The Home-Selling Process in 8 Steps
As a First-Timer or Veteran, the home buying/selling experience can feel overwhelming and present many unknowns. As your Real Estate guides, we want to make this process as easy as possible for you, and us! With over 50 years of team experience, we have encountered many different processes- some were easy and others...extremely challenging!
We have created a chart to summarize the home buying and selling processes, hopefully making them much simpler to understand. Here at Alliance, it is our goal to educate and inform so that our clients walk away from the process with a new home and a whole lot more knowledge! Please remember that all home buying/selling journeys will differ, due to a lot of dynamic elements. The chart and brief explanations will provide a general overview, giving you more confidence through this experience. Feel free to reach out to the Alliance Team to connect and ask any questions!
1. Declutter & make repairs, or decide to sell "As-Is".
So you decided to sell your home! This step will most likely be the most tedious and time consuming out of all the steps, nonetheless the most necessary. It is time to get your home “showing” ready. Start to clean out the cabinets that you haven’t touched in ten years. Decide what appliances will remain in the home and what you will take to your next. Make sure to donate lightly used furniture and home goods to local shelters or donation centers.
This is also the time to decide if you want to sell your home “As-Is” and make little to no repairs. Or, if you want top dollar for your property, you should start making repairs and updates. This is up to you as far as how much work you would like to do. If you are unsure on what to do first, now is a good time to contact your agent and set up a meeting.
2. Meet with an Agent to discuss list price & marketing plan.
You and your agent will schedule a listing presentation meeting. At this meeting, you will discuss the price you desire to list your home and start building a relationship with your agent. Your agent will present market stats and information to help you make an informed decision about how to price your home. They will also walk-thru your home, offer guidance, and present your best selling options. This is the time to ask any questions that you may have.
On this day, or another scheduled day, your agent will take pictures and measurements of your home to prepare to list your home.
3. List home & wait for offers!
You and your agent will discuss a time-frame that you would like to place your home on the market. On the day that your home is listed, all of the information that you provided your agent, the pictures, and other details will be posted on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Through this service, your home will be placed on over 50 websites that will bring interested buyers. Buyers will request to see your property and there will be scheduled showings. Depending on the “move-in readiness” of your home, the frequency and immediacy of offers will vary.
4. Review, negotiate, & choose an offer with your Agent.
Your agent will guide you through reviewing the offers & inform you of the most important elements of the offers. There are many elements that can make a good offer- talk to your agent to determine your best options! During this time, you may make a counter-offer and negotiate contract terms to meet your needs.
You’ve chosen an offer and signed the contract. Next step, the buyer deposits earnest money.
5. Buyer Delivers Earnest Money.
Earnest Money is a form of deposit that the buyer will pay to you (held in Escrow) to show good faith and seriousness to buy your home, after the contract is accepted and signed by all parties. This is usually a payment of 1% to 2% of the purchase price and is applied to the buyer’s payment or closing costs.
This payment will be paid up to 3 days, or time stated in the contract, after the contract was accepted. The money will be held in Escrow throughout the remainder of the home selling process.
Earnest money is delivered and received, what do you have to do now?
6. Wait for completion of inspection & appraisal.
The buyer-side will set up the home inspection. Some loans require buyers to have an inspection in order to satisfy loan requirements. It is also in the buyer’s best financial interest, so most agents will suggest buyers follow through with an inspection. During this time, the buyer may try to negotiate more terms to their benefit. In this case, we’ll say that the inspection went well and the buyer made no changes to their offer.
The appraisal is required to determine the value of the home, to satisfy loan requirements, & to ensure that the home is worth what the buyer is paying. Your agent will be present at the appraisal to ensure that everything goes smoothly and to answer any questions from the appraiser.
7. Request a payoff letter & wait!
It is vital that you request a mortgage payoff letter 2 weeks before your closing date, the date is on your contract. This letter will be provided to your attorney so they can prepare the required documents for closing.
At this point, we are waiting for the buyer’s loan to be approved. There is not much for you to do at this time. Your agent will provide you a weekly update. Feel free to reach out and ask questions along the way.
8. Closing Day: Transfer possession of your home.
Congrats on selling your home, you made it to the end! By this time, all of the paperwork that you would have had to sign would already be complete, so there is no more work for you to do.