Selling Your Home Fast & For Top Dollar
You’re ready! It’s time to sell your home. Where do you start? We’ll lay the plan out for you right here, and you’ll find out it’s not as scary as you think. Why don’t we start by finding out just how much you know (or don’t?) about selling your home. Here's a quick quiz to see where you’re at.
Now that you know what you know let’s outline the ten steps to selling your home, so you have a clear strategy.
1. Realtor or For Sale By Owner (FSBO)?
The first decision to make when preparing to sell your home is to determine whether you want to sell your home For Sale By Owner or hire a Realtor. Every situation is different and for some sellers, selling by owner may be a better option? The video above will go over the pros and cons of selling by owner vs. hiring a real estate agent and it will help you determine which option is best for you.
2. Pricing Your Home To Sell
Once you make up your mind how you want to sell your home, the next step is to think through pricing. Every seller wants to sell their home for the most amount of money and in the least amount of time. It’s very important that you price your home properly from the start. You don’t want to overprice it or underprice your home. You want to price it at market value. To learn more about how to properly price your home, Scott made a 21 minute video (no sign in required) called Pricing Your Home To Sell that will teach you the ins and outs of pricing a home and the many traps to avoid when pricing a home. It’s a homeowner’s guide to selling a home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time
If you would like to do some homework yourself, you will want to find out what homes in your area have been selling for over the past two years. The best way to do that is to view our map of sold properties.
3. Prepare Your Home to Sell
For most people, a home is more than just a financial commodity. It is, instead, an emotionally-charged haven – the place you retreat to, a place filled with your belongings, your creative energies, and your memories. It is, therefore, very difficult to be objective about preparing your home to sell and to look at your home in the same way a prospective buyer looks at it.
Because your home is so important to you, when you decide to sell, you want to be sure that you get as much as you can for it. While emotions play a huge role in this process, there’s certainly a significant financial motivation involved. So speaking practically, it’s very important that you set emotions aside for a moment and learn how to dress your home for success to ensure you’re fairly compensated for its sale.
To learn what to do and more importantly, what not to do to prepare your home to sell, I would recommend watching another video I made called Preparing Your Home To Sell. This 18 minute video could be worth thousands of dollars to you by revealing the secrets of making your home more appealing to a buyer. It explains the importance of converting your home from living condition to selling condition. I think the clear, concise information presented will be useful to you.
4. Show Your Home in Its Best Light with Great Photographs
So you’ve priced your home properly and worked very hard to prepare your home to sell. Those two things are very important but if you don’t have really good photographs that show off the best selling features of your home, you still may not get many showings. Before the internet days, a buyer would see one picture of the outside of the home and if they wanted to see the inside, they would contact a Realtor to view the inside so great photographs were not as important back then. In today’s real estate environment, the first showing happens online – not in person! Almost every buyer looks at photos online first and if they don’t like what they see online, they will not make an appointment to view your home in person. On our team, we have a photographer that takes great pictures. His name is Pat Hayes and you can check Pat out on our real estate agents and staff page.
5. Time to Go Live! Get Ready For Showings
If you priced your home correctly, prepared it properly, took great photographs and hired a real estate agent with an aggressive marketing plan, you will be getting showings very soon! It’s important that you prepare your home to show it’s best before every showing. You’ll want to check out our Preparing For A Showing checklist.
It’s also important to make your home easy to show. It's best if you allow buyers to see your home when they want to (within reason). The more flexible you are about showing times, the more showings you will get.
6. Feedback from Showings
You will receive feedback from your showings. Feedback is an excellent way to find out what you need to change to be ready for the next one. Honest feedback is something you won’t often get if you decide to sell without an agent.
7. You Receive an Offer
Time to celebrate! You received an offer. The proposal will include the following:
- Buyer’s name(s)
- Purchase price
- Closing date
- Earnest money
- Items included or excluded; any inspections buyer is asking for
- Buyer’s financing terms (if applicable)
- The expiration date of the offer along with other terms and conditions
Before you begin to analyze any purchase offer, you need to make sure the buyer can get the necessary financing. You should request a pre-approval with the offer. You have three options to respond to the buyer’s offer – 1) accept the offer as written 2) Counter-offer or, 3) reject the offer.
8. If You Accept the Offer, It’s Time for Inspections
Most buyers will have a whole house inspection completed. A licensed home inspector will inspect the premises and provide the buyer with a written report of the findings. Some things need to be taken care of and will come in a written amendment from the buyer.
These things include the roof, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, sewer and the electrical system. If there is any material structural damage, that is also something that needs repair.
Other standard inspections that buyer may have are radon, mold, termite and well & septic if applicable. If a bank is involved, they will require the buyer to have a termite inspection and a septic inspection where appropriate.
You are not required to make all repairs that a buyer requests after the home inspection. You are usually required to make repairs related to the roof, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, sewage, electrical, and material structural damage, but there are a lot of gray areas.
In some situations, a buyer may be able to back out of the contract if the seller is not willing to make any repairs. Your agent will be able to help you on a case-by-case basis about standard practices.
10. Closing (also referred to as completion or settlement)
Closing is the final step in executing a real estate transaction. The closing date is set during the negotiation phase and is usually 30-45 days after the offer is formally accepted. On the closing date, the ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer.
Want more great seller content:
The 5 Most Common Mistakes That Home Sellers Make. Will you make these same mistakes?
Should You Buy First Or Sell First? Either way can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing.
How Much Will It Cost To Sell My House? Find out now by using our Sellers Closing Cost Calculator.