Home Selling Process: The A to Z Guide to Getting Your House Off the Market

Our lives are like a book. From one chapter to the next, we learn how to adapt. We also learn how to prepare for the next one. 

Selling a house is the end of one chapter. But, it’s also the beginning of a new and exciting adventure.

Are you welcoming a new baby into your life and need more space? Did you accept a job in another city?

No matter what chapter is ahead, you’ll need to learn more about the home selling process. Selling a home can be complex since there are many steps to consider along the way.

Take each step one by one so you don’t get overwhelmed. You’ll have lots of help along the way if you ask for it. There will also be companies willing and able to purchase your home in cash with or without a real estate agent.

Read on to learn more about selling your home on the real estate market.

Sold!: Your Guide to the Home Selling Process

Selling your home can be a tedious process. The more you know, the easier it will be. Knowing more about the process will also give you a better shot at getting the listing price you want.

Explore this step-by-step guide to prepare yourself for the home selling process.

1. Interview Listing Agents

Many first-time sellers and buyers make the mistake of choosing the first real estate agent who answers the phone.

So, why is this a mistake? Every listing agent has different professional experiences, schedules, and availability. Make sure to find a real estate agent who can be there when you need them.

Make sure they are also knowledgable and easy to work with.

There’s a chance you may be working with them for quite some time, so their personality and work ethic matters.

Interview multiple agents until you find the right match. Ask them as many questions as you’d like during the interview.

2. Select a Listing Price

Once you’ve selected a listing agent, they will appraise your home. This will give you an idea of your home’s value based on the current real estate market. Your home’s square footage, features, and location will factor into its value.

Don’t like the market value of your home? Get a second opinion and consult online listing websites like Zillow.

There is some wiggle room. But, beware, that if the buyer is paying with a loan, a separate appraiser will need to agree with your listing price. They will need to ensure that the home is actually worth what the buyer is purchasing it for.

3. Create a Marketing Plan

Talk with your listing agent about how they intend to market your home. This is where having a listing agent is a real benefit to you. They will post your listing online, consult their network, and speak with other clients who may be interested in buying a home.

Some marketing strategies include having an open house, posting on social media, and listing on the MLS.

You can also participate in this process by hiring a professional photographer and networking.

4. Repair, Clean, and Stage

Make necessary repairs, clean your home, and then stage it. To stage, remove any clutter, reduce the amount of furniture, and depersonalize your home. Paint the walls neutral colors and add in neutral home decor.

This will help buyers to imagine themselves in your home. It will also make it appear larger if done correctly.

Otherwise, your buyer may walk away or become nitpicky which will be reflected in their offers.

5. Disclosures

A disclosure statement is a document that tells the buyer more about the home and its condition. The seller’s disclosure should include anything from the state of your ceiling fans to the presence of lead paint.

Fill out the disclosure statement as honestly as possible. Let the buyer know about any problems and how they were corrected. Additional documentation may be needed if you belong to a homeowner’s association.

6. Show Your Home

Have a plan for showing your home. If you have pets, consider having a friend or family member watch them while your home is on the market.

Showings can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more. Leave your home 15 minutes before the showing.

You also don’t want to be present at your open house. This allows buyers to feel more comfortable when assessing your home and asking questions.

7. Receiving Offers and Negotiating

After you show your home, you may or not receive any offers. If you do receive an offer, the buyer’s real estate agent will submit the offer to your real estate agent.

In a seller’s market, you may get multiple offers. Your agent will help you to decide which offer is the most beneficial.

If needed, you can make a counteroffer. You can also request a “kick-out clause” if your buyer makes selling their home a contingency.

Work with one offer at a time and be willing to negotiate. Be prepared for low offers and to reject them if needed.

8. Earnest Money, Hiring a Title Company, and Escrow

Once you accept an offer, the buyer will deposit their earnest money. The earnest money shows you that the buyer is serious about purchasing your home.

The earnest money will be held in escrow until closing or dissolution of the contract. It goes towards their down payment or closing costs. Escrow is a third-party arrangement that ensures both parties are living up to the contract’s agreements.

The buyer will get their earnest money back if the purchase agreement’s contingencies allow it and the buyer wants to back out of the agreement. For example, if the inspection finds issues with the home or the appraiser values your home at a lower price.

The seller can keep the earnest money if the buyer backs out for reasons other than the contingencies agreed upon in the contract. For example, they decide they are more interested in another home.

You’ll also need to hire a title company during this time. Your real estate agent can help you to select one.

9. Appraisal and Inspection

Ready your home for both the inspection and appraisal. An appraiser will only be needed if the buyer asks for it or if they are receiving financing from a third-party lender such as a bank or mortgage company.

Declutter your attic and garage space if you haven’t done so already. Make it clear where your crawl space is as well.

You will not receive a copy of the appraisal or the inspection because the buyer purchases it. But, expect the buyer to ask for repairs to be completed before the sale becomes final. Feel free to reject some of these repairs or to renegotiate the price.

Speak with your real estate agent for individual advice.

10. Close on Your Home

Once the repairs and all other contingencies are agreed upon and fulfilled, closing on your home will begin. This includes a final walk-through, payment, and moving out.

Always be aware of the closing dates and when you’re required to turn over possession of your home.

The Home Selling Process: Going the Non-Traditional Route

Does the traditional home selling process sound too complicated? Go the non-traditional route by selling your home to a cash buyer. Better yet, sell your home to an experienced company that will buy your house for cash.

Interested in selling your home to one of these companies? Live in Raleigh, NC? Contact us today to learn how much we will buy your home for.

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