Selling Your Home: 10 Steps for Success
Denver, CO
Lawrence Family Properties, LLC Denver, CO
Published on December 30, 2021

Selling Your Home: 10 Steps for Success

Selling your home can be one of the most stressful experiences of someone’s life. It’s better you understand this now and learn how to best prepare. By doing research and learning the steps that go into selling a home you can prepare yourself for the experience and minimize the stress.

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This article breaks down the steps of selling you home into 10 steps. Understanding each aspect of the sale process is going to assure a smooth and stress-free transaction.

 

Choose Your Real Estate Agent

A lot goes into choosing the right agent and it is likely the most important decision you will make during the sale process. If you’re unsure where to start, get referrals from trusted friends, family, and neighbors. Or you can begin your search online, but make sure to do your due diligence in either situation. Always read as many reviews as possible. Speak to multiple agents before you make a final decision. Ask questions that will help gauge their knowledge of the area. This knowledge is key when determining your homes sale price. As we will discuss later, listing your home for the proper amount can make or break the sale of your home.

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While the ultimate goal is the sale of your property, it is also important to consider your compatibility outside of the transaction. Their ability to connect with you on a human level through the ups and downs of a home sale is just as important as their expertise and knowledge of the market.

 

Build a Timeline

Depending on your local housing market conditions, your timeline for selling your home may vary. Along with this you should discuss when you want to list your home. Depending on your flexibility, listing your home at a different time of year can increase the number of potential buyers that are interested in your home and increase your net proceeds from the sale

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Your agent will also be able to tell you how quickly or how long it may take for your home to sell. Then they can give you a realistic idea as to when the sale of you home will close.

In total there are about 40 dates and deadlines that your agent will keep track of throughout the closing process. Also, it must be noted that the buyer proposes the timeline within their offer, so you should be prepared to adjust when necessary. Your agent will work with you to build the ideal timeline and will eventually work with the buyer to set deadlines that both parties agree on.

 

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What is Your Home Worth?

The key to selling quickly is correctly pricing your home from the first day it hits the market. Overpricing can lead to serious complications in the selling process, and listing your property below market value can leave a lot of money on the table. By listing a property above market value there is a good chance that the appraisal will come back too low. The appraisal determines the amount which the buyer’s lender will loan them. So, if the list price is not in line with the market value of the home the buyer will likely terminate the contract and you will have to start from scratch.

A good agent will provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help you determine the best price to list your home. CMAs provide information on comparable home sales (“Comps”) in your area, both pending and sold, within the past six months. With these comps they will adjust based on things like square footage, beds and baths, age of the home, etc. With all this data you can then use these comps to determine the correct pricing for your property. If this is done correctly your home should sell quickly, and for market value.

 

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Net Proceed Calculations

Now that you have determined the price you are going to sell your home you should be able to work out the net proceeds you will make from selling your home. This should include all the costs incurred throughout the selling process. As a seller you traditionally pay for both agents commissions, typically somewhere between 4 and 6 percent of the sale price. Other costs that need to be accounted for include title insurance, recording fees, and government transfer tax, among others. Make sure you fully understand the finances of selling your home before you make the final decision to move forward with the sale.

 

Preparing your Home

Before your home hits the market be sure to discuss with your agent whether the home would benefit from any repairs or upgrades. If the home is older, your agent might suggest you obtain an inspection of the property before it is listed. You can use that inspection report to determine if any crucial repairs need to be made, or if anything may raise a red flag for the buyer. Your agent should be able to help you determine what items need to be addressed before the home is listed versus what items are not as important. You may also want to discuss any upgrades to the property that could increase its value. Perhaps replacing the carpet throughout the home, or a minor remodel of the kitchen could add significant value to the home. But remember, only tackle upgrades if the increased value clearly outweighs the cost of the upgrade.

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Having a clean and presentable home has an impactful first impression and goes a long way in the minds of buyers, so roll up your sleeves and prepare to do some cleaning. (Or you can hire someone to do a deep clean of the home.) Either way, a clean or organized home is crucial to selling your property quickly. Curb appeal also plays a huge role in a buyer’s mind. Start by cleaning up the garden and lawn, and maybe add some fresh color to your flower beds. Finally, if your furniture is dated or the home is going to be empty your agent might suggest staging your home. Staging entails a company bringing in rented furniture and décor with the goal of making each room feel as warm and welcoming as possible.

