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Selling a Home, From Start to Finish

Selling your home might be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. In an effort to demystify the home selling process, we’ve put together a 10-step to-do list for you. We’d highly recommend printing this out and keeping it on your fridge or with your other papers, just to remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished and what’s next.

STEP ONE: Find the Right Representative

Be sure to do your due diligence in finding someone you can really trust to represent you. Your agent should listen to and understand your goals, as well as local market conditions. A great realtor will know how to leverage technology to help you get the results you need.

STEP TWO: Repairs, Upgrades & Cleaning

First impressions are essential in the selling process, so be sure that your home is clean and well-staged. Dirty or cluttered surfaces simply won’t do! Once you’ve de-cluttered, check for cracked paint on walls, in corners and on trim – a fresh coat will be worth it! When it comes to bigger projects, see what your agent thinks; they can help you decide if you should make any major repairs or upgrades. In many cases, renovating the kitchen or a bathroom yields the best results. If you’re not sure, have a friend come visit and give you a second opinion.

STEP THREE: Determine the Right Price

To avoid setting an unrealistic price, start by considering the price you paid, your location, the time of year, the number of homes for sale in your area, and your home’s unique features. This isn’t an exhaustive list of pricing factors, but it’s a good place to start. You will need to work closely with your agent to evaluate your home’s worth and set a competitive asking price.

STEP FOUR: Identify Your Marketing Plan

Even if your local housing market isn’t overly saturated, you’ll want to pay close attention to marketing and advertising. Invest some time or money in some great photos of your home to use for online or print advertising. It’s good to take advantage of common platforms like Zillow, Houzz, a newspaper classified ad or an MLS listing, but have some fun brainstorming more creative approaches, or other resources unique to your area.

STEP FIVE: Showing Your Home

The key in this stage is preparedness. Once your house is on the market, showings can happen at any time. Communicate with your agent on what times work best, but it’s essential to keep things clean and tidy so your home is always ready to be shown. Your agent will take care of showing the home, so have a plan for where you’ll go during these showings, like a local coffeehouse, library or park.

STEP SIX: Creating the Purchase & Sale Agreement

Once you’ve found a buyer, you’ll need to specify the terms and conditions of the transaction. Every home seller and every home buyer has their own unique circumstances and desires, so you’ll have to come to an agreement as to how the transaction will take place. Congratulations! You’re so close to finalizing!

STEP SEVEN: Inspection

Typically, buyers will hire a home inspector to check for any surprises and make sure your house is up to code. They’ll look at things like your roof, your basement, electrical and water systems. Depending on what they find, the buyer may want to negotiate on your asking price.

STEP EIGHT: Negotiate

Leave it to your agent to secure the best possible deal for you. It’s kinda their job.

STEP NINE: Escrow

You’re almost done! At this stage, the buyer will give an “earnest money” check to the listing brokerage to hold until the final agreement is reached.

STEP TEN: Closing!

You’ve reached a deal! Sign the paperwork and pat yourselves on the back. It’s no small task to prepare, list and sell a home, but you did it! Congrats, and happy trails!