How To Sell Your House in 3 Basic Steps

Posted by Andrew Fortune on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at 11:14am. 37,036 Views

How To Sell Your House In 3 Basic Steps


Selling your home can be chaotic and stressful, but it doesn't have to be. This article and infographic were designed to help you through the home selling process with ease. When you have a clear understanding of the process, the whole transaction will go much smoother.

Step 1 BadgeSTEP 1: Get Your House Ready to Sell

Before you can put your house on the market, you need to get it ready. This is a different process for every property, but the end goal should always be the same. You're trying to get your home to look like a staged model home that no one lives in. To simplify the process for you, we've boiled down the 3 most important parts of this process. Fix it, upgrade it, and make it shine! Check out the insights below to help you get your house ready to sell.



FIX EVERYTHING

Fix EverythingMost home buyers are looking for a home that doesn't have issues. When your home goes under contract, the buyer will most likely hire a professional inspector to inspect your home for damages and potential repairs.

When planning out your home selling strategy, start by identifying and completing any repairs on known issues with your property. We recommend hiring your own home inspector before listing your house. This is the best way to avoid unexpected surprises once you're in the contract phase of your home selling process.

Buyers tend to feel that they are overpaying for a home when it has repair issues. You'll typically net the most money on your home sale by addressing all of these issues before you find the right buyer.



ADD UPGRADES

Add UpgradesNext, evaluate whether or not your home needs updating to solicit the highest and best offer. Look at other homes in your neighborhood online or with your REALTOR. If all the current or recently sold listings have granite counter tops, solid wood floors, and/or other current updates, it will be in your best interest to add those things to your home as well. Knowing your competition and offering a better product helps to net the most money when selling your home.

If most of the homes around you are offering current upgrades and your property does not, the chances are high that your home will be on the market for a while and eventually receive offers much lower than you prefer. Installing and performing upgrades before listing can be a smart investment. For the best results, meet with your REALTOR to get advice on which upgrades will have the greatest impact.



MAKE IT LOOK NEW AGAIN

Make It Look New AgainFinally, you will want to make your home look new again. The goal is to take all the “wear and tear” out of your home. This usually involves touching up the paint, shampooing carpets, touching up baseboards, adding fresh mulch, trimming bushes, and deep cleaning every room in the house. Often, sellers find that they need to completely paint the interior of the home and put new floors in, as even everyday wear and tear can turn buyers off.

You will also want to take the “you” out of your home. Buyers emotionally attach to homes that they can visualize themselves living in. It's hard for them to do that when they see photos of the current homeowners family throughout the house.

Take all personal pictures and pack them in a box for your next residence. Take any items that are personal to you and pack them as well. Make your home as clean and neutral as possible so that home buyers can imagine their furniture and items in your home. If possible, hire a professional stager to help arrange your home for an amazing presentation to home buyers. Staging is becoming more common every year and some of the homes that you're competing with may be staged.


Check out our Ultimate Home Sellers Checklist below. It offers a HUGE list of items to keep you on track when getting your home ready to go on the market.

The Ultimate Home Sellers To-Do Checklist

 


Step 2 BadgeSTEP 2: Get Your Home Listed for Sale

Once your home is ready to be listed for sale, your task list changes from physical labor to phone calls and emails. This part requires smart decision making and lots of online research. Take your time and use the three important steps below to ensure your success.



HIRE A REALTOR

Hire A RealtorStart by hiring a good REALTOR. Don’t just use a family member or someone in your neighborhood. Do your homework and find someone with a good online presence and strong reviews. Using someone based on anything but this can cost you thousands of dollars.

Here’s a good list of questions to ask before hiring a REALTOR.

    • Do they hire professional photographers to take pictures and video?
    • Do they offer an online 3D Tour? Ask for examples.
    • Do they use a professional Showing Service or are they responsible for coordinating all of your showings?
    • Do they use Secure Electronic Lockboxes or cheap combination lockboxes?
    • How many homes do they sell each year, and how does that average compare for the area?
    • Do they have online reviews and a strong online presence?
    • Do they communicate in ways that you prefer? (email, text, social media, phone call, etc.)
    • How much of their commission are they offering the buyer’s agent?
    • Where are they advertising your listing?
    • What digital marketing services do they offer that others do not?

