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Steps to Selling Your Home

  1. Set a timeline: Start prepping your home well before you plan to list. Selling a house can take several months from start to finish – or even longer – so it’s important to stay organized and plan ahead. About a month prior to listing, start prepping by doing deep cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of clutter and unused items. Getting ahead on this will help reduce stress during the sale, and make it easier when it comes time to move.
  2. Hire a Realtor: An experienced Realtor who knows the market will significantly reduce the stress of selling your home. They know the market, all about the transaction process, and will have the answers to any questions you have. There are a couple of ways to find a good Realtor. Getting referrals from friends/family is always a great way. Research online and read reviews and look for things like how long they’ve been in the industry, any designations they’ve acquired (ex. CRS, CRB, GRI, etc.), how professional their listings look, how they market listings, and how many deals they’ve closed.
  3. Research the market: Talk with your Realtor and determine if it’s a good time for you to list. Inform yourself also – understanding your local real estate market will help you know if it’s the right time for you to sell, and help you know what to expect when selling. Research things such as if it’s currently a buyers or sellers market and what time of year is best for selling.
  4. Determine upgrades: You don’t have to upgrade everything, but making some repairs and making some areas more attractive can help your home sell! A fresh coat of paint and some landscaping are inexpensive DIY projects and can make a home much more attractive. Look around the home for small things you could repair yourself. Your Realtor can help advise you on upgrades that may need to be done, and an inspection report will advise you on things that need to be fixed. Buyers may also request that some things be done before closing.
  5. Set a realistic price: Your Realtor can help you find the appropriate list price. Ask them to run CMAs to see what similar homes in your area have sold for. It’s important to price your home appropriately – you don’t want to leave money on the table by pricing too low, however, pricing too high can also be harmful. You may think that by pricing too high you will still receive offers, but many buyers won’t even consider a property if they know it’s out of their price range. Multiple price reductions may also give potential buyers the impression that there’s something wrong with a home, so it’s important to get it right the first time.
  6. Stage your home: Make sure your home is not only clean but organized! This entails removing any excess furniture, personal belongings, and anything unsightly. Most people have a difficult time envisioning the potential of a space, so removing clutter can help them better see this potential. You will also want to make yourself scarce for showings. While it can be nerve-wracking having a buyer in your home, having a current homeowner at a showing can scare off potential buyers.
  7. List with good photos: 96 percent of buyers look at homes online – ensure you have a good online listing with good photos! Ensure your staging is done prior to photographs so that your home is clean and clutter-free. A good photographer knows how to make rooms appear bigger, brighter, and more attractive. Chances are your Realtor has a good contact for a photographer that specializes in real estate photography, so ask!
  8. Review offers: Consider all factors, not just the highest dollar amount. This is where your Realtor is your best advocate. They will know what to look for in an offer and can help you determine what the next step will be. You can either accept an offer as-is, make a counteroffer, or reject an offer. If you receive multiple offers, it can be tempting to accept the highest bid and call it a day. However, there are other things to look at in an offer, such as: form of payment (cash vs. financing), type of financing, down payment amount, contingencies, concession requests, and proposed closing date. Keep in mind, if a buyer is relying on lender financing, the property will need to be appraised. If the appraisal comes back for less than the offer, the difference will have to be made up somewhere else. Things like this could cause a deal to fall apart.
  9. Weigh closing costs: Be sure you know how much more you’ll need to pay at the closing table. In any real estate transaction, both the buyer and seller must pay at least part of the closing costs. The seller will typically pay the commission, which is usually 5-6% of the sale price. Some other closing costs commonly paid by the seller include transfer taxes and recording fees.
  10. Fulfill closing obligations: If you are obligated to complete repairs as a condition of your post-inspection negotiations, it is your responsibility to complete those tasks before closing. Additionally, if the buyers asked for (and you agreed to) any specific inspections or certifications, like a sewer line inspection or roof condition certification, those should be completed as well.
  11. Close: Make sure you have all your documentation ready & sign! You may also need to bring payment for any fees and bring the keys for the new owners. Documents needed at closing might include:
    • Original purchase contract
    • Property survey, certificate of occupancy, and certificates of compliance with local codes
    • Mortgage documents
    • Tax records
    • Appraisal from your home purchase
    • Homeowners Insurance
    • Home inspection report
  12. You’re done! Congratulations on selling your home!

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Published by Homer Real Estate

Selling the great community of Homer, Alaska since 1985

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