If you’re considering selling your home, now is the time! Initially, the process may seem overwhelming. Where do you begin? How do you price your home? Where do you advertise? With an agent working by your side, you can take the load off your own shoulders and place the burden on them. It becomes a team effort, and with an expert in real estate, you can expect a certain level of care, and most importantly, they can help you get the best price for your home.
First step: get yourself an agent. The most common way you’ll find an agent is by referral. Great agents really make an impression, so ask your friends and family who they worked with when they have sold their homes in the past. Or you can do your own online research. Once you’ve made contact, you’ll be in good hands. An agent will be able to provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This is really important so you can get an idea of what similar homes in your neighborhood are currently selling for. Your agent will explain all the factors that go into the sale price and how long it may take to sell your home. Location is the most important factor in determining value. Where exactly is the home? Other factors will include competition (other similar properties being sold), timing (is it a seller or buyer’s market?), condition of the property (renovated or dated), and the market value. Your agent will weigh all of these factors, and after careful analysis, you’ll be able to determine the current sale price of your home.
Next step: get your home prepared for listing. You’ll want to reveal all the things about the home that speak to you. What made you buy the home in the first place? What are your favorite features? What features do you think should be highlighted? Once you have an answer to each of those questions, your agent will make sure to note them on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Your agent may recommend someone to stage your home. It is helpful to have an outside expert maximize your home’s space, creating an impact on potential buyers. After your home is staged, a professional photographer will come in and take some beautiful shots of your home. Humans are visual creatures, so high resolution interior and exterior photos are critical. You’ll also have to fill out disclosure forms to the best of your knowledge. Once all the photos are ready, your agent will upload them, along with the completed forms, to the MLS, and your home will be ready to list! Your agent might give a heads-up to other agents in their office first — there could be a buyer in the midst, allowing you to skip the following steps.
Once the listing goes live, the rest of the world will know it’s for sale. Your agent will also use additional means to get the word out, including other agencies, social media, listings partners, etc. Your agent will control the boards on showing appointments. They’ll hold an open house. With your house staged, the presentation will be an A+ listing. In today’s market, if your property is in the right location and priced right, expect to find yourself in a multiple-offer situation. Your agent will help you navigate offers and decide what works best for you. They’ll help present a counter-offer, if need be. Regardless of the situation, your agent will be honest about the expected outcome and timeline.
Now that you’ve accepted an offer, what happens next depends on the contract. Decide on a settlement date. Buyers will select titles and find a law firm to handle the transaction. If there is a home inspection contingency, an inspector will come to the property, and they will look at everything. Luckily, you won’t be there when they do. After home inspection, you may receive a repair request. This becomes another negotiating point. If there are some repairs you are willing to pay for, you may do so. Or, if you don’t want the hassle, you can offer a credit toward the repairs that will be awarded at the settlement. Again, your agent will help you navigate these waters. Then, you just have to wait for settlement. As long as there are no issues on the buyer’s side with mortgages and financing, you’ll be good to go. Sometimes things can go wrong with financing, but when deciding on your offers, you’ll be able to review pre-approval letters. If your agent is good at their job, they’ll recommend the offers with reputable lenders so you can minimize worry about financing falling through. But, it can happen and isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Whatever issues may arise, your agent will help you through it. You are not alone. They have to earn that commission, after all!
Once you’re at the attorney’s office for settlement, it’s clear sailing. You get to go through the disclosure and collect your check. Shake hands or bump elbows, and go celebrate! You just sold your home! Selling a home can be stressful, but when handled correctly, it can actually be fun. Granted, there are a lot of moving parts, but an agent will serve as your guide through the wilderness of real estate. Good luck!