Selling your home can be an emotional journey. But it can also be a highly profitable venture, especially with proper marketing.
In order to achieve the best possible results, it’s important to go about the process with care. Here’s our step-by-step home selling guide to help you avoid costly mistakes and get the best possible results.
- Work with a real estate agent.
Having a professional by your side will help you make objective decisions and keep you moving in the right direction. A realtor will also have the right tools and knowhow to market your property effectively.
- Price your home right.
Overpricing is a common home selling mistake and the biggest reason why a home stays on the market longer than necessary. A real estate agent can help you come up with an appropriate listing price by conducting a comparative market analysis. This considers several factors, including the selling prices of similar homes in your neighborhood, your home’s condition, amenities within your location, real estate trends in your area, and other factors.
- Get your home sale ready.
Together with your agent, and perhaps, a professional home inspector, go over your home and give it a thorough assessment. Identify areas that need repairs or improvements, and consider if upgrades or renovations can help improve your home’s value and desirability. Keep in mind that you are required to complete certain disclosures detailing the condition of your home and all existing problems and defects.
- Get your home staged.
After you’re done with any needed repair or improvement, consider having your home staged by a professional. While this is not a requirement, home staging can spell the difference between success and failure. A professional home stager knows how to present your home in its best light, and make it easier for buyers to picture themselves living in it.
- Market your home.
Together with your agent, come up with a marketing plan. Your agent can help get your home listed in popular sites with a wide reach, including the agent’s own website. You can also put up a “For Sale” sign in your yard, and consider advertising in real estate-related publications and other venues. Your agent may also utilize other marketing tools, such as email marketing or their own network, and help you stage open houses and home viewings.
- Receive and negotiate offers.
Don’t make the mistake of accepting the first viable offer that comes along. Always be prepared to make a counter-offer, but be sure to maintain reasonable terms and open lines with interested buyers. In addition to the price, consider the terms offered by each buyer, including down payments, earnest money payments, contingencies and others. Your agent will guide you through every step and help you make the right decisions.
- Accept an offer.
You will be signing a purchase contract that includes all the terms you and the buyer have agreed upon, including all contingencies. Be guided by the dates and conditions specified in the contract. The process then goes to escrow. At this time, the buyer will be doing most of the work as they finalize financing for the purchase and arrange for home appraisals and home inspections.
- Close the sale.
Once the payment has been released by the buyer’s lender and the title has been transferred to the buyer, the sale is considered closed. You will need to sign closing documents, receive the buyer’s down payment and any other agreed fees, and turn over the keys to the home’s new owners.