If you are a first-time home seller, figuring out how to sell your house can seem daunting. Since your home is probably your largest financial asset, you will also want to get the process right, so you get the best price for it and sell it fast.
To assist with the learning part, we have created a quick and easy-to-follow step-by-step home selling process checklist that will give you all the basics you need to sell your house fast.
Step 1: Ensure That You Are Ready to Sell Your House
Knowing whether you are ready to sell your house is a three-part question.
- Part one: Are you financially ready to sell? Do you have another mortgage, line of credit, or other debt? What is your equity position on the house?
- Part two: Are you planning to buy your next home before selling. Depending on factors like market conditions, you can choose to sell first or buy first.
- Part three: Are you emotionally ready to sell you house?
Address these three areas first before taking the next step of picking a real estate agent.
Step 2: Pick a Real Estate Agent
If you want the sale process to run smoothly and get the best price for your house, you need to work with a real estate agent.
Here is what you get when you work with one:
- Someone working for your benefit, and not the buyer’s interest.
- Help showing your house to the right people at the right time.
- Negotiation support.
- Legal steps support, under the supervision of a title company or attorney, so you do not break any laws.
The best way to pick a real estate agent is to find a local NAR professional with the designation Seller Representative Specialist. Next, it is time to set the price.
Step 3: Set the Right Price
Setting the right price for your house can mean the difference between a quick sale and a house sitting on the market for months. Working with your real estate agent, do a comparative analysis of similar properties in your area. How much did they sell for and when? One pricing mistake you must avoid is overpricing your house. Most buyers and buyer agents know an overpriced home when they see it and will avoid it altogether. Finding the right price for your home will involve a mix of price comparison, condition of the house, square footage, and amenities.
Step 4: Prepare to Sell Your House
Preparing to sell your house is a two-step process – preparing yourself and how to get your house ready to sell.
- Prepare yourself: Emotions can prove a stumbling block when selling a home. Letting go of your home, and dealing with overly critical comments from buyers can be painful. A useful approach is to transition from calling it your home to treat it as a house.
- Prepare your home: Undertake minor repairs, apply a fresh coat of paint, declutter and deep clean, and stage your home.
Once you have prepared yourself and your house, it is time to put it on the market.
Step 5: Market and Show Your Home
Your real estate agent will help you with marketing activities like taking photos (engage a professional photographer for this), creating your online seller profile, listing your house on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and syndicating the listing to sites like Zillow. Next, they will help you with showing. When showing, remember to ensure your house is always sparkling clean, well-lit, and aired. Also, try and keep children and pets away to avoid distractions. Next, with offers coming in, you will need to negotiate and accept the best one.
Step 6: Negotiate and Accept an Offer
As offers come in, be willing to negotiate with prospective buyers despite their offers. Your real estate agent will prove indispensable at this step. When negotiating, have realistic expectations. Buyers may come in low then pay more while others may come in high and fault-find to get you to lower the price. Understand where to draw the line when negotiating. Also, be willing to consider lower offers. Remember, the longer your house stays on the market, the lower the price will fall. Discuss with your agent what options you have when it comes to accepting a lower offer.
Step 7: Complete the Closing Process
Once you accept an offer, your real estate agent will initiate the closing process. Here, the house will undergo an inspection and appraisal, and if repairs are required, you will need to negotiate costs with the buyer. You will also need to complete all the paperwork related to closing, including title work, property taxes, plans, and permits, and loan documentation. Once all the paperwork is lodged and approved, your agent will, under the supervision of a title company or attorney, organize a transfer of ownership signing (remember to carry your photo ID).
Step 8: Tie off Loose Ends and Pat Yourself on the Back
After closing, you will need to tie off some loose ends, like submitting a change of address at the post office and canceling homeowners’ insurance, utilities, and subscriptions. Once complete, you are ready to turn over a new chapter in your life. Take some time to celebrate the successful sale and pat yourself on the back. You have just gone from wondering how to sell your house fast to successfully closing and completing a sale. Congratulations are in order.
Bypass All These Steps and Sell Quickly
If you want to sell your house quickly, you can do so by selling through an investor like Need Help Selling Home. We let you bypass all these steps, give you a quote within hours, and buy your house quickly for cash.