Ready to sell your home? It takes careful planning, an understanding of the process and a lot of patience with paperwork. Here are the fundamental steps involved to help your home selling process go a little more smoothly.
1. Hire a realtor
You can certainly sell your house by yourself. However hiring a professional realtor can save you headache and potential lawsuits. Local agents knows exactly what buyers want and how to reach them. They’ll offer expert advice, guidance, and support every step of the way, from the initial listing all the way through closing. Sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more on average than those who list on their own. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.
2. Decide when to sell
Timing is a crucial factor in how much you are likely to get for your property. Certain times of the year are better than others when it comes to selling your home. Spring is an excellent time to list your property, as this is the period that buyers are most active. However, each local housing market is different.
Source: Redfin Data Center
If you’re looking to sell as fast as possible, listing in June is your best option. Homes listed in this month spend 12 days on market — significantly quicker than the average of 23 days on market in Massachusetts.
To get the highest sales price, put your house on the market in June. The median sale price of homes sell 7.3% more than the average.
3. Price your home
Once you’ve been selected your real estate agent, you’ll then need to obtain a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This is the process of assessing how much your home is likely to sell for in the current marketplace. The CMA process bases its findings on similar properties that recently sold in your local area. It also looks at other key metrics such as demand and supply as well as inventory levels.
Get your free copy of a CMA!
4. Prep your home to be listed & showing
Preparing your home before showings and open houses is very crucial. De-clattering and staging it will make your home more attractive increases your chances of receiving an offer aligned with your target selling price. It is also worth making any repairs or renovations. If you can’t afford to or have no time to, it is usually sold “as it is” and will be disclosed in your listing. Your agent will be able to advise you whether they think the repairs or renovations are worthwhile.
You should also consider getting your home photographed and create video walk-thru professionally. Nowadays there are many out-of-state and out-of-country buyers, so clear, attractive photos and videos help them get a good glimpse of your home.
5. Receiving offers and negotiations
The exciting part is receiving offers after your showings/open houses. As the seller, you can either accept or deny an offer, or make a counter-offer indicating what needs to change to be acceptable. The buyer can then accept or refuse your counter-offer, or make another counter-offer to the new terms. Your agent will discuss all details with you and whether negotiation is necessary. Offers come in the form of purchase agreement and it is a legally binding contract. It consists purchase price, details of contingencies, earnest money, fees, closing costs and closing dates.
6. Appraisal, inspections, final walk through
If you’ve received an offer for your home that you’d like to accept, the next step will see the buyer arrange an appraisal. This is where an independent appraiser inspects the home to ensure that it’s worth the amount that the buyer offered. You as the seller are also encouraged to obtain an appraisal.
The buyer is also likely to arrange a home inspection. This is where the property’s condition is assessed. You as the seller should also arrange for a home inspection, as it will prepare you for any potential repairs that might need to be made prior to the sale.
A final walk through where the buyer is allowed to inspect the home within 24 hours prior to closing.
There are many legal documents you’ll need to prepare, understand, and sign before closing the deal. Have your agent or attorney walk you through all the paperwork and ensure you have everything you need for your situation. All forms can be signed digitally nowadays.
8. The closing
Congratulations you made it! During the closing, the deed is delivered to the buyer, the title is transferred, financing documents and title insurance policies are exchanged, and the agreed-on costs are paid. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the closing can now be held virtually. Some of the final documents, including the deed and mortgage or deed of trust are signed by the appropriate parties, and then delivered to the county recorder to be recorded. Now it is time for you to move out and into your new home.