Selling your house can feel overwhelming in multiple ways. You're pulling up roots and leaving all that's familiar — and making a huge financial decision at the same time. Knowing how to sell your home takes some studying up. The more you know, the easier the big decisions will be. So let's get started! In this step-by-step guide, you'll learn what it takes to sell your home from beginning to end. Whether it's your first time in the real estate market or you're an experienced homeowner who wants to brush up on their skills, this list has you covered.
Step 1. Know, Exactly, What You Want
First things first: You need to know what you want (and what your partner wants) in order to sell your home with minimum frustration. Why are you moving? What do you expect from the process? When, exactly, should you put that For Sale sign in the yard?
Step 2. Do Your Research
Unless you bought your home last week, the housing market changed since you became a homeowner. Mortgage rates fluctuate, inventory shifts over time — these are just a few of the factors that affect the state of the market, and every market is unique. Educate yourself on what to expect.
Step 3. Interview and Select an Agent
This is the most important relationship you’ll form on your home selling journey. Pick the right agent and you’ll likely get a better sales price for your house.
How to Choose a REALTOR®
Step 4. Price Your Home
How much is your home worth? That’s the … $300,000 question. Whatever the number, you need to know it. This is how your agent will help you pinpoint the price.
Step 5. Prep Your Home for Sale
Today, home buyers have unfettered access to property listings online, so you have to make a great first impression — on the internet and IRL. That means you’ll have to declutter all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years, make any necessary repairs, and get your home in swoon-worthy condition.
Step 6. Market Your Home
Home buyers look at countless listings online. The best-marketed homes have beautiful photos and compelling property descriptions, so they can get likes — which can amount to buyer interest — on social media. Some agents are even using videos, virtual tours, texts, and audio messages. It’s time to consider how to promote your property.
Step 7. Showcase Your Home
One of the best ways to get buyers in the door is to have an open house. This is your chance to show off your home’s best assets, and help buyers envision themselves living there. Know how your agent will organize, advertise, and host the event to ensure it’s a success.
Step 8. Receive Offers
Yes, you might get offers plural, depending on your market. Assuming you’ve collaborated with your agent, you’ve likely positioned yourself to receive attractive bids. Your agent will review each offer with you to determine which is best for you.
Step 9. Negotiate With the Buyer
To get the best deal for you, you’ll likely have to do some negotiating. Your agent will help you craft a strategic counteroffer to the buyer’s offer, factoring in not only money, but contingencies, etc.
Step 10. Negotiate Home Inspection Repairs
The home inspection. It’s as much a source of anxiety for buyers as it is for sellers. Nonetheless, most purchase agreements are contingent on a home inspection (plus an appraisal, which will be managed by the buyer’s lender). This gives the buyer the ability to inspect the home from top to bottom and request repairs — some even could be required per building codes. The upshot: You have some room to negotiate, including about certain repairs. Once again, your agent will be there to help you effectively communicate with the buyer.
Step 11. Close the Sale
Settlement, or closing, is the last step in the home selling process. This is where you sign the final paperwork, make this whole thing official, and collect your check. Before that can happen though, you’ll have to prepare your home for the buyer’s final walk-through and troubleshoot any last-minute issues. We’ve got you covered with this closing checklist.