1. Define your needs.
Write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit.
2. Determine your price.
Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house.
Price it too high thinking you can always drop the price can backfire. In today's Sellers market a home on the market for 2 weeks or more are looked at very differently by potential Buyers. They begin to look at "what's wrong" with it, instead of "what's right" about it.
Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings
Price it too low and risk a) leaving money on the table or b) not getting your price and being unable to really increase its price.
The answer: Right Pricing. Price it to the market. How? Use a realtor who knows that neighborhood not some silly algorithm.
It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so your real estate agent’s expertise is invaluable at this step. Your agent will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market.
REMEMBER: You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
3. Prepare your home.
Bottom line: The condition of your home will impact how quickly it sells and the price a buyer is willing to offer. It's time to take a hard look at a) any deferred maintenance you know is needed and b) remove 50% of the clutter & extra furniture in each and every room & closet.
4. First impressions are everything.
Your real estate agent is a brand new set of eyes. They can pint out things you have taken for granted that a new Buyer won't. They can suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized decor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs.
* Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression.
* Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed all knick-knacks from your shelves and cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.
5. Going "Live!" - Listing your home for sale.
Now that you’re ready to sell, your real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including: the Internet, Yard signs, Open houses, Media advertising, Agent-to-agent referrals, and Direct mail marketing campaigns. In addition to listing your home on the MLS, your agent will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. Your agent should structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest.
6. Receive an offer (maybe several).
When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will first find out whether or not the individual is pre-qualified or pre-approved to buy your home. If so, then you and your agent will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following: Legal description of the property, Offer price, Down payment, Financing arrangements, List of fees and who will pay them, Deposit amount, Inspection rights and possible repair allowances, Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing, Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home, Settlement date, and Contingencies. At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it.
REMEMBER: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with your real estate agent right away, before you sign!
7. Negotiate and Commit.
Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Your real estate agent is well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Your agent also knows what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items: Price, Financing, Closing costs, Repairs, Appliances and fixtures, Landscaping, Painting, and Move-in date. Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, your agent will prepare a contract for your signatures.
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Your real estate agent can spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing. Important reminder: a week before the closing, you will want to contact the entity that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign and schedule a signing appointment. Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so. You will also need to contact your utility companies like water, gas, electric, and garbage to close your accounts.
“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. At closing, you will need to provide following for the property give to the new owners: all keys for the property (including mail box if applicable, garage, shed and other property keys), all remote controls for the property (garage, fans, etc.), all Gather owner’s manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances (if you still have them) and any codes for security or garages. Either your agent, yourselves, or the buyer’s agent will deliver these to the buyers.