When selling your home, it is beneficial to have a clear understanding of what to expect from the home selling process. Not only will this help to reduce your stress throughout the process, but it will also significantly increase your chances of achieving the most desirable outcome. To that end, here are the steps you can expect to complete as you put your house on the market.
Step #1: Preparing for Potential Buyers
Before you put your house on the market, you will need to make sure the home is properly prepared. Your real estate agent may recommend that you make certain repairs or improvements before putting the home on the market. You will also need to “stage” the home by decorating it and otherwise preparing it so it will be more appealing to potential buyers. This process will include removing clutter and ensuring the home is well lit for potential buyers to view.
Step #2: Choosing the Right Price
You will next need to determine the right price to ask for the home. Set the price too high and you will miss out on the dollars you deserve, set it too high and you won’t find a buyer anytime soon. Things that your real estate agent will consider when suggesting a list price will include:
- Square footage of the home
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Overall condition of the home
- Market in which you are selling
- Prices of homes that have sold in your area
You and your agent will also need to consider how quickly you need to sell when determining a price for the home.
Step #3: Prepare for the Inspection
As part of the selling process, you will be required to disclose any defects of the home that could potentially create problems for the buyer. Failure to disclose all information could lead to a lawsuit later. Discussing potential issues with your agent will also give you the opportunity to remedy them before the inspection, which will take place after you have accepted a bid from a buyer. Even if the buyer has made an offer on the home, problems during an inspection give the buyer the right to back out of the deal. Therefore, to save time and frustration for everyone involved, it is in your best interest to address these issues before it reaches the time for inspection.
Step #4: Choosing an Offer
Once interested buyers start making offers on your home, you will need to begin the negotiating process. When considering offers, you need to look at more than just the price being offered. Other factors to consider include:
- The closing date
- The ability of the buyer to finance the deal
- Contingent vs. non-contingent offers
- Personal property to be included in the deal
- Closing costs and lender processing fees
Your agent will be able to help you explore the pros and cons of the offers you receive so you can select the one that is right for you.
Step #5: Closing
Once the deal has been accepted and the inspections are complete, you can move forward with closing. Your title company will need the necessary paperwork to legally transfer ownership to the new owner. With the help of your buyer’s agent, however, you will have very little to do at this time. Just let your agent finish the work as you reap the rewards of selling your home.