Keep in mind that the process of selling a home usually takes around several months. In general, research has found that the best time to sell a home is in the first half of May. Ultimately, however, the best time to sell your home is whatever time works best for you individually.
Gather Necessary Paperwork
Knowing where your paperwork is ahead of time will avoid an extra headache when the process gets more complicated. This important paperwork will include:
- homeowner’s insurance
Know What You’ll Need to Pay
Look into the expected transaction costs for selling a house. This includes hiring a real estate agent, paying for any necessary repairs, and paying for listing the property for sale. Research transfer taxes and property taxes. You may or may not need to pay closing costs. That can be negotiated between you and the buyer. But you might still want to include them, just to get a total number to have in mind.
Select an Agent
You won’t want just any agent—you’ll need the absolute right one. The right agent will get you the best price. You’ll probably want to interview a few different agents before selecting one. Make sure you hire an agent who’s an expert on the market and has a proven track record. Be sure to check online reviews.
Get Your Home Ready for Selling
Staging your home for when you show it is another very important step. Some tasks are obvious and low effort, such as decluttering and cleaning. You can even hire a professional cleaning service if you want an extra deep cleaning. Another option that many don’t know about is hiring a professional stager. Stagers understand the best way to make your home look as spacious and welcoming as possible.
Marketing your home is also necessary, so think about getting professional photos taken to put online. Also, try to write a compelling description. And consider extra options, such as videos or virtual tours.
This step will also include completing home improvements. Look into getting a pre-inspection. This will let you know if there are any problem areas you should fix. Make the necessary repairs you can. At the same time, however, don’t spend money you don’t have on unnecessary upgrades. If you do have money to spare, think about certain upgrades, such as updating the appliances. Those can make your house sell for a higher price.
Don’t forget about curb appeal either. That means tending to your garden, keeping up with landscaping, power washing and/or repaving driveways and sidewalks, raking leaves, and so on.
You can usually keep your furniture when your home is staged for sale. However, if you have older, bulky, or damaged furniture, you should move those to a storage unit.
Do you have pets? See if you can keep them at a friend’s house or a pet daycare while potential buyers look at your home.
You can also never be too careful when it comes to your private information. Lock away anything valuable, just to be sure nothing gets stolen. And hide any mail, private documents, identification, or even photos.
Decide How to Price the Home
Of course, ideally, you want to try to get the maximum price if you can. At the same time, however, make sure not to overprice your home. Again, knowing a bit about your local real estate market will help with this. See if there are any similar homes for sale near your neighborhood. That can help give you the right range of prices. You can find out the final prices of sold homes in your area by searching through local property records. If someone is looking at homes nearby, they won’t want to pay a lot more for a similar home in the same area.
You can ask your agent to run a comparative market analysis. Or consider getting a professional appraisal, as an unbiased opinion is always very helpful.
Review and Negotiate Your Offers
Your agent will be very helpful during this step, especially when it comes to counteroffers. While the price is important, it’s not the only thing. Don’t get too distracted by price and ignore other important factors. These factors can include escrow date, move-in time, special allowances, and any contingencies.
Another part of the negation process is a home inspection. The buyer may request certain repairs, which is another thing you’ll negotiate.
Make sure you’re absolutely clear on everything in the offer before signing off on the final paperwork. Once you accept an offer, it’s time to move on to the closing.
Move Out of Your Home
Closing and moving out is the final step. Requirements can vary depending on the state you’re in. Be sure to check with your real estate agent to know all the paperwork you’ll need to complete in order to close. This is also the stage where you’ll need to pay a commission for your agent, in addition to transaction taxes and other fees.
Once you’ve set a closing date, it will soon be time to move out. Put the items the buyers will need, such as the keys, in a safe and accessible space. Pack up ahead of time, and do one last cleaning before you officially move out.
Again, finding the right agent is an incredibly important step that will help a great deal throughout the entire process. That’s where Allen Real Estate Group comes in. Our agents can also help you find your new home. You can find more information on our website, including helpful resources in our blog.