Deciding whether or not to sell your home is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. While it seems like a complicated process, it doesn’t have to be.

This checklist is designed to help you navigate your way through the selling process without any trouble.

Here are the pieces:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Researching the Market
  3. Preparing for a Sale
  4. Negotiating Offers
  5. Closing an Offer
  6. The Final Stages



Step 1: Find a Real Estate Agent

  • Interview several agents to see if their personality and expertise matches your needs and wants
  • Great real estate agents have these qualifications:
    • Local market knowledge.
    • Great reviews and testimonials.
    • Financial Knowledge.
    • Avoid "hobby agents" - find an experienced agent who works full time!
    • Great agents are punctual and communicative
    • Did your agent show up on time & prepared?
    • Do they communicate in a way that you understand and that you feel comfortable with?
    • Does your agent have network connections? Great agents work with other agents on a regular basis?
    • Ask about their marketing processes: How are they marketing other properties?
    • Are they utilizing social media?
  • Do they have marketing plans for their listings?
  • Create a list of 10 things you LOVE about your home, and share this with your agent.

Step 2: Plan Your Timeline

  • Determine when would be the best time to put your house on the market with your agent.
  • Meet with an agent to discuss the best listing strategy based on the local market.
  • Have an idea of where you'd like to move before you put your home on the market.



Step 3: Walk through

  • Walk through your home with your agent.
  • Show them the 10 things you love about your home.
  • Ask your agent for advice on repairs, upgrades, and staging.
  • If you are unsure, ask your agent if a general pre-inspection should be scheduled before the sale.

Step 4: Determine the Listing Price & Marketing Plan

  • Work with your real estate agent to determine the best listing price - every home is different! If you overprice a property, it could potentially hurt your chances of getting top dollar for your home.
  • Review a comparative market analysis with your agent, which determines price point based on the sale price of similar homes in your neighborhood.

The listing price of your home is based on many factors. This includes the lot size, the square footage, location, home's condition, style, the year the home was built, and many others.



Step 5: Prepare Your House for Viewing

  • Clean & Declutter.
  • While we love the memories that your home represents, we suggest hiding anything that might be considered "clutter".
  • Try to keep decorations as neutral as possible - we want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves in this space.
  • Deep clean forgotten places (baseboards, light switches, etc.) OR hire a cleaning crew - a few hundred dollars on cleaners can help get you thousands in the sale!
  • Improve Curb Appeal.
  • Maintain landscaping.
  • Clear out the side yard area.
  • Hide eyesores like trash cans or compost bins.
  • Hire a professional stager or ask your real estate agent for suggestions.

Step 6: Market Your Home

  • Discuss your agent's marketing plan with them to create the best strategy for your unique home.
  • Have your agent schedule high-quality real estate photography for your home. Professional photography can get you thousands more in a sale!
  • Schedule a time with your agent to do the pre-listing marketing they need - video walkthroughs, social media blasts, etc.

Step 7: Showing Your Home

  • Decide whether you want to have a lock box or schedule appointments.
  • Prepare for open houses.
  • Store important financial documents and valuables in a safe place away from the public eye.



Step 8: Negotiate Purchase Offers

  • Discuss the offers with your real estate agent.
  • Prepare for multiple offers.

Don't get hung up on only the offer price! There are many terms within an offer that should be taken into consideration.


Step 9: Sign a Purchase Sale Agreement

  • After selecting the strongest offer, sign the purchase sale agreement and any additional paperwork.
  • Buyers will put down a deposit.

Step 10: Open Escrow and Order Title

  • Your real estate agent will open escrow on your behalf and have a title representative pull the property's title report.
  • Discuss the timeline of the transaction with your agent based on the accepted offer.



Step 11: Buyer's Due Diligence Period

Be prepared to allow the buyer reasonable access to your home and property for them to conduct inspections.

  • After the home inspection, do not be alarmed if the buyer wants to schedule specialists like electricians or plumbers to come in and inspect the home
  • If the buyer submits a request for repairs, work with your agent to negotiate a solution between both parties.
    • If any reports were required in the accepted offer (ex: a termite report),

provide the buyer with them.


Step 12: Bank Ordered Appraisal

The buyer's lender will conduct an appraisal to verify that the market value of the home supports the contract price.


Step 13: The Home Stretch

  • Once the buyer has lifted contingencies and their deposit is locked in, complete any requested repairs before closing.
  • Expect the buyer to schedule a final walk-through, where they will verify that the condition of the property is the same as when they made the offer. This also allows the buyer to ensure that any agreed upon repairs have been completed.



Step 14: Closing a Deal

  • Both parties will pay any settlement fees and documents are recorded.
  • Titles are officially transferred to the new owners.


Congratulations! You sold your home!

Work With Michelle

I am grateful to join you on your journey to buying or selling your home. Whether you are a returning client looking to upsize, downsize, or any size in between, or a first-time homebuyer, I welcome you and I am thankful for your choice of a Realtor®.

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