So you’re ready to sell your home? Selling your home is probably one of the most stressful experiences you will ever have. Between all of the moving parts of the preparation process and the point of selling, you may find yourself feeling completely overwhelmed. You’re likely asking yourself, where do I start? What’s the most important first move? How can I maximize my profit? The questions can be endless. The first and most important step you can take is to hire the right real estate professional. We will also touch on the other key steps to take in the process of selling your home.

Hire the Right Agent You Know, Like, and Trust

There are real estate agents everywhere, frankly, they are a dime a dozen. This can make it a little tricky to find the right one for you. You must put in some research and find the agent who will serve you in every way possible, negotiate as if you were their own family, and get your home sold speedily! Sure, you may have a friend or relative who is a real estate agent, and while you may feel like you’re doing them a favor by hiring them, its always crucial to hire the most successful real estate agent you can find, because, after all, the end goal is to get your home sold fast and for maximum profit!

What if I Sell On My Own?

Who doesn’t love to save money? Especially when trying to sell their home? Going the route of For Sale by Owner (FSBO) doesn’t even save you a lot of money. It is still necessary to pay the buyer’s agent a commission, even when you sell your house yourself. Only one side of the transaction would be free of commission. There is no denying the advantages of having a real estate agent on your team. A realtor will get your home the most exposure possible online through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), along with a market strategy that targets their network of buyers and agents. A great agent embodies the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure you maximize profit and sell quickly!

Pricing Your Home

It’s important to be objective and think realistically when it comes to pricing your home. Of course, we all feel emotionally connected and have made so many special memories in our homes, but we must look in as an outsider and really think clearly about how much we could sell our homes for. Most real estate agents will run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), in which they compare your property to nearby homes of similar size and features that are either on the market or have recently sold. Your realtor can then price your home based on facts, not feeling. 

Now, in a certain market climate, homes commonly sell above the asking price but keep in mind that your home must go under an appraisal once an offer is accepted. The buyer’s lender will have an appraiser assess the value of your home to make sure that the loan amount isn’t too much or too little. The lender gets the security they need to move forward with a loan application, and the buyer is protected from sellers setting unrealistic prices.

Estimated Net Sheet

It is also important to have your realtor put together an estimated net sheet to let you know how much you might make from the sale of your home. It will provide you with all of the numbers you want to know, such as the closing costs and net proceeds. Some costs on the net sheet will include realtor commissions, notary fees, escrow and title fees, and so on. These costs are not paid upfront but through the proceeds of the sale of your home. Being aware of how much you may net from the sale of your home is beneficial in helping you budget your next move.

Prepare Your Home

Getting your home in tip-top shape to sell can be intimidating. The list of to-dos may feel endless, but before you go into improvements and upgrades, consider getting a pre-sale home inspection to pinpoint any problem areas and issues (structural or mechanical) that will need to be addressed in order to close a sale. While not necessary to do right away, having this inspection done in advance can give you the upper hand and make the process of selling faster if repairs are done in conjunction with your prep work.

Smart Upgrades & Staging

Don’t waste time and money putting in granite countertops or other luxurious features if local buyers aren’t even seeking those types of upgrades. A good real estate agent knows what the people in your area expect of homes, and can guide you in the way of implementing upgrades accordingly. It is key to make sure that the upgrades you choose to make will give you a high return on investment. The best return on investment usually comes from updating the kitchens and bathrooms. Some upgrades could be as simple as a fresh coat of neutral paint throughout, replacing doorknobs, cabinet/drawer pulls, faucets, ceiling fans, and light fixtures/sconces. Also, don’t forget a tidy and cozy curb appeal. 

When first approached with the idea of staging their home, some sellers may think of it as an unnecessary effort. Our home looks great, right? Who wouldn’t want to live here? Well, buyers must be able to envision themselves in your home. Decluttering, removing personal photos, and maybe even rearranging, and adding some inexpensive but attractive decor throughout (that can be easily returnable) are all smart and intentional ways to stage your home and create an attractive and cozy environment for buyers to view and tour. 

A good and deep clean is essential as well, we want our homes sparkling when the buyers come. Once staged beautifully, your realtor will take high-quality photos that give your home the justice it deserves. Pictures showing off every room and angle with natural light pouring in can maximize your home’s online presence and make a huge difference in a speedy or slow sale.

Listing Your Home

Once your realtor has taken photos of your home, they will plug in those photos and all of the information about your home including a descriptive story that highlights all of the amenities and features of your home, and will share it with the MLS (Multiple Listing Service.) Buyer agents will be able to examine your house and all of its details through the MLS, which is a database of every home currently for sale in the area.

Accurate Seller’s Disclosure

It is a requirement to complete a seller’s disclosure document when selling your home. There are certain details about your property that need to be disclosed to potential buyers. This is to protect yourself from any negative impact the information might have on the property. Some examples of points you would be required to disclose are HOA information, the risk from natural disaster, water damage, mold or environmental contamination, repairs, death on the property, and many more.  Your real estate agent will provide the document and guide you through this process. Be mindful of every detail, and don’t hide anything, because you could bring on a lawsuit from a buyer! 

Showing Time

When it comes to showings, make sure you steer clear! When a current homeowner is present, potential buyers can feel uneasy and hesitant to express their opinions and spend their desired amount of time touring your home. Allow the buyer to envision themselves in the space, free from the feeling of needing to meet the owner and converse with them. You can also have your real estate agent present at the showing if you’d prefer.

Reviewing of Offers & Closing

After your home is officially listed and purchasers have seen it, offers should start pouring in. Buyers will likely offer at or above the asking price if your local market is competitive and favors sellers. You may even receive multiple offers. Meanwhile, it may be necessary to negotiate if sales in your area seem slow and there aren’t as many offers. You can choose to accept an offer as-is, counter or reject the offer. When your counter an offer, you are negotiating terms and price. They are always in writing and require a short timeframe, 48 hours max, for a response.

Be wary of details in purchase agreements as well, such as what is included and not included in the offer, and how it could all affect you in the end. Among the details to watch out for are the purchase price, inspections, improvements, closing costs, and contingencies such as the sale of the buyer’s home. Keep in mind that if a buyer uses bank financing, the property must be evaluated. There must be a way to cover any difference between the purchase price and the appraised value, or the contract will collapse.

The next step is to close on the house now that the remainder of the process has been completed. For home buyers, closing involves showing up at the closing date. Additionally, sellers are not obligated to attend the closing.

In Conclusion

Selling your home involves several steps and details that can easily overwhelm anyone, particularly if it is your first time. The key to a smoother and less daunting process is having a realtor working for you. A realtor can guide you through every single step, assuring you that every “i” has been dotted and every “t” has been crossed. You will be grateful in the end that you didn’t take on the task of selling your home alone. One of our real estate agents with 316 Realty Group would be more than happy to assist you in the process of selling your home, contact us today, and let’s get started on this journey together!