The 8-Step Selling Process
Not sure what to expect when selling your home? We’ve put together a step-by-step list below to help you understand the selling process.
1. Contact an experienced real estate professional to help you sell your property. Your real estate agent will analyze recent sales and market conditions in order to provide a realistic valuation of your property.
2. Sign a listing agreement and other necessary forms. Your real estate agent should review all forms with you. Do not sign any document without reading and understand it. Ask your real estate agent any questions you have regarding the paperwork. Be aware that some of the forms you are signing are contracts and you are obligated to comply with the terms of the contract. If you have any questions about the forms, you may want to contact an attorney to review them before you sign. Some of the forms are as follows:
- Agency Disclosure
- Listing Agreement/Contract
- Seller’s Disclosure
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
3. Complete the recommended repair items on the property & prepare the property for showings. Your real estate agent should give you suggestions on making your property look it’s best. Some of the most common items are: deep cleaning the entire home, minimizing unpleasant odors and making the home smell welcoming, drywall repair, painting, de-cluttering, landscaping, window washing inside and out. These items should be completed as soon as possible making your home look its best for showings.
4. Marketing your property. After all documents are signed and recommended repairs made, your property is ready to go on the market. Your real estate agent will enter all of the information into the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), place a for sale sign in the yard (if allowed), install a key box on the door and begin the marketing process.
5. Showing your property. The option of open houses will be decided between you and your real estate agent. Regardless of whether you are going to have open houses or not, you and your real estate agent will need to decide how much notice will be given to you before a showing takes place. This will allow you time to get your home ready so it will always show at its best. For security reasons, never allow someone to enter your home without an appointment and their real estate agent. Be sure to remove or secure valuables and medications before an open house or showing.
6. The purchase agreement. When someone is interested in purchasing your home, an offer is written. Your real estate agent will review the offer with you and discuss your options. You can either accept the offer, write a counteroffer, or reject the offer. Once an offer or counter offer is accepted, your real estate agent will perform many items such as ordering inspections, title work, closing documents, and scheduling a closing date.
7. Coordinate the inspections. The most common inspections are the home, pest, radon, septic and well. Some of these are required by the lender. Your real estate agent will make you aware of the dates and times the inspections will occur. You can be present during the inspections if you wish. If there are any items of concern, an Addendum to the Purchase Agreement will be written by the buyer stating the items they are requesting be repaired prior to close.
8. Closing. Your real estate agent is kept informed of the closing date and time. The closing will normally take place at a title company. Your real estate agent receives closing numbers from the lender or title company approximate 24 hours in advance and your agent will review the numbers with you to determine if everything is correct. Approximately 24 hours before closing, contact any utility companies to schedule final meter readings and to update your mailing address for the final bill. At the closing, the closing agent will review the paperwork with you and your agent as you sign documents. You will need to bring the house keys, garage door openers and any other items/documents that relate to the property for the purchaser. If the contract specifies, you have so many days after closing to vacate the property, a day, time and location will be agreed upon between you and the purchaser to transfer keys and other items.