Define Your Real Estate Goals & Agent "Must Haves"

Before you get started, it’s critical to clarify your real estate goals and the qualities you want in an agent. This will assist you in selecting which agents to contact and interview.

Consider things like:

  1. How much money do you want to net from the sale?
  2. What’s your timeframe for selling?
  3. Do you prefer an agent who is hands-on or hands-off?
  4. What kind of support and communication do you need?
  5. What’s your ideal selling experience?

Once you have a good handle on what you’re looking for, create a list of “must-haves” for your agent. This could include things like:

  1. They must be a local expert in your area.
  2. They must have a strong track record of successfully selling homes.
  3. They should be responsive to your calls and emails.

You should feel comfortable communicating with them.

Find the Best Agent For Your Needs

Once you know what you’re looking for in an agent, it’s time to start reaching out to find the best fit for your needs. Start by asking friends, family, and co-workers for referrals. Once you have a few referrals, do your research to make sure the agents are a good fit for what you’re looking for.

When you’re ready, reach out to the agents and set up interviews. This is your chance to ask them questions about their experience, their process, and what you can expect if you work with them. It’s also an opportunity for them to get to know you and your real estate goals.

Get a Home Valuation From Your Agent

Once you’ve selected an agent, they will visit your home to do a home value analysis, which will help determine the right asking price for your home. This is an important step, as setting your asking price too high or too low can affect how long your home spends on the market.

Your agent should provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that compares your home to similar homes in your area. This will help you understand what people are currently paying for homes like yours.

Develop Your Selling Roadmap

After your agent has completed their market analysis, it’s time to develop your selling roadmap. This is a document that outlines the entire home selling process from start to finish, including what you can expect at each stage.

Some of the things that should be included in your selling roadmap are:

  1. A timeline of the home selling process
  2. A list of the tasks that need to be completed
  3. Who is responsible for each task
  4. What the deadlines are for each task

This roadmap will keep everyone on task and allow for expectation management to be healthy.

Make the "Needed" Repairs and Fixes for Your Home

Once you have your selling roadmap, it’s time to start making repairs and fixes around your home. This could include anything from painting the walls to fixing a leaky faucet.

The goal is to make your home as presentable as possible so that potential buyers without going too deep down the rabbit hole. We recommend opting to quick-fixes over large scale projects for two main reasons: they’ll slow down your timeline and may not return the investment.

Your agent should be able to provide you with a list of recommended repairs and fixes based on the market analysis.

Stage Your Home to Sell

After you’ve made all the necessary repairs, it’s time to stage your home for showings. Home staging is the process of making your home look its best for potential buyers. This could include anything from decluttering to rearranging furniture.

The goal of home staging is to make your home look inviting and appealing to potential buyers. This could help you sell your home faster and for more money.

If you’re not sure how to stage your home, we recommend working with a professional home stager. They will be able to provide you with guidance on how to make your home look its best.

Fill out Seller Disclosures

As a seller, you’re required to disclose certain information about your home to potential buyers. This includes any known defects or problems with your home.

It’s important to be honest when filling out these disclosures. If you’re not, you could be held liable if the buyer finds out about the problem after they’ve purchased the home. Your agent should be able to help you with the disclosure process and answer any questions you have.

Take High-Quality Photos of Your Home

When you’re listing your home online, it’s important to have high-quality photos. This is one of the first things potential buyers will see, so you want to make sure they’re good.

Your real estate agent should take care of hiring a professional photographer to capture your house. Many agencies work directly with photographers or have one on staff, so the process should be as simple as possible. Professional pictures may entice potential purchasers and aid in the marketing of your property among members of the neighborhood.

In some cases, a professional photography may not be in the budget and in that case, we recommend using a newer smartphone and a tripod to take the best pictures possible. Read this piece on how to do DIY Selling Photos for more tips.

Discuss Marketing Strategies with Your Agent

Once you’ve prepared your home for sale, it’s time to start marketing it. This is where your real estate agent will come in handy. They will be able to help you develop a marketing strategy that will help you sell your home fast.

