"I want to sell my property, but where do I start?"

Selling real estate can be emotional and stressful whether you are preparing to leave a home you've raised a family in or you're an investor who never even lived at the property.  As a licensed REALTOR I am equipped to help you on your seller journey and will work to get you the highest and best sales price for your listing.  Check out this 10 Step Sellers Guide so that you know what to expect during the process.  

10 Step Sellers Guide

1. Pinpoint Your Motivation

Identify your reasons for selling.  Need more space?  Ready to downsize?  Relocating?  Liquidating your assets?  

Whatever the reason, defining your end goal will help you determine if you are certain you want to sell before starting the process and taking on any unnecessary expenses.  Your mortgage balance will let you know how much equity you can expect to have at the time of closing.  Will there be enough to help you achieve your goal after selling? 

2. Hire A Real Estate Agent

Although you are not required to use a real estate agent during the home selling process, having this professional guide you through the process is your best choice.  Real estate agents are licensed and knowledgeable about the market and negotiation tactics.  We are required to take continuing education throughout our career and can provide you with expert advice and recommendations.  Click here if you would like to discuss how I can help you achieve your real estate goals.

Hire a real estate agent that will help you understand the state of your local market - buyer's market or a seller's market.   A seller's market provides you with more negotiation power and can drive up prices!  Your flexibility will determine if you can wait for a more favorable market or not.

3. Complete Home Improvements

Getting your home move-in ready will appeal to the widest range of potential qualified buyers.  A pre-inspection can help you avoid any nasty surprises that may be found later on during a buyer's inspection.  Selling as-is limits your out-of-pocket costs and can speed up the overall sales process but may draw in lower offers.  Declutter and focus on the improvements that will yield the best return on your investment.  Your property may already be ready to list, or it may need repairs and upgrades to ensure you receive the best and highest sales price.

During this process you should also decide which personal items you may consider including in the sale.  Buyers may fall in love with your fixtures and furnishings and may want to include them in the contract.  Clearly define what's staying and what's going to avoid any contract issues in the future.  A potential buyer may expect that the washer/dryer, refrigerator, chandelier, etc. are included when that is not your intention.  

4. Set Your Price

As your agent, I would do a comparative market analysis (CMA) which is a properties market value based on recent comparable sales in the same area.  We will review what comparable homes are selling for in your in order to set a fair and favorable sales price.  As your listing agent I will guide you on the best pricing strategy that will draw in the most interest and hopefully start a bidding war.    

5. Effectively Market

I will help you effectively market your listing and get it in front of as many buyers as possible!  A combination of advertisements will be used - MLS listing, online real estate selling platforms listing, open houses, agent referrals and yard signs.  High quality photos will be used to make a great first and lasting impression.  The listing description will highlight the best qualities your property has to offer.  

6. Review & Negotiate Offers

Fair pricing and effective marketing will help you get offers quickly!  To avoid wasting time, you may consider limiting showings and contract submissions to preapproved buyers only.  You'll know that they are willing and able to purchase your property.  

We'll discuss these proposed contracts, and you will decide to accept, counteroffer, or reject.  Negotiations may be required to come to terms that both parties can agree on.  Your best interest is always my first priority!

7. Prepare For Closing

You are officially under contract once you've accepted an offer!  There are still duties sellers and buyers must perform in order to ensure a smooth closing process - submit property disclosures, home inspection and possible repairs/certifications, a formal appraisal, and official land survey.  In the case that a buyer's financing fails you may consider other offers that were received to proceed with the sale or relist the property to gain the attention of new buyers.  

8. Prepare To Move

Throughout this process you should be preparing to move out as quickly as possible.  Unless otherwise negotiated, the buyer is expecting to move in on the date of closing and you should have made preparations for your relocation.  As your agent, I can assist you in purchasing your next home!  You may also need to consider a short-term rental or temporary housing depending on how soon you can locate permanent housing.

9. Closing Day

You've finally made it to the closing table where you will sign legal documents that will transfer ownership of the property to the buyer.  You may be all signing during the same appointment, or you may do so separately.  You will hand over the keys once you have vacated the property, depending on the terms of your contract - immediate possession or at a later date.  The settlement agent will record the new deed with the county, pay off your remaining mortgage balance, pay all closing costs and disburse your proceeds.

10. Celebrate!

You can know breathe a sigh of relief that the process of selling your property is now complete!  Remember what motivated you?  You are now set to achieve that goal.