Selling your home is an exciting venture as
you move to a different house, or even a new city. It’s the start of a new
chapter! But if you’re unprepared, the task can be daunting. Whether this is
your first time selling your home or your tenth, there are so many factors to consider
that it can feel very overwhelming. Without atrusted
real estate agent by your side, you may be unsure what you need to
do to successfully sell your home. To help you feel confident as you prepare to
sell your home, we’ve created a checklist that you can use as a guide.
1. Determine Your Need to Sell
Before you put your
home on the market, consider whether it is a good time to sell your home.
Answer the following questions to help you gauge whether or not you are ready
What are your goals for the next
Can you afford to sell, move, and
purchase a new home?
What is your home equity?
What does the local housing market
Could you remodel your home to
better fit your needs?
Can you benefit from renting your
2. Calculate Your Selling Expenses
Selling a home entails
multiple expenses many people may not consider. Before you start looking for a
new home, make sure you can afford to sell your current one by calculating the
Estimate the cost of repairs and
updates you’ll need to make on your home before it’s ready to be put on the
Will these projects increase the
value of your home, or will they simply be necessary to entice potential
buyers? Your Realtor can help you differentiate.
Determine which green upgrades and
remodeling projects you can afford that will increase the value of your home.
In most cases, you will pay 7-10%
of your home’s value in closing costs.
Other selling expenses may include
home inspection, capital gains tax, mortgage payoff penalties, staging and
marketing costs, and moving expenses.
3. Plan Your Strategy
If possible, you’ll
want to sell your home during a peak season where there are multiple potential
buyers and a higher chance of your home selling quickly. Outside of the time of
year you plan to sell, there are other ways to strategize and plan for the sale
of your home.
Interview a Realtor or a few
Realtors to get professional advice.
4. Determine Your Home’s Market Value and Set a Price
When it’s time to
list your home, your Realtor will help you set a price. To do this, they’ll do
a market valuation to calculate your home’s fair market value (FMV). Fair
market value means the price at which a willing seller will sell, and a willing
buyer will buy, neither being under abnormal pressure to act. Their market
valuation will be based on:
current local economic factors
local seasonal trends
local real estate sales that are
comparable to your property (Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) report)
Once they have a reasonable estimate of the fair market value, they will use that information
help you set the price.
5. Market Your Home
To generate interest
in your house and increase the likelihood that your house will sell quickly, your agent will do the following to advertise and market your home:
List your home on the local MLS (Multiple
Set up “For Sale” sign
Hire a professional real estate
photographer to take quality pictures of your home
List your home on websites like Zillow,
Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.
Send out email campaigns
Feature your home in social media
posts designed for lead capture
Use texting sign riders designed
for drive-by lead capture
Host open houses advertised on the
websites listed above
Host a tour for other Realtors
Offer virtual tours in video or 3D
6. Stage Your Home
Preparing and staging
your home will ensure that it looks bigger, cleaner, and more enticing to a
wide audience of potential buyers. This is the time to not only prepare your
home for a future move by reducing the amount of “stuff” in your home but to
adjust your decor so that buyers will notice your home, not the pictures on the
walls or figurines on the shelves.
Box up clutter, toys, valuables
and personal photos for appearance and safety.
Increase your curb appeal by
cleaning up the yard, flower beds, and front porch.
Declutter, de-personalize, and
decorate every room in the house, including the backyard, so that potential
buyers can imagine themselves living there.
Paint rooms with neutral colors.
Remove unneeded furnishings so
walkways are clear, and rooms appear larger and more open.
Replace outdated lighting fixtures
and window treatments.
Now that you’ve done
the hard work, it’s time to start showing your house to potential buyers.
Keep your home clean and ready to
show at all times.
Your agent may hold open houses
for multiple people to look at your home.
Leave the house during showings
and take pets with you whenever possible. Buyers will talk more freely and look
longer when you’re not there.
Use caution with fragrance or
candles. What appeals to you may not appeal to everyone and sometimes buyers
wonder if you are covering up an unpleasant odor.
Whenever possible, leave blinds
and curtains open. If you know buyers are on their way, turn on lights
throughout the house; a bright house is more welcoming.
Finally, serious buyers will make
an appointment with a Realtor – don’t let strangers into your home!
8. Review Purchase Offers
Now that you’ve
listed your home and agents have begun showing it, hopefully an offer is on its
Have a process in place for
receiving multiple offersif that happens in your market
Keep your emotions in check if you
receive a lowball offer.
Be sure to note the offer price,
preapproval letter, contingencies, earnest money amount, proposed closing date,
and expiry date.
9. Counteroffer and Negotiate
If you’re not ready
to accept the proposed offer, your agent may suggest you submit a counteroffer
and begin negotiations. If you don’t want to budge on the price, you could
consider negotiating other terms:
Offer financial incentives such as
paying for a portion or all of the buyer’s closing costs
Offer to include window
treatments, furniture, appliances, or lighting fixtures.
If you are
willing to budge on price, your agent will make sure you are still looking out
for your own needs. Some things you can negotiate in return for a lower price
Include a “rent back” clause that
allows you to rent the home back from the buyer after closing while you
continue to search for a home to move into.
10. Get Through Escrow
Once you’ve accepted
an offer, you’re almost done! Just a few more steps should ensure the
successful sale of your home. Your agent will walk you through all of these in
more detail as they come up.
Talk to your agent about whether
you will schedule any negotiated repairs or will your agent’s office schedule
Clean and prepare the house for
appraisals and home inspections.
Your agent will choose an escrow
officer who will prepare all the necessary closing documents, order a title
search, and request payoff information.
Clean and prepare for the buyer’s final
Sign the closing documents and
move out by closing or according to a temporary lease if you have one.
Keep copies of all documents for
We know! This all sounds like a lot! And it
is. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, when you work with one of
estate agents, we’ll take care of the majority of this list for you.
We’ll walk you through each step, clearly explain what’s going on and what’s
coming next. You can relax and look forward to moving into your next home while
we take care of the nitty-gritty details. If you’re ready to sell your home or curious
about current listings in the Bryan-College Station
Inhabit Real Estate Grouptoday.