1. Define your Goals
Write down all the reasons for selling and what you want to accomplish with the sale, including your preferred time-line. Work with your Agent to map out the best path to achieve these goals.
2. Determine your Price
Together with your Agent, you will work out the best possible selling price for your house. You want to generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. You will need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your area are selling for and the state of the overall market. You will have to think like a buyer and step aside from the emotional attachment you likely have for your home. You can also have a truly objective appraisal done for a few hundred dollars.
3. Prepare Your Home
The condition of your home will affect the price a buyer is willing to offer and also how quickly it will sell. First impressions are important. The advice from your Realtor® will be your most valuable asset! Listen to the voice of knowledge and experience!
4. Get the Word Out
Now that you are ready to sell, your real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy designed specifically for your home. In addition to listing your home on the MLS® System, this could be a combination of any of The Internet, Yard Signs, Open Houses, Media Advertising, Agent-to-Agent referrals, and Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns.
5. Receive an Offer
When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will first discover if the individual is pre-qualified or pre-approved to buy your home. If so, the agent will review the proposed contract to ensure you know what is required to execute the transaction. Your agent will advise you to accept it as is, to accept it with changes (a counter-offer) or reject it. Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding.
Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Your agent is well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Some negotiable terms might be Price, Financing, Repairs, Appliances and Fixtures, Landscaping, Painting, Move-in Date, etc.
7. Prepare to Close
Once you accept an offer, you need to make a list of the things that must be done before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Depending on the contract, you may need to pay for some or some of these items. If there are problems with the home, the buyer may decide to walk away or open a new round of negotiations or simply proceed to closing.
8. Close the Deal
A few days prior to closing you will meet with your lawyer to review the documents and hand over your keys.
9. Prepare to Move
Ensure you have a to-do list. Your agent can provide you with a checklist to get you started.