Twelve Steps: The Path to Selling Your Home

Step One: Choose a Realtor. Talk to several agents, and listen carefully. Does the agent understand what’s important to you? Do they listen to you? Do they communicate clearly and in a way that makes you feel comfortable?

Step Two: Sign a Listing Agreement with your chosen Realtor.

Step Three: Listen to your Realtor’s advice on how to present your home for a successful sale. “Staging” your home by removing some personal items, or making minor cosmetic repairs can be worth the effort, in dollars and sense!

Step Four: Prepare your home for sale. Turn up the curb appeal, lose the clutter, and store some of your personal items. You are in a competition for buyers, so your home needs to look it’s best!

Step Five: Evaluate how much your home is worth in today’s market. Use the market analysis provided by your Realtor, and the information you have about your own neighborhood. Remember, the market has changed, and when you’re competing to attract buyers, you must price your home well to sell.

Step Six: Install the “For Sale” sign and lock box.

Step Seven: Stage your home well for showings. Make sure your home is clean, smelling and looking it’s best. Tidy up and take pets and kids to the park, or to a neighbor’s during the showing. Your home only gives each buyer one first impression, make it the best!

Step Eight: Wait. This is the toughest part of selling your home. Your Realtor should keep you updated, and give you feedback on the showings.

Step Nine: Consider the buyer’s offer. Are they pre-approved? What contingencies are offered? Is the offer financially acceptable?

Step Ten: Accept, reject, or counter the offer. But don’t forget, that upon rejection or countering the offer, the previous offer is now void.

Step Eleven: Accept an offer. Now you prepare for inspections and contingencies. Typical inspections are for the whole home, gas line, well, lead, radon, and termites. If problems are found, buyers will ask for solutions. Be prepared to negotiate.

Step Twelve: Prepare for your move. In addition to change of address forms, and changing the address for your bills and accounts, you’ll want to transfer utilities, hire a moving company, and prepare to say goodbye to the old neighborhood.

Close the sale, sign dozens of forms, take your check to the bank, or in many of today’s short sale cases, breathe a sigh from relief of financial burden.