These are just a few questions to ask. Your entire home selling experience will be greatly affected by the competency of the real estate agent that you hire. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you do your research and hire the right person for the job.



PRICE IT RIGHT

Pricing Your Home RightNext, you’ll want to think long and hard about the price that you want to list your home at. Get comparable sold properties from your REALTOR and ask their advice. The challenge is to find the right price that will sell your house fast, but not leave any money on the table.

Statistically, the longer your home is on the market, the lower offer you'll receive. It’s a common scenario for sellers to list their home for too much and then drop the price later, after few or no showings. The problem is that your best chance for a great offer is when you first list the property.

Once your house has been on the market for a couple of months, buyers will know that you are worn down and are more desperate to get rid of your home. The offers you receive months after listing will most likely be lower than offers that you would have received in the first week. Price your home right to attract those buyers who are waiting for the right home right now.



KEEP IT PRESENTABLE

Keep it CleanFinally, make sure you keep your home presentable and ready for showings. I’ve shown many homes to home buyers over the years. I am constantly surprised at how many homes are dirty and not ready to be shown when I get there. Home usually look different in person than they do online.

Above all, make sure your home smells good and is clean. This is non-negotiable. In addition, try to set the home up for the showing by opening blinds and curtains in strategic areas to allow the natural light in and highlight the best views. Also, leave some lamps and lights on so that the home buyers don’t see your home in dim light. When a buyer walks in the front door they should be greeted by a light, bright, cheery home.


Check out our 20 Step Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photos below. It will help you have your home in photo ready condition when the photographer arrives.

20 Step Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Real Estate Photos

 


Step 3 BadgeSTEP 3: Get Your Home Sold

Once you have put your home on the market and have launched it out there for the whole world to see, it's time to get it sold. When you're under contract it can feel as though most of the work is done, but that's not true. There is still quite a bit of work to do. This section will help prepare you for the steps remaining to get your home sold and to finish the transaction with success.



EXECUTE A SALES CONTRACT

Execute a Sales ContractOnce your house is listed and you have done all of the right things to get it sold, you will inevitably start receiving offers from buyers. It's important to wait for the right offer. Home selling rookies may be tempted to get excited about the first offer that comes along. It can cause problems if they are only focusing on the offer price.

The down payment amount, loan type, and pre-approval letter are very important parts of the offer as well. Any seasoned REALTOR has had deals fall apart. When buyers do not have much cash in the bank and are barely able to qualify for a loan, it can greatly increase the chances of a deal falling apart. Knowing what to look for in an offer is key to getting your home sold without any crazy surprises. If you have the option to wait for a better contract from a buyer offering a decent down payment and who can pay for their owning closing costs, your chances of closing the deal are much higher.

Take these things into consideration when you are receiving contracts on your home. The Colorado Sales Contract that most Colorado REALTORS use is written to protect the buyer much more than the seller. These contracts can fall apart very easily. A good seasoned REALTOR will notice any red flags in an offer and point them out to you right away. Their experience can save you a lot of time and money when executing a sales contract.



STAY ON TRACK

Stay On TrackOnce you have an executed sales contract, you’ll want to keep the communication going between you, the title company and/or law office, your real estate agent, and anyone else involved in the transaction. Make sure that your REALTOR is checking in with the buyer’s agent and lender on a regular basis. Most REALTORS are good about this, but some are not. It takes a group of people to successfully close a real estate transaction. Don't be quick to assume that everyone is on track.

Make sure to convey to everyone that you are anxious for information and that you are going to be contacting them regularly. I’ve seen too many deals where agents left a deal alone expecting the mortgage lender to be doing their job, only to find out days before closing that deal needs to be extended, or that the deal is dead in the water. By check in often and stay on top of everyone, you'll greatly decrease that chance of any unexpected surprises right before closing.



CLOSE THE DEAL!

