Sell My Home: 7-Step Guide to Selling Your House
The only thing consistent in life is change.
Change is good, though it can be stressful. Two of life’s biggest changes and stressors are buying a home and selling a home. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you’re moving into the “Sell my home!” phase of life, use this 7-step guide to selling your home to avoid any added stress.
Sell My Home: Step 1 - Prepare Yourself & Your Property
Before doing anything, make sure you’re mentally and physically prepared for this change. Consider all motivations behind selling your house. To do so, ask yourself:
Do I need this, or do I want this? Am I ready for a move?
Once you recognize your motivations and reach a stable comfort level, it’s time to prepare your property. In order to get top dollar for your home, ask yourself:
If I were buying a home, what would I want the residence to look like?
Now, take a good look around. Does your dwelling reach those qualifications? If not, make a checklist of projects to be completed before moving on to step two. This may include touching up paint, deep cleaning, decluttering, and making space for new owners. Don’t forget, it’s best to stage your home to appeal to the average buyer.
Sell My Home: Step 2 - Setup a Post-Sell Plan
Now that you’re in the mindset to sell, sell, sell, pause and imagine life post-sale. Do you know where you’ll be or how you’ll get there?
If not, you’re not alone. Each home selling process is different. Some homes sell before ever going to market, while others are a slower burn. As a seller, you should be prepared for any scenario.
Check your financials to ensure you can afford to stay in your home if it’s on the market another year or to provide peace of mind if you need to make a down payment or deposit on a new home right away.
Speaking of new homes…
Where will you call home after you sell your house? It’s a great idea to look at new properties before listing, so you have an idea of how the current housing market is running. It’s best to formulate a game plan before the true game begins.
Sell My Home: Step 3 - Choose a Real Estate Agent
No one knows the game better than an experienced and proven agent. There are many reasons to hire a real estate agent. The top 5 being:
Realtors are market experts.
They know how to price your home to make you the most money.
Agents are trained to negotiate.
They’re equipped to complete legal paperwork properly.
Real estate agents are your personal selling guide.
As a Des Moines and Ankeny real estate agent, I’ve seen the difference a selling expert makes. It’s crucial to select a realtor with a proven track record and great testimonials, because a great agent is indisposable when it comes to selling your house.
Sell My Home: Step 4 - The Price is Right
After choosing a real estate agent, it’s time for them to work their magic. For sale by owner sellers frequently struggle when it comes to setting the right price, because they don’t have the tools and intuitiveness of a professional.
As mentioned in my previous blog post, there are many things realtors know that make them pricing geniuses:
Comparables of neighborhood houses
Details surrounding expired and withdrawn properties
Status of pending sales
Movement on active properties
Area and neighborhood amenities - including schools districts, highway location, dog parks, etc.
After discussing these details and your home’s unique features with your realtor, you can come to an agreement on how to price your home.
Sell My Home: Step 5 - Market Like It’s Hot
Now the real fun begins. It’s time to market your home to every potential buyer, investor, and broker in your area.
Your home is unique, so your marketing strategy will look different than the house’s up the street. Here are several ways to market your property:
An oldie-but-a-goodie is snail mail listing announcements sent to the local residents to get the word out.
Another tactic that’s withstood the test of time is selling over the phone. Your real estate agent should call anyone and everyone they know who may be interested in your property, and to see if they know anyone who’s also interested.
Social media is a newer and ever-growing way to market. If applicable, a new property video is a great way to get new attraction. I use my Facebook Page actively to market all of my client’s properties.
There are so many more ways to market a house. Partnered with your agent, you’ll draw-up an impactful plan to get your property sold!
Sell My Home: Step 6 - Sell Like Hotcakes!
Actually, selling your home is arguably the most important part of the home selling process. Hopefully, you’ve marketed your home well in a hot market, and have received multiple offers.
Once you’ve secured at least one offer, you have several options:
Counter-Offer: When a buyer submits an offer that you’re interested in, but not 100% on terms with, the best idea is to create a counter-offer. This is essentially a new offer delivered to the buyer stating the seller’s requested terms. At that time, the buyer can either accept, or continue the bargaining back-and-forth.
Negotiate: Your expert real estate agent should be well-equipped to negotiate the best price for your house. The goal is for your realtor to use their knowledge to create a win/win purchase.
Accept: Yippee! You’re happy with the offer, and move forward with signing a sale agreement.
Take a deep breath. You’re on to the final step of selling your house.
Sell My Home: Step 7 - CLOSED
It’s not done when the offer is accepted. Some of the toughest work begins AFTER the selling process of over.
The next step includes going into escrow where a third-party provider ensures both buyer and seller stick to their terms. Inspections are completed, disclosures are stated, and objections are resolved. An escrow officer closes the transaction after property ownership is reallocated to the buyer.
NOW, the time has come. Congratulations!
You’ve gone through the guide to selling your house, and it’s delivered. You can embrace this change with less stress because you are prepared to sell your home, and are ready for your next big chapter. Phew!