Selling your house might seem like an intimidating process if you’ve never done it before. Even for those with experience, you might have concerns about how well you can leverage your house’s curb appeal. We understand—you want to make sure you get a fair return on your investment.
Breaking the process up step by step is one way to feel more confident. Read on for a guideline on how to sell your house.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
You will likely want to hire a licensed real estate agent to help you sell your house. Even though they charge a commission or percentage of the home’s sale price, they’ll help you get a fair price for your home and make the process go as smoothly and quickly as possible. Ask a friend for a referral, and when choosing an agent, consider how long they’ve been in the industry and what other credentials they may have.
STEP 1: Prepare to List
First, you’ll need to prepare to list by making repairs, cleaning, and staging your home.
Repair any important features that are damaged, such as windows, roof, HVAC, plumbing, or holes in the walls or ceilings. Before renovating, weigh the potential costs against the potential market value increase of the upgraded home. Consider making improvements that have high return on investment, like a minor kitchen remodel or a new garage door.
Make sure to clean thoroughly. The house should be spotless for listing photos and showings!
Prior to any photos, you’ll want to properly stage the home.
- Schedule the photoshoot at a time the house gets the most light.
- Ensure photos are taken from multiple angles and choose the ones that best showcase the room.
- Your top priority should be to stage the most important rooms: the living room, master bedroom and kitchen.
- Consider getting a staging consultant.
STEP 2: List it!
Once you’re ready to list your house, determine a fair market price for it. A real estate agent can perform a market analysis to help decide the best listing price.
When it’s listed, be prepared for showings on short notice, so keep your house clean and tidy. Put items you’re not using in storage and keep everything clean and clutter-free. Your potential buyer could need to see your home at a time that’s inconvenient to you, so be as accommodating as possible. Consider allowing your agent access to your home with a keypad or lock box.
STEP 3: Receiving an Offer
Once you get an offer, your agent will meet with you to carefully review. You might accept the buyer’s terms with no changes, or you might make a counteroffer with changes to the proposed agreement. Or, you may reject it if the price is too low. Don’t ignore any offers.
STEP 4: Accepting an Offer
After you’ve accepted an offer, your agent or attorney will draft a purchase agreement contract. This spells out the purchase price, any repairs needed and other steps that must be made before closing, plus the closing date. The seller and buyer will both sign it.
The buyer will put a “good faith” deposit into the escrow account to show they are serious about going through with the purchase.
STEP 5: Inspection and Appraisal
If a home inspection is part of the terms, the buyer will schedule it to take place 7-10 days from accepting the offer. To prepare, make sure all areas of your home will be accessible to the inspector. Try to be out of the house during the inspection, since the buyer will likely be there and you want them to start feeling like the home is theirs.
After the inspection, you will either continue with selling the home as planned, or need to re-negotiate the purchase agreement.
The lender will also conduct the home appraisal as part of the closing process. If the appraised value is significantly lower than the purchase price, the buyer can back out or attempt to renegotiate.
STEP 6: Closing time!
All of your belongings must be removed prior to closing. There will be a final inspection just prior to closing to ensure the home is still in the condition it was when the buyer decided to purchase. You may also be able to pre-sign the documents and not attend the actual closing. If you’re attending the closing, you must bring all required items and documents.
STEP 7: Sold!
After closing, you’re all done, and the house is officially sold. Congratulations! If you need to talk to someone about financing your next home, TruStone Home Mortgage is always here to help.