Some of the things that you two should be included in your marketing discussion are:

  1. What marketing tools do you use (Website, Social, Email, Print, Etc.)?
  2. Will it be featured on your website and/or listing site like Zillow, Redfin, etc?
  3. How many open houses should we have?

Hire a Title Company

Before you can sell your home, you need to transfer the title to the buyer. This is where a title company comes in. They are an independent third-party who will help everyone prepare the documents needed to transfer the title and make sure everything goes smoothly.

If you’re not sure which title company to use, we recommend asking your real estate agent for a recommendation.

Schedule Open House & Showings

Once you’ve prepared your home for sale and developed a marketing strategy, it’s time to start showing your home. This includes scheduling open houses and showings.

Showings are when potential buyers come to see your home in person. Open houses are when you open up your home for a set period of time so that anyone can come and take a look.

When you’re scheduling showings and open houses, it’s important to be flexible. You want to make sure that potential buyers can see your home when it’s convenient for them. This is also a key situation for good communication with the agent, especially if you are still living in the home while it’s being sold.

Make sure to communicate your schedule to your agent and keep the house ready for showings and open houses as much as possible.

Receive Purchase Offers

Once you’ve started showing your home, you will start to receive offers from potential buyers.

When you get an offer, your real estate agent will assist you in evaluating it. They may provide insight into the intricacies of each offer as well as current market conditions. You may take the first offer or wait to receive as many as possible, depending on the market situation and your real estate goals (timeline, selling price, etc).

It is important at this stage to be honest with yourself about what you want and ask your agent questions on the process when needed.

Select a Offer and Begin The Sales Process

Once you’ve received multiple offers, it’s time to pick one.

Your agent will work with you to develop a contract that is agreeable to both the seller and the buyer. This contract will lay out all of the specifics of the sale, including the purchase price, closing date, and any contingencies.

If all goes according to plan, this contract will become the sales agreement and you will begin the process of selling your home.

Be Useful During the Inspection and Appraisal Stages

It is typical to proceed to the home inspection and appraisal stage of the home buying process after both parties have signed a sales agreement. These phases are an opportunity for buyers and lenders to look at your property and ensure that they want to continue with the transaction.

Typically, your agent and the buyer’s agent will be the two primary contact points throughout this portion of the transaction. So it’s critical that you stay in touch with your agent regarding property availability, difficulties with access, or anything else they may require for this stage to proceed smoothly.

Negotiate Repair Requests & Contingencies

If the buyer finds any problems with your home during the inspection stage, they may ask you to fix them. They may also ask for a credit to cover the cost of repairs.

This is where negotiation comes in. Your agent will negotiate with the buyer’s agent to come to an agreement. Once everyone’s come to an agreement, it’s time to remove any contingency clauses. This includes things like financing and inspections. After you’ve removed all the contingency clauses, you can finalize the sale of your home.

Prepare Home for Final Walk-through

Once you’ve removed all the contingency clauses, it’s time to prepare your home for the final walk-through. This is when the buyer comes to see your home one last time before the sale is finalized. During the final walk-through, you want to make sure that your home is in the same condition as it was when the buyer made their offer. You also want to make sure that any repairs that were agreed upon have been made.

Sign Title and Escrow Documents

After the final walk-through, it’s time to sign the title and escrow documents. This is when the sale of your home is finalized. Once you’ve signed these documents, the buyer will be the new owner of your home.

Surrender Keys to Agent. You Did It!

After you’ve signed the title and escrow documents, you will need to surrender the keys to your home to the buyer’s agent. Congrats! You’ve just sold your home!

Selling your home doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little preparation and knowledge, you can make it a seamless process. We hope this guide has helped you and that you’re now ready to sell your home.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, know that you don’t have to do it alone! Our team of trusted agents is ready to meet with you and discuss your home selling goals. Book a home selling consultation below and get started today!