Close the DealFinally, once the deal has a "clear-to-close" from the lender, schedule the closing with the title company. If you want to get your funds on the same day, try to schedule the closing in the morning so that the wire transfer has time to make it to your bank. This is very important for people on the west coast as the wire cut off time is 6:00 pm eastern time. Also, Fridays are usually the most hectic at the title companies because most buyers want to close on Friday. If you can schedule Monday through Thursday, your chance of not having any scheduling issues are higher.

Bring your photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.) to closing, along with all the keys, garage door openers, appliance documentation (if applicable), repairs receipts, and any other items relevant to the transaction. As the seller, your paperwork will be minimal and you should be finished within minutes. Once the buyers sign their documents, the title company will forward the docs to the lender and if everything was done properly the loan will fund within a couple of hours and you will receive the funds from the closing.

Once you receive your closing funds, you'll feel a great sense of relief. The last step is to CELEBRATE!


 

How to Sell Your House in 3 Basic Steps Infographic

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Andrew FortuneHi There! I'm the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of much of the content on this website. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to leave a comment in the message box below, or to share this article on social media with someone who might benefit from it. I appreciate your time here on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. Feel free to contact me anytime at andrew@greatcoloradohomes.com.



 

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10 Responses to "How To Sell Your House in 3 Basic Steps"

James Walls wrote: Putting up a fair price with a great & clean environment and some simple house remodelling can help you sell your house fast. Actually, you can sell it at a higher price too, if your house is hitting that criteria. Oh.. BTW, nice content mate. Love reading your content. Cheers.

Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 at 7:15am.

Adrian Dnez wrote: One of the most practical write up on selling your house. One mistake I see people do all the time is use a realtor that a family member or a friend recommends. Don't get me wrong, referrals are great but make sure the realtor is a good fit for your property and the current market. Great post!

Posted on Monday, December 14th, 2015 at 5:42pm.

Emily Decker wrote: Yes i agree with Adrian, Referrals are good but not every time. Everyone should do research on their own. Do not depend on others...

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2016 at 11:17pm.

Jacob Richmond wrote: This is a fantastic breakdown. I would add that in a hot market, don't overpay to make repairs, updates unless you are sure you can get your money back out of them. If your market is moving fast like mine, sometimes listing a little bit below market rates and leaving everything as-is works just fine.

As far as realtors, don't fall into the trap of just hiring whomever is offering to list the house at the highest value. A good realtor will be realistic with you about much your home is worth (I am speaking from experience here).

Great post!

Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2017 at 9:52pm.

Jack wrote: A lot of people complicate the process when trying to sell their property. It really comes down to doing the steps here as you've laid them out, but also really just putting a little love into sprucing the property up.

Some paint ALWAYS helps, a few replacements (doors, spackle on the walls, maybe some new cabinet handles), and excellent pictures. Most people take pictures of the front of the house and the interior photos are dark and uninviting. A fish eye lens for interior makes the space look much bigger and an aerial photo from a drone is usually way better on the exterior/front photo. This will bring more people to actually view the home, increasing the chances of it being sold. These are just agent 101 tactics that most don't employ.

Posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 at 8:27am.

Alex Deal wrote: Thanks for writing this blog post! Good read, this is definitely a very valuable resource for people who are looking to sell their property.

Posted on Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 at 4:28am.

House Buyers wrote: Awesome! Really Impressive tips

Posted on Sunday, August 27th, 2017 at 8:08pm.

Rob Tropp wrote: A very definitive post. Thanks for creating this informative resource for real estate sellers. This will help them sell their houses with a higher value.

Posted on Sunday, October 29th, 2017 at 10:37am.

Ivy Baker wrote: This some really good information about how to sell your home. My sister has been thinking about selling her home soon. So I liked what you said about how it is really important to price your home properly. It does seem like a good thing to be aware of when you want to sell a home quickly.

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 at 7:56pm.

Israel Ramirez wrote: I know it's the middle of the night but I am awake.. Really good info! I totally agree on hiring a really good realtor, most are honestly not that great but the really good ones are out there. Going to bed....

Posted on Sunday, February 11th, 2018 at 1:49am.

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