Updated: Oct 12, 2021
What are the steps to sell your house? Selling a home is still a much different process than putting your old things out on the curb for a garage sale or even selling your old car. Here is what to expect, and what you’ll need to get your home sold so you can move on.
1. Decide How You Will Sell Your Home There are four main ways to sell your home today.
List Your Home With A Realtor
The most popular way to sell a house is still using a licensed real estate agent. More than 85% of home buyers still use a Realtor to find their next home, according to NAR. If you want to get it sold, it just makes sense to get in front of the vast majority of buyers by listing with an agent.
For Sale By Owner
You might try to stick a for sale by owner sign in the yard or place an ad in the local newspaper. Most sellers would like to save on real estate commissions. However, only around 2.5% of all homes sold each year are the result of buyers going direct to sellers. That means missing out on 97.5% of all buyers. You’re likely to get a much lower price and could pocket less than using an agent. Not to mention the legal liability in the process.
There are lots of new websites popping up promising to buy homes for cash. It sounds great in the ads. Once you start investigating you’ll find they just want to pay you a fraction of the value of your home so they can flip it and make a profit themselves. They also typically charge far higher commissions that traditional real estate agents.
Foreclosure Auction If you are in financial distress and just do nothing, someone else will force your home to be sold at an auction. You don’t have to do anything, except move your things out. Though you can lose any equity you had, and see your credit damaged for a decade or more. 2. Pick Your Asking Price Aside from getting your home in front of the most qualified and best fitting home buyers, the most influential factor in getting a home sold and how fast it sells is the asking price. Price it just a little too high and your home listing will be ignored. Of course, you don’t want to sell yourself short either. Use this free home value estimator tool to find out how much your home is really worth.
3. Prepare Your Home For Showings How your home is presented in pictures and video will make all the difference in selling and how much you get. At a minimum, declutter and clean up a little so that your agent’s professional real estate photographer can do their best work. The Mortgage Reports states that homes that are staged sell 73% faster than others. If you have the luxury of the time and money to make repairs, improvements and to decorate with new furniture and accessories, it can help. Just make sure you consult a top local Realtor first. Many improvements just don’t add real value. You don’t want to borrow money for improvements without getting that money back.
4. Choose An Agent & List Your Home Get competing offers from the best local real estate agents. Interview them to see which is the best fit for you. Choose one to list your home. You’ll sign a listing agreement laying out everything the agent will do for you.
5. Home Showings The majority of home buyers are still going to want to see the home before they buy. The golden rule here is not to be there when the prospective buyers show up. Buying a home is an emotional process. Having the seller present can create all types of issues and prevent a sale. Even if you choose to go the for sale by owner route, have someone else let them in. Get out of the way.
6. Receive & Negotiate Purchase Offers Hopefully your home will receive more than one offer. Your Realtor can help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses and pros and cons of each one.
Factors to consider include:
Who is the agent representing the buyer and what is their reputation?
Will the buyer being paying cash or relying on financing?
What expenses and closing costs is the buyer asking you to pay?
How soon can they complete the transaction and close?
How qualified is the buyer?
Is it an as-is offer, or contingent on repairs being made?
What will your net proceeds be from this offer?
Your agent will help negotiate the best possible price and terms on your behalf.
7. Manage The Transaction Process Signing the sales contract is just the first step to sell your house. You will also need to provide the buyer, their lender and the title company with any necessary paperwork to facilitate the closing. This can include your title insurance policy, survey and mortgage statements. You may have to arrange appointments and access for home inspectors, real estate appraisers and contractors. Stay on top of this and return documents quickly so you don’t delay your own closing.
8. Pack Up & Move Legally the day of the closing the home belongs to the buyer. You’ll need to already have your belongings out. You may need the money from this closing to purchase your own new home. So, book packing and moving services early. If there is a gap between your closings, book a hotel and reserve your storage space.
9. Close Your home isn’t officially sold until the closing. Both buyer and seller will need to sign the final closing documents and money needs to be wired. You may attend a live closing or sign documents online. Summary
Listing with a Realtor is still the most attractive option to sell your house. At least if you want to sell it swiftly and for the most money. Use UpNest to compare and receive competing offers from the best local agents. They’ll help you pick the optimal asking price, handle showings, and assist with coordinating the closing.