Listing and selling a house requires a lot of upfront planning. These 7 steps can help make the process manageable and help you make the most of your original investment.
Step 1: Find the Right Listing Agent
First, you should find a local, experienced real estate agent to guide you through the process. Do your research and read reviews to make sure you’re choosing the best person to sell your home.
Step 2: Get Your Home Ready to Sell
Walk through your home with your agent and note the things that could be updated—cracked windows, leaking pipes, and outdated appliances can quickly turn off potential buyers. Ask your agent to help you decide on the repairs that make sense, and recommend any updates that could help your home sell for more.
Step 3: Select the Right Price
Setting the right price for your home is crucial to the success of the sale. Your agent will provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which shows the list and final sale prices for comparable homes that recently sold in your area. Based on this, your ideal timeline, and the current market, your agent will help you set a pricing strategy for your home.
Step 4: When to List Your Home
The housing market is hottest in the spring and summer, but speak with your agent about the best listing date for your specific needs. Each market is different, and your agent can help you decide on the best timeline for your situation.
Step 5: Show Off Your Home
When your home officially hits the market, your agent will put a sign in your yard to attract potential buyers. Now your job is to sit back and let your agent show your home.
Step 6: Review Offers
When it comes time to review offers, your agent will help you choose the best one, or make a counteroffer to ensure you’re maximizing the price and getting the best terms for your situation. Remember, your agent will be your negotiator throughout this process so it’s important to work with an agent you trust.
Step 7: Complete the Closing Process
Once you’ve accepted an offer, it’s time to start the closing process. You’ll work with your agent, lender, and the title or escrow company to ensure a smooth transfer of ownership to the buyer.
As the seller, you’ll also pay the real estate commission to both your agent and the buyer’s agent. The typical total commission is 5%–6% with half of the commission paid to the seller’s agent and half to the buyer’s agent.