With all of this completed your agent can schedule a photographer to come and take pictures of all your hard work. Having excellent, high-quality photos taken of the property is absolutely one of the most important factors in listing a home. Great pictures are key in creating interest in the home and getting the most potential buyers into the property.

 

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Property Disclosure

As the homeowner you are legally required to disclose certain information you know about the property on specific disclosure documents. Your real estate agent will provide these disclosures to you and guide you through the process. Here are a few examples of what you’ll be required to disclose: Water damage, foundation issues, environmental contamination, electrical issues, roof damage, etc.

These disclosures are meant to give potential buyers information about the property that could have a negative effect on the value of the home. Like a home inspection, the disclosures provide home buyers with important information up front so that they can feel more comfortable about making an offer on your home. Do not intentionally hide anything. Doing so can bring a potential lawsuit from the buyer. It’s always better to over-disclose than to under-disclose when selling your home. Your agent should take any items you disclosed into account when making the final determination of pricing on your home.

 

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List & Show You Home

Once you agent feels your property is presentable it is time to put it on the market. At this time your agent will add your property to your areas Multiple Listing Service (MLS) where it will show up for any prospective buyers searching for properties in the area. Your MLS listing will include all the details of the property and a brief description of your home. Hopefully, if all the above steps have been attended to correctly, potential buyers will begin to schedule showings of the property. While it can be inconvenient to show your property, being flexible with showing times is important. You don’t want to alienate a potential buyer by not letting them see your home. Another option to discuss with your agent would be to have an open house. This can allow for many potential buyers to come by the property but can also attract “lookie-loos” and pose theft and security issues.

 

Receiving Offers & Negotiation

If you are in a seller’s market—defined by low inventory and high buyer competition—it is likely that you will receive offers at – or above – asking price. If you are selling in a buyer’s market, you may have to be more open to negotiation. Discuss negotiation strategies with your agent to work toward a satisfying final price.

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Each offer you receive will be presented to you by your agent and you should carefully discuss each one. In addition to the offer price make sure to consider items such as inspection contingencies, closing timeline, appraisal gap coverage etc.  Always consult with your agent before discounting an offer that has a slightly lower offer price, there may be favorable terms that allow for a better chance the home sale will make it to close. Work with your agent to determine what contractual terms you can live with versus terms that are deal breakers. Your agent should know what to look for in a good offer and will be able to help you make the best decision when evaluating buyers offers.

 

Home Inspection

Buyer offers are usually contingent upon a home inspection. As we discussed above, you may have already had your own inspection done on the property, so hopefully you have already addressed any potential issues, or at least understand where buyers might find issues. Additionally, you should have disclosed any known issues to potential buyers. So, by the time an inspection is conducted by a potential buyer hopefully they do not come across any surprises. The home inspection contingency is the number one cause for a buyer to terminate a contract. Trying to hide issues with your home, or not accounting for any repairs in your list price will likely lead to serious issues down the road. In the end there may be some minor negotiations regarding the inspection, but if you agent has done there job well up to this point any inspection objections should not hold up the sale of you home.

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Closing Time

Congratulations! Your buyer has accepted all the terms of the purchase and sale contact. Your real estate agent will continue to monitor deadlines, submit necessary documentation, and continue communicating with the buyer, but the hard part is over, your home is essentially sold. However, there are still some final steps before the deal is done. You will likely be asked to schedule a final walkthrough occurring a day or so before close. For this, the home should be completely empty and clean. The purpose of a final walk though is for the buyer to acknowledge that the property is in the same condition as when they first saw it. Finally, you can schedule your actual closing. At the closing table you will sign the title documents, and close escrow before handing over the keys. Your agent should be able to answer any questions that come up at close. There are a ton of documents to sign and all of them serve a very specific purpose, so if you have questions on any of them be sure to clarify things before you sign them.

 

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Conclusion

Selling a house involves numerous steps that can be overwhelming. Especially if it’s your first time. But the process can seem more daunting than it really is. The key to selling faster and for the most money will be the real estate agent you decide to sell with. The right person will take the weight off your shoulders and sell your house like it’s theirs. Follow the steps in this home selling guide and boost your chances of having an easier, faster, and more profitable sale.

Our agents at Lawrence Family Properties, LLC assure that you will have a full and complete understanding of each of these steps before you make any sale decisions. We are confident that while this seems like an intimidating process, we will be by your side the entire time. Please reach out to our team with any questions you may have, we are here to help with any of your selling needs.

 

Contact

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Lawrence Family Properties, LLC
Lawrence Family Properties, LLC Denver, CO
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(303) 578-9142
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