A step-by-step guide – How to sell your house
So you’ve decided to sell your house. Congratulations, that’s an exciting next step! But now what? Selling a house can seem complicated and daunting if you’ve never done it before. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll walk you through the entire process step-by-step so you can sell your house smoothly and for the best price.
First, you need to make sure your house is in tip-top shape. Get rid of clutter, clean and declutter every room, make any minor repairs needed, and consider a fresh coat of paint. You want your place to shine so buyers can see its potential. Then, determine how you want to sell – with an agent, on your own, or both. Each option has its pros and cons, so think about what will work best for your needs and situation.
Once you’ve prepped your house and settled on a selling strategy, it’s time to get your house in front of buyers. Spread the word, list it on websites, hold an open house – do whatever it takes to generate interest. Be available for showings and ready to negotiate the best deal. If you follow these steps, stay motivated, and don’t get discouraged easily, you’ll sell your house in no time and move on to your next adventure!
Prepare Your Home for Sale
To get the best price for your house, you’ll need to make it shine. Do some deep cleaning and decluttering to make your place sparkle.
Clean and Organize
- Clean windows, baseboards, ceiling fans, vents, cupb oards, closets, the attic, and basement. Get rid of cobwebs, dust, and grime.
- Declutter by sorting through your belongings and donating or throwing away anything you do not need. Have a garage sale or sell bigger items online. Less clutter will make your home appear more spacious.
- Organize what’s left. Group similar items together in cupboards and closets. Store out-of-season clothing. Arrange furniture to open up the floor plan.
- Clean carpets, rugs, upholstery, mattresses, and air vents. Shampoo carpets or rent a carpet cleaning machine. Consider professionally steam cleaning upholstery and mattresses. Vacuum air vents and heat registers.
- Clean out and organize the garage and yard. Pressure wash walkways and decks. Mow the lawn, rake leaves, weed the garden, and add fresh mulch. Make sure any pools or hot tubs are clean and running properly.
- Fix any minor repairs needed like leaky faucets, stuck doors or windows, damaged screens or railings, etc. Touch up paint or redo if rooms need it. Ensure all appliances, plumbing, electrical systems, security systems, sprinklers, etc. are in working order.
With some elbow grease, you can get your house in tip-top shape to garner the highest selling price. A clean, decluttered, and well-maintained home will make a great first impression on buyers. Now you’re ready to take pictures, list it, and start showing your home!
Hire a Real Estate Agent or Go FSBO
Selling your house is a big step, so you’ll want to go in with a solid plan. A key decision you’ll face is whether to hire a real estate agent or go the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) route.
Hiring an Agent
Working with an agent has some benefits. They can properly price and market your home, handle showings and negotiations, and guide you through all the paperwork. However, you’ll pay a commission, typically 5-6% of the sale price.
If you opt for an agent, interview several and check their references and track record selling homes in your neighborhood. Look for someone who will actively market your property and has a solid marketing plan to reach qualified buyers.
Make sure you feel comfortable with them and confident in their abilities. Going FSBO If you want to avoid paying a commission, you can sell your house yourself. List it on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Facebook Marketplace. You’ll handle showings, price negotiations, and all the paperwork yourself. This can save thousands but also requires a major time commitment and real estate know-how.
If you want to avoid paying a commission, you can sell your house yourself. List it on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Facebook Marketplace. You’ll handle showings, price negotiations, and all the paperwork yourself. This can save thousands but also requires a major time commitment and real estate know-how. Consider your needs, abilities, and risk tolerance. An agent provides expertise and does the heavy lifting, while FSBO lets you keep more of the profits if you’re willing to put in the work. Either way, selling a house always takes effort and patience, so think it through before deciding which path is right for your situation.
Price Your Home Competitively
To sell your house for the best price, you need to determine a competitive asking price. Pricing too high can mean losing serious buyers, while pricing too low means potentially missing out on thousands of dollars.
Check Recent Comparable Sales
See what similar homes in your neighbourhood have recently sold for. Look at houses that are comparable in size, age, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities, and overall condition. Compare the square footage and lot sizes. These recently sold “comps” will help determine a competitive price range for your property.
