STEP 1: GET STARTED
Find a real estate agent
To find a reputable real estate agent, ask your colleagues, friends, and family for referrals. It’s important to choose an agent you are comfortable with and can provide the knowledge and services you need.
Price your homes
Your agent will research sale prices on other comparable homes in your neighborhood to help you set your sale price. It’s important to get the price right the first time.
STEP 2: PREPARE FOR MARKET
Make repairs or upgrades
Your agent can help you determine which ones will have the greatest impact for the least cost.
Get rid of clutter and depersonalize your home
Buyers need to imagine themselves in your home. Some things to consider:
- Donating items you no longer need or discarding those that no longer work
- Renting a storage unit to store a portion of your belongings while your house is on the market
- Removing some of the more personal photos on your walls and mantels
Clean, clean, clean
Wipe down every surface, vacuum and dust thoroughly, clean the windows, and air out the home.
Have your home photographed
Your agent will likely hire a professional photographer to help your home look its best.
Did you know the typical home buyer will visit 10 homes over a 10-week period before buying?
STEP 3: LIST AND SHOW YOUR HOME
List your home with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
Your agent will list your home for sale on the MLS, an online where buyers and agents search for homes. Your agent will likely include a description of your home and photos.
Consider an open house
Talk with your agent about the possibility of having an open house.
Use a lockbox
Your agent can arrange to have your front door equipped with a lockbox, which allows authorized agents to show your home. Lockboxes generally help get more showings than appointments.
Always be ready
Be prepared to leave your home at a moment’s notice to allow buyers to tour your home with their agents.
STEP 4: EVALUATE AND NEGOTIATE OFFERS
Ask your agent for advice
If your home is priced right, you could receive multiple offers, which your agent can help you evaluate and negotiate, as needed.
Negotiate the offer
If you receive a low offer, consider negotiating with a counter offer. Your agent can provide guidance and will conduct the negotiations with the buyer.
STEP 5: SETTLE AND CLOSE
Once you accept an offer, you’re in the final stretch, which includes getting ready for closing and your move.
Negotiate items from inspection
If the buyer requests any repairs as a result of the home inspection, you’ll need to negotiate and possibly repair the items identified.
Prepare for closing
Your agent can assist as you prepare for closing, when you’ll finalize the payoff of your mortgage, receive the funds for the sale of your home, and hand over the keys to the buyer.