The prospect of selling a house can seem daunting! In reality, though, the steps to a strong sale are straight-forward once you know what to do. As you progress along the timeline below, you will be focused on the task at hand, rather than looking at the whole process at once.
Every listing is unique, so some of the steps below could happen in a slightly different order. Your agent will help you with this.
- Meet with a Realtor©: This will likely be the most important decision that you will make during this process, aside from the decision to move itself. The real estate agent that you choose to work with is going to be your point person throughout. Everyone’s needs are different, but surveys say that clients value the ability to communicate over every other qualification an agent may have, such as experience, negotiating strength, pricing expertise, familiarity with paperwork and legal aspects and knowledge about houses. Yes, these are also important qualities, but having an open channel of communication is key! This points to one crucial thing: you must like your agent! If you don’t get along, the work will not get done as efficiently as it must. Your prospective agent will discuss a price range with you after looking over your property and checking comparable properties in your area.
- Evaluate your needs: Why do we put this step second? Yes, you will be evaluating your situation before finding an agent, but a good agent will help you think of things that hadn’t occurred to you. Brainstorm with your agent about your next steps and your timing! Do you also need to look for a new home? This is the time to discuss your requirements.
- Complete your listing paperwork: You don’t want to leave this until the last minute. Having clear guidelines about your expectations of an agent and the legal aspects of a sale will free everyone’s mind to get your property sold!
- Determine the professional help you are going to need: You and your agent will decide, depending on your timeline, whether any repairs needed in order to improve your sale price. Will your house need a city inspection (required in some cities)? Is there any legal advice needed? Will the house be staged for showings? Is it time to get an estimate from movers? The agent you’ve chosen should have recommendations for all of the things you need, based on the years of experience they have and the many professionals and vendors they have worked with.
- Declutter and begin preliminary packing: Studies show that a home that is clear of clutter and staged will attract more offers and potentially fetch a higher price.
- Do a final market analysis: Right before going live, your agent will take another look at the market and comparable properties. Things can change fast in the housing market, so reevaluating a sale price is always a good idea. You’ll also complete any other paperwork that could be necessary.
- The listing goes live: Your work is done for the time being! Your agent may hold open houses and will begin to market your property in earnest. Showings will be scheduled. If you are still living in the house, you’ll need to figure out when those showings can happen and keep the house in show-ready condition!
- Receive offers, negotiate and accept an offer: In today’s market, this could mean choosing between several potential offers. You and your agent will decide who to pick based on your timeline for moving, the offered price, the prospective buyer’s financial ability, and other factors. If the buyer would like to have an opportunity to have the house inspected, this will normally happen quickly.
- Schedule your moving day and finish packing: If you have already moved, then you can skip this step!
- Attend the closing and unpack in your new home!
If you’re looking for an experienced agent to help you through this important process, take a look at Rod’s story (link to about page), and feel free to reach out to schedule an appointment (link to contact page).