The idea of selling your home can feel overwhelming at first, especially if you’ve lived in it for many years. It’s recommended that you start the selling process before buying for both financial reasons and peace of mind. A great agent can help sell your home quickly and for a good price, but that’s just the start. REIN.com has 8,000 agents ready to help you with your next steps. Use the Find Agent feature on REIN.com to find a local expert in Hampton Roads. Follow this timeline for a smooth selling process.
Step 1: Choose a real estate agent.
Almost 90 percent of sellers seek out a listing agent,* and the benefits are clear. A real estate agent can make the home-selling and buying process much easier. Meet with a few from different agencies until you find the one you like. After you and your selected agent have a consultation, they’ll help you figure out a marketing strategy to sell your house. Next, they’ll determine the selling price, tell you the best time to sell and help prepare your home for showings. You should factor in the agents’ commission fee when you decide on the selling price.
When it comes time to close on your home, your agent can also assist with negotiating, home inspections and managing the closing documents. If you’re buying in the same neighborhood you’re selling in, you might be able to use the same agent, or at least the same real estate company. Otherwise, your listing agent can recommend another agent to help you find the best home for your budget, needs and wants.
Step 2: Price your home accurately.
A real estate agent will look at active listings and sales in your neighborhood, including what other homes are currently selling for and what homes have sold for in the last three to six months. This will give you an idea as to how your home compares. Square footage, age of the home, location and amenities will be a basis for comparing. You can also hire an appraiser to give you a thorough estimate of your property.
Many sellers make the mistake of pricing their home too high. Although you can always come down on price, you may waste valuable time and lose interest from potential buyers.
Step 3: Prepare your home to sell.
Declutter your home, do any small repairs and even consider staging your home before taking photos to list it. Highlight the key selling points of your home and feature them in your listing. Professional photos and virtual tours are even better.
Now is also the time when you might consider an optional pre-home inspection. This will give you a chance to speed up the selling process by fixing anything before the buyer requests the official inspection.
Step 4: Get buyers in the door.
Homes sell better in the spring and summer,** and they get more showings when an agent has access to a lockbox. An open house is also a great way to get a lot of buyers in the door. If your home is accurately priced and marketed in enough places, you should start getting offers within a few weeks of listing.
Step 5: Weigh your offers.
If your home is priced right, you can look forward to receiving multiple offers and negotiating those offers. Once you accept the offer that best meets your needs, you can begin the closing process. Remember, lean on your agent to assist with counteroffers and the many contracts and forms.
Step 6: Handle any repairs and outstanding fees.
A buyer also has the right to a home inspection before purchasing the home. While the buyer is still under contract, complete any repairs that were discussed. If any major structural issues are found, they can request that you fix it, or even cancel the contract if you refuse.
Keep in mind that the buyer isn’t the only one with closing costs. The seller has costs to pay, which are typically 8 to 10 percent of the home’s sale price, and they can be deducted from the cost of the sale. These costs include agent commission, title transfer tax, title insurance, any real estate attorney fees and other variables. A title company will facilitate all of this paperwork during the closing of the sale.
Step 7: Exchange contracts and close the sale.
After all aspects of the contract have been agreed upon by both parties, the final contract will be signed and the down payment will be made by the buyer. This is the legal confirmation of the sale and purchase. The contract will also specify how long you have to vacate the property.
To finalize the sale, you’ll transfer ownership of the property by signing a deed. Hand over the keys to the new owner, and consider yourself a successful home-seller.
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