Starting Anew: A Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Your House
Selling a home is a process that often leaves homeowners feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. While some steps in moving are out of a homeowner’s control, there are plenty of ways to help the process move along more smoothly. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to selling your house.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you are selling your house, hiring a real estate agent who knows the market is crucial. Research an agent before hiring them. Find out how long they have been a real estate agent and how many sales they have completed. An experienced agent will use professional photos, market the home, review buyers’ offers, and handle all negotiations and closing deals.
Get a Home Inspection
This is not required to sell a home but alerts homeowners to problems they can expect in a buyer’s home inspection. Homeowners can choose to fix these problems before they put the house on the market. By doing this, they can speed up the selling process.
List with Professional Photos
High-quality photos are essential when listing a home for sale. Sellers want to maximize the home’s online appeal so it will sell quickly. Many real estate agents include professional photography in their services. If the real estate agent does not offer these services, sellers should consider finding a professional on their own. Professional photographers know how to make both interior and exterior spaces look bigger and brighter.
Stage the Home
Many real estate agents suggest staging a home before putting it on the market. Staging means taking out extra furniture, personal items, and unsightly furnishings while the house is on the market. Professional stagers could be worth the money, as they will rearrange the rooms for the best flow and purpose. Staging frequently leads to a faster sales.
Price the Home Right
No one wants to pay more for a home than it is worth. Use market comparable to get the cost right. Sellers who list the house at too high of a price might take a long time to sell, while those who list the home at too low a price can lose valuable money. Check out neighborhood comparables.
Once a home is on the market, offers will start to come in. The real estate agent is the best person to evaluate and negotiate these offers. If the local market is competitive, buyers may offer the above asking price. There may be several bids. If the market is slow, sellers may need to negotiate to make a sale. In general, when a buyer makes an offer, the seller can accept the offer as it is, make a counteroffer, or reject it.
If there are multiple offers on the house, be careful when choosing the best offer. Consider whether the buyer is paying with cash or financing, what the down payment amount is, whether they have listed any contingencies, and what the proposed closing date is. If a buyer is using financing, the property must be appraised. The purchase price cannot exceed the appraised value.
Understand Seller Closing Costs
There are several seller closing costs to prepare for ahead of time. Real estate agents charge a commission. There also can be transfer taxes, recording fees, and attorney fees.
Selling a house doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Follow these step-by-step guidelines for a smooth sale.