The Homeowner’s Checklist For Selling A House – Your Complete Guide!
So, you’re interested in selling your home. Congratulations – you’re taking a big step, and we’re sure it’s for the right reasons.
But selling a house is not easy! So we’ve come up with this handy 10-point checklist that will help you through every step of the process. Learn about each step of selling your home, and empower yourself to sell your home quickly and effectively!
1. Gauge Your Need To Sell Your Home
In some cases, you may need to sell your home because you’re moving to be closer to family, for a better job, or for a number of other reasons.
So first, you should define your need to move, and your goals for the next 5-10 years, as well as the pros and cons of selling your house.
For example, if you’re just interested in moving to a “better” house, it’s possible you could be better served by simply renovating and restoring your current home, or even making an addition.
This is especially true if you have not lived in your home for 5 years, which is often considered the “break even” point, where your equity will outweigh the costs of moving.
If you do need to sell your home, you’ll need to calculate your equity, and research the local housing market. If you have enough cash to hold onto your old home, you could also consider renting it out, rather than selling it.
3. Calculate The Expenses Of Selling
Selling a home brings with it a huge variety of costs, such as:
- Repairs – You’ll likely need to do some basic repairs to get your house in selling shape.
- Capital gains – if you make money on the sale, you may be liable for capital gains tax.
- Staging and marketing expenses– Staging is a great way to sell your house faster, but can be expensive.
- Moving expenses– Moving has a variety of different expenses, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional company.
- Costs of getting a new mortgage and buying a new home – Mortgages can be quite expensive and require costly paperwork to be filed, and buying a new home means paying closing costs and for home inspections, as well as other expenses.
Be realistic, and consider how much money you’ll actually be able to get out of your home.
3. Plan Your Selling Strategy
You need to decide whether you want to sell your home yourself (for sale by owner or FSBO), with a real estate agent, or to a cash home buyer.
The primary determiner of how you should sell depends on how quickly you need to sell. An FSBO sale helps you save money, but takes a long time. A real estate agent will help you sell more quickly, but take a commission from the sale. And a cash sale involves a lower offer, but you can sell your house almost instantly
4. Understand Fair Market Value (FMV) And Set A Price
You want to look at “comps” – homes similar to yours in a similar area – to make sure you set the right price. You can browse listings or ask your real estate agent to perform a CMA (comparative market analysis). Use this price to determine your FMV, and list your home.
5. Make Sure Your Home Is Advertised And Marketed Properly
A big benefit of working with a realtor is that they will take care of all the advertising and marketing for your home.
But if you’re selling your home yourself, you’ll need to do it. Create listings on websites like Zillow, and contact a real estate broker for a listing on the MLS (multiple listing service). Put ads in real estate magazines and newspapers, post fliers, put advertisements on websites like Craigslist, share your home on social media – anything you can think of to build buzz!
6. Prepare And Stage Your Home
To prepare your home for tours and open houses, you’ll want to do things such as:
- Have a yard sale to get rid of stuff you don’t need
- Make all necessary minor repairs
- Clean up the home thoroughly
- Depersonalize your home by removing family photos, etc
- Consider getting a storage unit for your stuff
- Replace outdated light fixtures and drapes/curtains
- Hire a professional home stager (optional)
You want your home to be clean, comfortable, and neutral, so buyers can easily picture themselves living in it.
7. Set Up Showings And Open Houses
Again, a real estate agent can make this easy by doing it all for you. Make sure you keep your home ready for an open house at all times, and coordinate with your real estate agent to set up showings.
Post flyers and signs in your neighborhood, as well as in front of your house, advertising open houses, and advertise in local publications.
8. Review Your Purchase Offers
By now, you should have at least one offer on your house. Review all of the details like the purchase price, closing date, expiry date, preapproval letter, and contingencies. A lawyer is useful to help with this step.
9. Negotiate And Make Counteroffers
Approach each offer as if it is negotiable. This is when you can do things like offer additional financial incentives like paying for closing costs or repairs, or leaving behind things like appliances.
You can also make higher counter offers, and set different closing and move-in dates. Consulting with a lawyer or real estate professional is very helpful when negotiating.
10. Get Through The Escrow Process
You will need a formal plan for home repairs, and who is responsible for them. You will also need to prepare your home for an appraisal and inspection.
You will also need an escrow officer to help with title searches, payoff information for your mortgage, and any liens on the home, and to prepare and record legal documents. Again, a real estate agent or lawyer can help with this.
Prepare for the final walk-through inspection. Then, once it’s over, you can sign the closing documents and move out. After this, make sure to keep copies of all of your documents to report the sale on your tax forms.
Selling A Home Isn’t Easy – So Follow This Checklist!
Your home is a big investment, and as you can see, selling it is quite an involved process. But hopefully, this sellers checklist and guide has given you a better idea of what you can expect! Take another look at this checklist, and make sure you’re ready to sell your home.
Max Cash Home Offers offers instant cash offers on houses nationwide. We do not provide legal or financial advice. For information on foreclosure, eviction or any other legal situation make sure you contact a local attorney.
Author: Ryan Cruz
Ryan received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of La Verne. Ryan has a strong passion for marketing and the real estate industry while leading and managing all online marketing efforts for Max Cash Home Offers.