How to Sell Your Home – The Basics

  1. Choose a Realtor and obtain a competitive market analysis to determine a listing price for your home.
  2. Walk through your home with your Realtor and take any suggestions he/she may have for preparing your home to look its best when it goes on the market.
  3. With your Realtor’s guidance, fill out all the necessary listing papers and disclosures. Also, obtain all of the inspection reports necessary to present to prospective buyers. These often include a property inspection report, chimney inspection, roof inspection, and a termite report. Others may be necessary, depending on your particular home. Having these reports in advance alleviates “surprises” once you get into escrow.
  4. Go over these reports with your agent and make a list of any necessary repairs, and with your Realtor’s help, line up the best contractors to get the work done. Some repairs can be done after you receive an accepted contract and then be billed to escrow so you won’t have to pay the money up front. Ask your Realtor for details.
  5. Once the home is officially on the market, it will be posted on the Multiple Listing Service (and probably also advertised in the newspaper and on the Internet), and an agent tour and open houses will take place. Buyers may then come to see your home, accompanied by their agents, so keep your house in pristine order!
    If your home will be vacant at the time of sale, or if some rooms could use a newer look, talk with your Realtor about the possibility of hiring a professional staging company to stage your home.
  6. A specific time may be set up for you to hear offers, or you may chose to take first come, first serve, depending on your property and goals. Your agent can advise you on the best strategy.
  7. Once you have negotiated a successful contract, the escrow process begins:
      o The buyer will have their lender order the appraisal, and the final loan approval will be obtained after all the necessary paperwork is processed.
      o While this is going on, any postponed repairs that are still required under the contract will now need to be done before the close of escrow.
      o Once all conditions on the contract are met, you and the buyers will separately sign your closing documents at the title company.
  8. In the meantime, you will be lining up your movers and packing boxes to get ready for your next destination.
  9. Once all the work is completed on your home and escrow is about to close, the buyers may do a final walk-through of your home to certify that it is in the same condition as when they first saw it, and to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs are made.
  10. When the closing date is reconfirmed as being on time, you may order your utilities off as of that day. You will pack up the remainder of your personal possessions, make sure any debris or loose items are moved from the property, have the home thoroughly cleaned, and then leave your keys with your Realtor.
  11. Close of escrow! It’s pay day for you, and you are on to the next chapter of your life!

Please note: This is just an outline of the basic steps, and is not meant to be all-inclusive. Customs and procedures may vary, depending upon locale, governing agencies, etc.  Contact Us for further information.