Choose a Listing Agent
- A listing agent will represent you and have a fiduciary responsibility to look out for your best interests.
- Negotiate your listing agreement.
Get Your Home Ready for Sale
- Prepare your home for sale by cleaning, de-cluttering and improving curb appeal.
- Hire a professional stager to stage your home, or ask your real estate agent for help in staging.
- Make repairs before selling.
- Protect your privacy while your home is on the market.
- If you’re selling a home where pets live, make alternate plans for your pets.
Figure Out How Much Your Home is Worth
- A seller’s biggest mistake is to overprice.
- Price your home in line with sold homes identified in a comparative market analysis report.
- Consider whether your market is hot, cold or neutral, and price according to the market temperature.
Market Your Home
- You or your agent should identify the sizzling selling points and choose advertising words to sell.
- Approve your agent’s marketing campaign or figure out how to advertise your house for sale yourself.
- Follow the top 10 home marketing tips for selling your home.
- Hire a virtual tour company to take quality photographs and put a 360-degree virtual tour online.
- Tweak marketing to increase traffic and showings.
- Post internet listings online. Your agent or you should saturate the internet with photographs and description of your home.
Show Your Home
- If you’re wondering about lock-box vs. appointments, you’ll get more showings if you let agents use a lockbox.
- Your home will show better if you are selling in spring than selling in winter.
- Selling during the holidays will likely result in a lower sales price, regardless of what agents tell you.
- You’ve got only one chance — and sometimes only 3 seconds — to make a good first impression.
- Prepare for an open house and use the approach sparingly.
- Ask for buyer feedback so you can adjust your price, condition or marketing campaigns accordingly
Receive Purchase Offers and Negotiate
- Make certain that buyers use the right form for writing a purchase offer.
- Even if you receive a low-ball offer, negotiate by issuing a counter offer. Don’t ignore offers.
- Ask for a kick out clause or first right of refusal if the buyer’s offer is contingent on selling a home.
- Consider making a counter offer contingent on buying a home, if market conditions warrant.
- Don’t be afraid to make a full-price counter offer, if you are priced competitively.
- If you are priced right, prepare yourself for multiple offers.
Delivery Seller Disclosures
- All homes in the US are subject to lead-based paint disclosures.
- If you are aware of material facts, disclose them.
- Your title company should provide CC&Rs, but if you belong to a homeowner association, additional documentation will be required.
Open Escrow / Order Title
- Your agent or transaction coordinator will open escrow and order a title policy.
- Write down the contact information for the closing agent.
- Select a date to close based on when the buyer’s loan will fund.Ask for a receipt for the buyer’s earnest money deposit.
Cooperate with Home Inspection
- Get ready for the home inspector.
- Ask your agent to provide you with a home inspection checklist so you will know which items an inspector will want to see.
- Prepare as well for the final walk-through inspection with the buyer.
Negotiate Request for Repair
- Ordinarily, sellers do not need to accept a buyer’s request for repair; however, buyers can generally then cancel. Repairs are to be negotiated.
- You are entitled to a copy of the home inspection report, if the buyers request repairs.
- If you do not choose to make repairs, a buyer might instead accept a closing cost credit.
Schedule Appraiser Appointment
- Clean the house the day before the appraiser arrives.
- If you receive a low appraisal, ask your agent about alternatives.
- You are not entitled to receive a copy of the appraisal because you did not pay for it.
- If the buyer decides to cancel the contract based on an appraisal, ask your agent or lawyer about your rights.
- Sign Escrow Documents, including the property deed.
- Your property deed, reconveyance and deed of trust will record in the public records.
- Title will notify you and your agent when it records.
- Depending on buyer’s possession rights specified in the contract, you may be required to move on the day it closes.
- Once the transaction funds and the deed is signed, the buyer is the legal owner of the property.