Consider the Condition
The state of your home will significantly impact your asking price. If your house needs a lot of repairs or updating, price it on the lower end of the range. Cosmetic fixes like fresh paint, new carpet, landscaping, etc. can increase your home’s appeal and allow you to price higher. Major system upgrades also add value.
Set the Price
Once you determine a competitive price range, set an asking price at the higher end of that range to allow room for negotiation. You can always come down on your price, but you can’t go up. Price reductions also signal to buyers that you’re eager to sell.
The housing market is always changing, so you need to be willing to adjust your price if needed. If after a few weeks of showings, you get little interest or no offers, it likely means your home is overpriced for the current market. Reduce your price by at least 5 to 10 per cent to generate more activity. Continue making incremental reductions until you start receiving offers.
Pricing your home competitively from the start is key. Do your research, know the market and your competition, evaluate your home’s condition, and be willing to negotiate to get the best deal for both you and the buyer. With the right price, you’ll sell your house in no time!
Market Your Home Effectively
Once you’ve prepped your home, it’s time to get the word out that it’s on the market. Effective marketing is key to finding interested buyers and getting the best offer.
List on Multiple Websites
Make it easy for potential buyers to find your listing by posting it on popular real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, as well as your local MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Include professional photos, the asking price, the number of rooms and baths, square footage, and amenities. Spreading your listing across multiple platforms increases visibility to the largest number of interested parties.
Hire a Professional Photographer
High-quality listing photos are essential these days. Hire a professional real estate photographer to capture appealing shots of your home’s exterior, individual rooms, backyards, and any noteworthy features. Bright, well-lit photos in a simple, uncluttered style are most effective.
Hold an Open House
An open house allows potential buyers to view your home in person. Advertise the open house on websites, in local media, and with yard signs. Ensure your home is clean and decluttered, have snacks and refreshments on hand, and be available to answer questions. Collect contact information from all attendees in case any express serious interest.
Advertise on Local Facebook Groups
Post about your open house or new listing in local Facebook groups, community pages, and neighbourhood groups. Explain the key details and include photos. Engage with any comments or questions. Facebook is an easy, targeted way to spread the word about your home to those most likely to be interested in the area.
Marketing your home effectively requires casting a wide net to attract the largest number of potential buyers. The more people who see and engage with your listing, the greater your chances of finding the right buyer and getting the best possible offer. With patience and persistence, you’ll sell your house in no time!
Negotiate and Close the Sale
Once you have an offer you want to accept, it’s time to negotiate the final details and close the sale. This is an exciting part of the process but also requires careful consideration to get the best deal for you.
Negotiate the Offer
Work with your real estate agent to evaluate the offer and determine a fair counteroffer. You’ll want to consider things like the offer price, down payment amount, closing date, contingencies, and any items the buyer wants included. Make a counteroffer that you’re comfortable with. Be willing to compromise, as you and the buyer go back and forth.
Complete Final Contingencies
If there were any contingencies in the accepted offer, like a home inspection, now is the time to address them. Work with the buyer to satisfy any reasonable requests or repairs needed. Be transparent in disclosing any known issues to avoid problems down the road
Sign Official Paperwork
There will be several legal documents to review and sign to officially transfer ownership. This includes the final sales contract, deed, and closing or settlement statement. Be sure to read everything carefully before signing. Your real estate agent and closing attorney can walk you through and explain all the paperwork.
Close the Sale
On the scheduled closing date, all final funds will be transferred and keys handed over. Make sure utilities are still on until the new owner takes over. Do a final walkthrough to ensure everything is as expected before handing over the keys. Congratulations, you’ve sold your house!
Selling a house requires time and patience. But by negotiating well, addressing contingencies, signing the necessary paperwork, and ultimately closing the sale, you can feel confident you got the best deal and are leaving the new owners with a property ready for their next chapter. The key is staying actively involved in the process, asking questions, and not being in a rush. With the guidance of your real estate pro, you’ve got this!
And just like that, your house is sold. It may have been a long journey with some ups and downs along the way, but sticking to the key steps ensured you got the best deal. Now you can move on to the next chapter whether it’s buying a new place or traveling the world. The memories you made in that house will live on, but for now, give yourself a pat on the back – you did it! Selling a house is no easy feat, but you persevered and came out the other end successfully. Congratulations! Now go celebrate this win, you deserve it.