A Step-by-Step, First-Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent and this easy to follow guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for the highest price possible.​​​​​​​


Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or state? Once you understand your needs, you can better understand what the right offer should look like. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your plan is to hold firm and wait for top dollar. Make sure you convey these needs to your REALTOR® once you choose one so he or she can plan and adjust your selling strategy accordingly.


Step 2: Determine Selling Price

Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process. When you set a fair price in the beginning, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest, long days on market, and eventually a stale listing with multiple price reductions that dip significantly below market value. Depending on the state of the current market, underpricing can be just as problematic. It can communicate the wrong intention, prompt offers from less committed buyers, or draw low-ball offers from buyers who aren't actually qualified to buy at your home's true value. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to determine the right selling price for your home. I can determine what other comparable homes are selling for, evaluate the current market, take into account unique characteristics and custom features, and may even suggest getting the opinions of other experts, like appraisers, contractors, and brokers, to ensure the price is set within a supported range of value.


Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to show to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so buyers can envision themselves there, making any small repairs, doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition, and professional staging. Sometimes it can even be beneficial to remodel important rooms, like the kitchen or bathrooms, replace windows or doors, paint, or upgrade flooring. A consultation can determine whether or not this approach would be advantageous, and we can arrange all of it for you with no upfront costs.


Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for your home. That begins with meticulously preparing and then professionally photographing the home. Next, it involves listing the home on the MLS and driving legitimate, qualified buyers to it through global syndication, targeted mail, social media campaigns, private tours, open houses, agent-to-agent networking, online ads, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing plan specific to your home, and we aim for the highest price possible in the shortest amount of time with every sale. That means we want to get the most traffic in the first few days, and we apply effective strategies in an effort to acquire multiple strong offers. We never sit and wait, and instead are constantly proactive in assessing, advising, and advocating on behalf of our sellers. This approach is why we have been able to achieve record-breaking results in a single weekend. (Continue to Step 5)

We are experts in preparing and promoting luxury homes.


Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is preapproved by a capable mortgage lender, has verified proof of funds for the down payment or if the offer is made as cash, and that all other terms are acceptable to you. If the offer is not acceptable, you can make a counter-offer or we can suggest other creative ways to bridge the gap, such as the buyer covering some or all of the closing costs, purchasing the home as-is, removing certain contingencies upfront, adjusting timelines, or purchasing furniture and/or other fixtures and property.


Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once we deem the offer is acceptable, we will review the proposed contract to make sure it’s all in order and includes the necessary components such as the deposit amount, down payment, financing parameters, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, settlement date, and a list of fees and who will pay them. When both parties have mutually agreed to the terms, a final contract will be prepared by your agent. After all parties have signed the purchase agreement, all applicable disclosures and addenda, the contract is considered "fully executed." A fully executed contract becomes the escrow instructions, and it is each party's responsibility, and the escrow holder's duty, to follow those instructions exactly. Any changes thereafter must be mutually agreed upon by the seller and buyer, and subsequently additional addenda and escrow amendments must also be fully executed in order to take effect.


Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer, escrow is in full swing, and you are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, you and the buyer must complete all of your contractual obligations before the escrow can close and ownership is transferred. In some cases, your home may need to be professionally inspected, surveyed, and appraised. In other cases, you may have agreed to repairs that will need to be finished before the sale can close. I will head up efforts to execute these action items smoothly and on time, make sure each matter is paid for by the correct party, and keep everything in perfect order for the closing date. I will be in daily communication with the settlement companies and your lender to be sure each matter is handled accurately and that funding, payoffs, transfer taxes, recordings, and much more happen when required. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to make arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession.


Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. If the buyer is taking possession right away, the agents will typically arrange a time and place to deliver the keys. In the meantime, we will also meet with the settlement company closing the transaction to sign the final paperwork and go over any issues that the buyer may not have taken care of yet. During this time, we can also make plans with to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or pool services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining, and ensuring the new owner has instructions and/or codes for all appliances and electronics that will remain in the home.


Once you have sold your home, you’re free to focus on what's next. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will give you peace of mind as you open a new chapter.

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