Selling your house may feel like an intimidating process, especially while you prepare for your upcoming move. There are many layers to selling real estate.
If you’re not ready, you could easily find yourself overwhelmed. On the contrary, when you invest in your understanding of the process, you can expedite the sale of your home and earn a higher sales price while reducing stress.
Working with the right real estate agent is imperative. Interview agents so you can find one who is not only an expert in their field as well as your area and property type, but who also makes you feel comfortable and confident moving forward.
Ask friends and family for referrals, read reviews and check ratings online, check their websites for certifications, and set a meeting by phone or in person where you can ask important questions. Then, your agent can walk you through the steps of selling your house.
- Step One: Repairs, Maintenance, and Upgrades
- Step Two: The Art of Staging – Dressing Your House for Success
- Step Three: Setting the Right Listing Price for Your House
- Step Four: Showings and Open Houses
- Step Five: Reviewing and Negotiating Offers
- Step Six: The Closing Process
- Have Questions? Ask Becky!
Step One: Repairs, Maintenance, and Upgrades
When you accept an offer from a buyer, their lender is going to require an inspection of the house.
The inspector investigates the major systems such as electrical, heating and air, plumbing, the roof, the foundation, and the structure.
Make sure everything is in good condition before you list the house for sale.
When it comes to issues discovered during the inspection, the buyer has options.
They can require you to fix the problems before closing, ask for a reduced price to allow them to make the repairs — or can even back out of the contract.
Step Two: The Art of Staging – Dressing Your House for Success
To stage your house is to glam it up, add elements of charm, and deliver the wow factor. The goal is to woo the buyers, to have them swoon, to entice them to fall in love with the property.
The most practical place to start when staging your house for sale is to declutter. It’s time to un-stuff the closets, clean out the junk drawers, and start preparing not only to list your current house, but also to move on to your next adventure.
This is an ideal time for yard sales, donations, and packing into storage anything you know you won’t need before the move.
Decluttering also means reducing the amount of furniture in the home. Big, bulky pieces of furniture (especially if they’re dark) can make a room appear smaller and feel stuffy. You want to create the opposite effect by establishing a bright, fresh, open, airy space.
Next, depersonalize the home. To depersonalize means to remove things like family photos, religious or political items, sports paraphernalia, or other belongings that might make a buyer feel like a guest in your home rather than envisioning themselves living in the house.
Finally, give the whole house a good scrub inside and out. Clean sells. Bleach the sinks, toilets, showers, and tubs.
Dust the ceiling fans and air vents, wipe the windowsills, wash the baseboards, and clean anything your eye catches that stands out. If you can see it, you can rest assured that potential buyers will find it.
If necessary, shampoo or replace carpets and paint the walls in soft, warm, neutral tones.
Step Three: Setting the Right Listing Price for Your House
Your professional real estate agent is your best resource when it comes to placing the right price on your house for sale.
Listing price and sales price are not the same. List price is what you hope to get whereas the sales price is the amount the buyer paid.
Your agent has access to what’s known as a comprehensive market report, or a CMA. This report shows a list of homes in your area, similar to yours, that have recently sold. This data gives you a realistic idea of what buyers are willing to pay in your area in the current market.
You may be tempted to aim high with room to lower the price if your house doesn’t sell, but that could backfire. The longer a house is on the market, and the more times the price is reduced, the harder it is to sell. It’s critical that you price your house competitively from the beginning.
Step Four: Showings and Open Houses
One of the best things you can do during showings and open houses is to be absent. Being present while buyers inspect your home with a critical eye can make both you and the potential buyer uncomfortable.
The same is true with animals. If you have pets, find a safe place for them away from home on the days you know the house is open for buyers.
Make sure the house is tidy before showings – make the beds, pick up the laundry, do the dishes, and remove used towels from the bathrooms.
Ask your real estate agent about other ways you can help create successful showings.
Step Five: Reviewing and Negotiating Offers
In the best case scenario, you’ll get multiple offers to consider. Rely on the expertise of your real estate agent to guide you through reviewing offers.
Pay attention to more than just the offer price. Consider things like contingencies, closing dates, or other factors that may be equally as important as the money.
A contingency is when a buyer says they’ll buy your house, but only under certain conditions. The most common contingency is that the buyer’s current house has to sell first to fund the purchase for your home.
Contingencies can be tricky, so talk with your agent about what offers might best suit your needs.
Step Six: The Closing Process
The closing process could take up to 90 days, so you’ll need to practice patience.
During the closing process, the house is inspected and appraised. The appraisal proves to the lender that the house is worth its sales price while the inspection satisfies the lender and buyer that the property is in good condition.
At the same time, a title search is done to verify that there are no liens or tax holds that could prevent the title from being transferred.
On the day of closing, the buyer, real estate agents, escrow agents, and possibly attorneys, gather at what’s known as the closing table.
As the seller, attending the closing meeting is optional if you’ve authorized your real estate agent or attorney to complete the process on your behalf.
But by this point, you should be completely moved out of the property and ready to turn over the keys. At the end of the closing meeting, you no longer reside there and the buyer takes ownership.
When you decide to list your house for sale, enlist the help of a real estate agent who makes you feel at ease and lends confidence to the process.
Before you list, make sure the house is in good condition, and then dress the house for success with attentive staging.
Work with your agent to find the best listing price for your house. Don’t overshoot and price too high or you may have difficulty selling in the long run.
Assist in showings and open houses by tidying up, making arrangements for pets, and leaving the house to make buyers for comfortable.
Carefully consider offers, including contingencies and closing dates, and then be patient during the closing process.
Ask your agent for more details about the steps to selling your house.
Have Questions? Ask Becky!
Give Becky Nay a call today at 801-573-2077 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.