Home Selling Process
When selling your home, you'll want to make any necessary repairs. You'll also want to do all the needed touch-ups, get it listed, and start marketing it to potential buyers. You might already have seen how a real estate transaction works from the buyer's side. But working from the seller's side is entirely different.
Below you will find information on the following:
- Listing and marketing your home
- The typical real estate transaction
- The role of the seller's real estate agent
- How to market your home
- How offers and closings work
Continue reading to have a clear understanding of how home selling works. It's important to know as much as possible as you begin selling your home.
Things to Keep in Mind
There are quite a few things that homebuyers want and need to know. And in a particularly digital age, home sellers need to be very attentive to how a home is presented online. Homeowners must be careful with how they handle listing their homes on the internet. When it comes to visual presentation and the kinds of disclosures that home sellers make, it's important to consider many things.
As you handle listing your home and selling it, work with a real estate broker. And if legal issues arise, it's always a good idea to work with a real estate attorney. Regardless of what path selling your home takes, the following people will likely be involved:
- Buyer's agent
- Listing agent (this person can advise on online listings and on using multiple listing services)
- Your real estate broker
The housing market can be complicated. It's always a good idea to get the help you need. And always keep in mind the need to consider how you are presenting your home in listings.
In listing a home, it's important to keep in mind what a new owner would likely want to see. They will probably want to see a home that they can move into with the least amount of effort or need for improvements. When putting a listing online, visual interest is key. The photos should be taken only after decluttering, for example. This will maximize home value and increase the likelihood of a higher purchase price.
It's always a good idea to conduct a comparative market analysis. This will involve researching the local market for houses for sale by owner. Whatever the case may be, you might want to consider putting listings on Zillow or FSBO. But a listing agent can advise on this.
It's important to be particularly sensitive to the anxiety first-time homebuyers might experience. Don't overlook the little stuff. Seemingly minute aesthetic details of the house may make all the difference in your online listing presentation. A wall with chipped paint could send a nervous buyer spiraling about the home's condition. A simple smudge in a photo could lead to concerns about mold.
Different Ways to List and Sell Your Home
There are a few ways to approach selling your home. One way is to work with a Realtor to list your home on a popular web platform. Another way is to sell your home to a large company that buys property. These are often called iBuyers.
Turning to iBuyers will allow you to sell your home quickly. But you will not get a higher sale price. The trade-off is that you won't need to prepare your home nearly as much and might complete the transaction in a far shorter time frame. If you choose to sell your home using a broker and listing services, your sale price will likely be higher. But the process will require far more effort.
How to Prep Your Home for Sale
Much of the preparation stage is self-evident. You know you'll want to reduce clutter and address any glaring maintenance concerns. But most real estate agents have a few tricks up their sleeves to help your home stand apart from the other units on the market. A properly prepared home can often fetch a higher sale price. You might not even need to invest much time or money to make a notable difference.
Some typical steps you'll want to take as you prepare for a home sale:
- Pack up unnecessary items, such as excess or unappealing furniture, to give the home a more spacious appearance.
- Get rid of general clutter by tidying up closets, clearing off kitchen and bathroom countertops, packing away books and CDs, and even removing magnets and other materials from the surface of your refrigerator.
- Pack away family photos and other personal items, which can be distracting to prospective buyers.
- Give your home a deep clean, including fresh coats of paint where needed.
- Get a thorough home inspection.
- Repair anything that needs fixing, especially major problems, which may reduce the value by more than the actual cost of the repair.
- Enhance curb appeal by mowing the lawn, sprucing up the landscaping, and touching up exterior paint.
- Hide expensive items to lessen the chance of theft, as thieves sometimes use open houses to scout homes for burglary.
Holding an Open House
One of the best ways to show off your home is to hold an open house. This gives prospective buyers a chance to tour the home without an appointment and with no pressure. You may choose to hire a professional stager, especially if you've already moved out. A stager will bring in high-end furnishings and give the home a professionally designed look. After all, you want your home to look its best. If you haven't already repaired and cleaned your home, this is the time to do so.
If you work with a real estate agent, they should already have a system in place for conducting open houses. Unless you're selling the home yourself, it's usually best to vacate the home during an open house. You should let your agent handle the process so potential buyers have a clean slate.
You will want to prepare a fact sheet with the following information, which you'll also use in listings online and elsewhere:
- Square footage
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Other important information
- At least one photograph
It's also helpful to prepare answers in advance to questions in your listings online and elsewhere. Examples include the nearest schools and what the neighborhood is like. Make sure you tell your neighbors about the open house as a courtesy, as it will increase traffic to the neighborhood. If you have pets, remove them from the home during the showing.
Disclosures and Market Trends
Most states have laws requiring sellers to disclose all known problems with a home. This especially includes problems that would substantially impact the property's value. But some states are much more stringent. They might require disclosures around inspection results as well. Buyers, however, often choose to pay for their own inspector. They might even demand the seller pay for the inspection as a condition of an offer. This means catching any defects or problems early could work in your favor.
Most states require sellers to provide disclosures in writing. This often includes requirements that the buyer sign a form to acknowledge the disclosure.
In a competitive real estate market, leveraging social media can significantly affect your home sale. Posting high-quality professional photos and updates about your listing can generate interest among potential buyers. Keeping up with real estate market trends will allow you to set the best listing price.
When dealing with lenders and closing costs, it's crucial to understand the financial aspects of the home sale. You may receive a buyer's offer that includes terms related to the closing process and escrow. Understanding the lender's requirements and the impact of liens on the sale is vital.
As you negotiate with potential buyers, be prepared for a counteroffer, and be clear about your asking price. It's also important to consider the following:
- Closing date
- Any title company requirements
- Professional photos to showcase your home's best features
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) provides valuable resources for home sellers. Those resources are useful for navigating the complex home-selling process. You can also explore upgrades that can increase your home's market value and home appraisal.
Click on a link below to learn more about the home-selling process.
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