In 2020, 5.64 million existing homes were sold in the United States. If you’ve made the decision to sell your home, you’re not alone.
When selling a home, there are standard steps that you’ll typically need to follow. The home selling process can seem complicated at first glance, but it’s not as difficult as you might expect.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll tell you everything you should know about the home selling process.
Table of Contents
- 1 Start With a Plan
- 2 Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent
- 3 Consider Making Some Updates and Repairs
- 4 Choose the Right Selling Price
- 5 Create Great Home Listings
- 6 Show Your Home and Receive Offers
- 7 Prepare for a Home Inspection
- 8 Understand Fees and Taxes
- 9 Decide Whether to Hire a Real Estate Attorney
- 10 Gather Closing Paperwork
- 11 Preparing for the Home Selling Process With This Guide
Start With a Plan
The first step to selling your home is to make a plan. You need to have an idea of how quickly you want to sell your home, where you’re planning a move afterward, and how you’re going to do it.
You should start the process of selling your home as soon as you can ahead of time. This way, you’ll have time to research great agents and learn more about the local real estate market. You may also want to look for a local moving company that can help you move to a new location when the time comes.
Consider starting the process of preparing your home several months in advance. This will give you a chance to make improvements and get the inspections that you need ahead of time.
Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent
While some homeowners make the decision to sell their homes on their own, doing so is usually a mistake.
Although a real estate agent will take a significant commission when selling your house, it can be well worth it. It can be difficult to sell a home on your own and it’s possible that you also won’t get as much money for it.
An experienced real estate agent will know all about the market in which you’re selling and can do a great job of helping list and market your property. They can also help negotiate on your behalf to get you the best deal possible.
Be sure to think carefully about which agent you choose to work with, however. Make sure that they have plenty of experience and find out everything you can about how they market and list properties and what their recent sales have been like.
Consider Making Some Updates and Repairs
Homeowners need to understand the signs of foundation failure because foundation issues can cause serious damage to the home and may even compromise its safety. If left unchecked, foundation problems can cause structural damage to the home, such as uneven floors, cracked walls, and doors and windows that no longer function properly. These issues can also lead to water damage, as cracks in the foundation can allow moisture to seep in, which can cause further damage and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Before you list your property, it’s a good idea to do everything that you can to make your home more attractive to prospective buyers. There are many steps that you can take to do this, so you’ll want to decide how much time and money you want to invest.
Some of the things that you might want to do before listing your home include making minor or major repairs, deep cleaning your home, and decluttering.
It’s also a good idea to consider staging your home. By doing this, you’ll revert rooms back to their original purpose. You’ll set up each room’s furniture in a way that allows buyers to easily picture themselves living in your home.
Doing all of these things can help to increase the amount of money you get from your home and can help it sell more quickly.
Choose the Right Selling Price
When listing your home for sale, one of the things that you’ll need to do is to think carefully about the price you’re selling it for. Make sure that you set a realistic price for your home to ensure that it will sell quickly and for a good price.
It’s a good idea to do some research to find out what other homes for sale in your area are going for. Your listing agent can help you determine a good price for your home.
Remember that if you set the price too high, then it could take longer to sell. However, if you list it for too low of a price then you may not get as much for it as you could.
Keep this in mind as you make your decision and decide how much to list it for.
Create Great Home Listings
When listing your home, you need to make sure that the listing is filled out thoroughly with all important neighborhood and home information.
You should also include professional photos and media. Be sure that you or your agent hires a professional photographer to take photos for your listing if you want it to stand out and get more interest.
These days, it’s also important to add other types of media as well. This could include video, drone photos and videos, 3D tours, and more.
The more attractive you can make your listing and the better media that’s attached, the more likely you’ll be able to find a buyer who wants to learn more about it. While it will cost you money to get professional photos and videos for your listing, the results can be well worth it.
Show Your Home and Receive Offers
Once you’ve listed your home for sale, you may start having buyers come to look at your home.
You’ll need to have as many showings as you can to have the best chance of selling the house fast. Try to Make sure that you’re available at a moment’s notice to let your agent show the home to prospective buyers. It’s also a good idea to have a plan for getting your pets out of the way when someone comes by.
After some prospective buyers have viewed your home, you may start receiving offers. A listing agent can help keep you informed of any offers that come in. They can then help you make counteroffers and can negotiate on your behalf.
Prepare for a Home Inspection
After someone makes an offer on your home and you accept it, there will likely be a home inspection contingency period. This could last a few days or a few weeks.
During this time, the buyer will still have the chance to back out if they change their mind. Typically, a buyer will want to have your home inspected to find out everything about your home that they can. You’ll need to prepare your home for an inspection by ensuring that the inspector can get around your home easily.
As part of a home sale, you may also need to make certain updates to your home. This will depend on what the buyer requests during negotiations.
Understand Fees and Taxes
Before it comes time to close on the home, you’ll want to have an idea of what to expect as far as fees and commissions go.
Both buyers and sellers will typically need to pay various closing costs and taxes during the purchase. You may need to pay a government transfer tax, recording fees, outstanding liens, and attorney fees during the closing.
If you’re working with a real estate agent, then you’ll need to pay them a commission for the sale. This will often be around 5 or 6 percent of the home’s price.
Also, be sure that you understand the taxes that are involved with your home sale and what it means for your filing for the year.
Decide Whether to Hire a Real Estate Attorney
Another important consideration when selling your house is whether you want to hire a real estate attorney or not. Hiring an attorney may cost you a couple of thousand dollars, but it can be well worth having them look over the closing information for you.
In some states, it’s required that you hire a real estate attorney when closing on your home. Either way, it can be helpful to have an attorney help you fill out the paperwork and ensure that all the details are taken care of.
A skilled real estate attorney can help to identify title issues as well as outstanding liens, encroachments, tax issues, and more.
Gather Closing Paperwork
Once everything else has been taken care of, it’s time to get your paperwork together and close on the home. There are various documents that you’ll need during the closing, so you’ll want to make sure to assemble them all before the date arrives.
Some of the things that you’ll need to have on hand include:
- Seller’s disclosure
- Closing disclosure
- Deed and transfer documents
- Government photo ID
- Cashier’s checks for any offered repairs
- Other documents requested by your agent
In addition to these documents, you’ll also need to bring other essentials that go with owning the home. This could include keys, garage door openers, and any code or gate access information that you have.
Preparing for the Home Selling Process With This Guide
If you want to have the easiest time handling the home selling process, make sure that you know the steps ahead of time. Understanding the information above will make selling your home much more straightforward.
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