The decision to sell your home is a significant one. Many sellers often don’t know what to expect during the sales process. This lack of knowledge can produce unnecessary pressure and stress. Here are six important steps to take once you decide to sell your home.
👥 Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Choosing the right agent to sell your home is critical to a successful sale. Check a prospective agent’s selling record, especially in your neighborhood, and don’t forget to look at their reviews. Look for references to their education, marketing efforts, communication, negotiation skills, and pricing.
Talk to people who have worked with the agent recently and ask them for their opinion about the sales process. Pay attention to their needs for the sale. Did the agent address those needs and produce a successful sale? Interview the agent too. Their honesty about your home and their approach to selling it goes a long way towards finding the right fit.
🏡 Staging Your Home for Buyers
Staging a home can make all the difference in the timeline for the sale. Simple staging tips include making sure that the house is free of clutter and personal items like photos are not visible during showings. This makes it easier for buyers to visualize living in the space. Instead of putting clutter into closets and drawers, consider renting a storage unit or a storage pod. Closets are checked during showings, and a cramped closet leaves the impression that storage is lacking.
Hire a stager to stage furniture and other items in the home for showings. If this isn’t possible, have a friend come by to tour the home as if they were a buyer to get an idea of how it shows and make changes based on the feedback. Your real estate agent may be a fabulous stager or be able to refer you to someone else.
Hiring a photographer to photograph your home is recommended. Good photographs of a home that highlight strengths and soften weaknesses encourage buyers to see it in peril. Again, your real estate agent will assist with this part of the process.
💲Set the Right Asking Price
Research the competition before setting a price for your home. You’ll want to do some searching online, in person, and with the help of your real estate agent. This research will help determine the pricing. The last three months are the most relevant. Look at the original listing price, sales price, and how long it took for the home to sell.
Consider having an appraiser come in to provide an estimated value of the home too. This objective assessment costs money upfront, but it’s useful if the price is a significant concern.
If your home has no activity on it within the first few weeks of going on the market, it is a sign that the price is too high.
🤝 Accepting an Offer
Once an offer is made, read it entirely before responding. Pay attention to the sales price but also the conditions attached to the sale. Buyers may ask a faster closing, ask for closing costs or other items like furniture. They might also have financing contingencies. Consult with your agent and accept, counter, or reject the offer depending on the situation.
🔍 What Happens After You Accept an Offer
After you accept an offer, two significant things happen. First, a home inspection is done on the property. Depending on the results of the inspection, a buyer will ask that certain issues be addressed. Your agent is a great help during this process. They’ll help you figure out if any repairs or credits are necessary depending on your needs.
Second, the home goes through an appraisal. If the home appraises for less than the sales price, the buyer might not be able to complete the sale due to financing requirements. Your agent is also a good guide for how to address this issue.
🗓️ What to Expect on Closing Day
Just before closing, the buyer will go on a final walk-through in the home. If there are any issues with that, it will come up during closing. If the buyers need to negotiate again due to unsatisfied repairs or an issue at the walk-through, address it without changing the terms of the sale at the table. Otherwise, the loan would be re-run costing another day to a week of time.
Sellers sign a handful of documents and then watch the buyer sign theirs. Pay attention to the settlement statement. It includes the profits from a sale as well as the tax implications.
Your attorney will take care of paying your real estate agent and all the costs related to the sale once the papers get signed. You’ll get a check for the rest of the money the same day, too.
Selling your home is a very detailed process. Having the right professionals by your side during it helps as does understanding what happens at each stage of the closing process. Once your home sells, it’s time to move on to your next home!
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Brian Birkel a call today at 402-706-7532 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.