How To Sell Your House in 3 Basic Steps

Posted by Andrew Fortune on Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 5:15pm. 27,728 Views

How to Sell Your House in 3 Basic Steps

 

Step 1: Get Your House Ready to Sale



Fix Any Repairs

How to sell your houseWhen considering how to sell your house, start by identifying and completing any repairs your property may need. When you sell your home, the buyer will most likely hire a professional inspector to inspect your property for damages and potential problems. It’s best to take care of those problems before listing your real estate so that they do not become potential deal breaking issues later on.



Add Upgrades

how to sell your house - upgradesNext, evaluate whether or not your home needs updating to receive a good offer. Look at other homes in your neighborhood online, or with your REALTOR. If all the current listings, or recently sold listings have granite countertops, solid wood floors, and/or other current updates, it will be in your best interest to add those things to your home as well. 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

how to sell your house - home look newFinally, 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. It’s often that sellers find that they need to completely paint the interior of the house and put new floors in, as even every day wear and tear can turn buyers off . You will also want to take the “you” out of your home. 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 homebuyers can imagine their furniture and items in your house. If possible, hire a professional home stager to help arrange your home for an amazing presentation to homebuyers. Staging is becoming more common ever year and many of the homes that your home will be competing with may be staged.

 

Step 2: Get Your House Listed for Sale



Hire a REALTOR

how to sell your house - 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.

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

    • Do they hire professional photographers to take pictures?
    • Do they (or their photographers) use HDR imaging software and professional photography with wide angle lens? 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 (SUPRA) 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 offering the buyer’s agent?
    • Where are they advertising your listing and what do they offer that other agents do not?
    • Do they use electronic signing services for your convenience?

These are just a few questions to ask. Your whole 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 on this one.



Price It Right!

How To Sell Your House - Pricing Your House RightNext, you’ll want to think long and hard about the price that you want to list your property 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 a home is on the market, the lower the offer the seller(s) will 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 and/or offers.  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 that you receive will most likely be lower than offers that you would receive in the first week, because buyers know that if they are interested, then so are other competing buyers. It works out great if you can create a bidding war between buyers.



Keep It Presentable

How To Sell Your House - home staging and lightingFinally, make sure you keep your home presentable and ready for showings. I’ve shown many homes to homebuyers over the years and I am always surprised at how many of them 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 a non-negotiable point. In addition, try to set the home up for the showing by opening blinds and curtains in strategic areas to allow 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. Make it feel like a home as soon as they walk in the front door.

 

Step 3: Get Your House Sold



Execute A Contract

How To Sell Your House - Execute Real Estate ContractOnce your house is listed and you have done the right things to get it sold, you will start receiving offers. It's important to wait for the right offer. Home selling rookies will be tempted to get excited about the first offer that comes along. This can cause problems if you are only concerned with the offer price. The downpayment amount, loan type, and pre-approval letter are very important parts of the offer as well. Any seasoned REALTOR has had deals fall apart. Most of us would agree that FHA loans with 3.5% downpayment from buyers who need closing cost assistance are the most common deals to 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. If you have the option to wait for a strong 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.



Monitor The Transaction

how to sell your house - real estate communicationOnce you have an executed contract at the title company, you’ll want to keep the communication going between you and your real estate agent. Make sure that they are checking in with the buyer’s agent and lender on a regular basis. Make sure that that they know 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 a deal is dead in the water. Unfortunately you can’t just assume that your REALTOR, mortgage lender, title company, appraiser, or anyone else involved in the transaction are all doing their jobs well. Check in often and stay on top of them.



Close The Deal

How to sell your house - real estate contractFinally, 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 everyone wants to close on Friday. If you can schedule Monday through Thursday, your chance of not having any 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 relevant items 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.



This is a basic walkthrough of the home selling process as a reference. A good REALTOR will be able to help you navigate the process with confidence, and will get the best price for your home within the least amount of time on the market. Please, let me know if you need help selling your home. I get great satisfaction in helping the homeowners I work with get the highest offer in shortest time possible, using modern technology and years of experience.

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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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7 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.

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