There’s an old misconception that selling your home has to be an overly complicated process. While every home has its unique challenges, the home selling process doesn’t have to be feared. Knowing how the process works and how you can get ready are great steps to take for preparing to sell your home. Below you’ll find an overview of the typical steps needed to effectively sell your home!
The Process of Selling Your Home With A Real Estate Agent
Step 1: Decide Your Ready to Sell
It might be a no-brainer but it’s an important first step in the home selling process. You want to make sure you’re truly ready to sell your home. There’s a lot that follows once you list your home and you want to make sure that you and your family are ready for it.
Step 2: Contact a Real Estate Agent
Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to sell your home, the next important step is to contact a local real estate agent. Having a good real estate partner who knows the local area well is crucial. Don’t be afraid to contact multiple real estate agents to compare what they can offer you.
Step 3: Discuss Your Home’s Worth
The real estate agent you choose should, at a bare minimum, provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA looks at sales data from your local area to help you determine what your home could be worth. Use this as a starting point and talk with your real estate agent about how your home’s estimated value fits in with your financial goals.
Step 4: Gather Necessary Documents
Your agent will help you determine the necessary documents for your listing. You will want to fill out items such as a seller’s disclosure, homeowner’s association (if applicable), lead-based paint addendum, and make sure you and your real estate agent have negotiated and agreed upon your terms of the sale. Additionally, it’s always helpful to gather receipts and invoices for any major improvements made to the property.
Step 5: Get Your Home Ready to List
Small things like cleaning, decluttering, and staging can go a long way to make your home stand out. Consult your real estate agent and/or a stager to implement best practices. It’s also not a bad idea to conduct a pre-inspection and remedy any minor repairs, though this comes at a small cost.
Step 6: Have Your Home Professionally Photographed
A picture is worth a thousand words and professional photography will make your home stand out on the internet. Exclusive use of professional photography is a sign of a great real estate agent.
Step 7: Create Your Property Listing
One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent is their access to the multiple listing service (MLS). Work with your agent to create a listing description that is not only accurate but also highlights the unique selling points of your home.
Step 8: Hold Open Houses and Showings
As a seller, being flexible with home access is an important step in the home selling process. The more exposure to buyers your home can get, the faster it will sell. Keep your agent in the loop should anything in your home showing schedule change. Determine whether you want your agent to be at every showing or whether you’re comfortable allowing other agents to schedule with you and show your home.
Step 9: Review Offers and Negotiate
If your home is positioned well and buyers are able to easily view it, the purchase offers will start to roll in. Have no fear of missing out, your real estate agent is required to present every offer to you. Review the offers with your agent and discuss the terms of each. They will be able to help guide you when it comes to accepting, rejecting, or making a counter offer.
Step 10: Open Escrow With the Title Company
Your real estate agent will open escrow and order a title search with a local title company. Any earnest deposits from the buyer will be sent to the title company where they will then begin work on your transaction.
Step 11: Prepare for Inspections and the Appraisal
As the seller, you’ll need to provide adequate access to your home for the buyers to inspect the home and for the appraiser to value the home for the bank. Make sure the home is nice and tidy for both of these events. Remember the buyer can back out for many reasons during their inspection period and you want your home to appraise well!
Step 12: Negotiate for Any Repairs
Following the inspection period, the buyer’s may want to negotiate credits or price reductions for any repairs needing to be made. Work with your real estate agent to determine what is and isn’t appropriate for you to cover.
Step 13: Start to Pack and Move
Your real estate agent will be able to give you a better understanding of when you’re in the clear to begin packing. Generally after the Buyer Inspection Notice and Seller’s Response (in Arizona) is signed and agreed upon, you are good to go. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with your agent before beginning!
Step 14: Set Your Buyers Up for Success
Be sure to leave all house keys, mail keys, garage clickers and codes in a convenient location for the new buyers. Often times the best spot for these items is right on the kitchen counter. If you have any appliance manuals, warranties or other information, it’s always nice to leave those as well.
Step 15: Sign Your Documents and Close
Depending on your situation, you may go to a title office to sign your closing documents. There is also the option of a mobile notary and, with the pandemic, a remote notary which is completed virtually. Once you and the buyers have signed these documents, the deed to your home will be recorded with the county registrar in the names of the new owners and you will no longer own the property.