How to sell your house: A complete guide

How to sell your house: A complete guide

Many home sellers want a stress-free sale where they can simply list their house and find qualified buyers quickly. Then, they can hand over the keys. It could be so simple! Selling a house involves many moving parts. Some you can control and some that are beyond your control.

The geography of your home could have an impact on how long it stays on the market and how much you can afford to list it at. You’ll likely sell your house faster in areas where there is less competition and more inventory. In contrast, if home sales have dropped, it will be more difficult to find the right buyer.

Since the panicky heights of the pandemic, the real estate market has changed. The frantic bidding wars have ended, but both prices and mortgage rate are still high. With

As a seller, it is important to plan and control all factors. A great agent can help you close your deal more smoothly and make your house more appealing online.

These are the 10 steps you need to follow to sell your house in 2023.

  1. You can set a time frame for your home’s sale

Selling a house can be a huge undertaking and can take many months. Depending on the local market conditions and available inventory, it may take even longer.

Once you have decided to sell your home, start looking for real estate agents. Don’t stop there.

A pre-sale inspection should be done at least two to three months prior to you list. Although this is not mandatory, it can help you identify potential problems and fix them if there are any structural or mechanical issues you think might be preventing a sale. You can also ask your agent to help you determine what needs fixing. Allow enough time for repairs.

Start staging about a month before you list your house. Also, deep clean the home in preparation to take listing photos. To show your home at its best, keep clutter to a minimum and move excess items to storage units. Also check

  1. A market-expert agent is available to hire

It’s easy to look into the professional history and experience of a realty agent, which will help you make the right choice when choosing who to work with. You can check out the online profiles of agents to see how long they have been in the business, how many closed sales they have and any designations they might hold. You should pay attention to where and how they market their listings. Also, professional photos are a must.

Jorge Guerra, President and CEO of Real Estate Sales Force, and former Global Liaison for the National Association of Realtors, says that any designation they have earned is a big plus.

Many homeowners may be tempted to sell their house without paying an agent and save money. This is called “for sale directly by owner” or FSBO. These fees are usually 5 to 6 percent of the total price, so sellers can save thousands of dollars.

An experienced agent can do a lot to make their fee. They can market your home to as many people as possible and help you negotiate for the best price. You will need to manage your own home and all aspects of the sale, including marketing, advertising, reviewing offers, and closing.

Remember that real estate commissions can be negotiable when working with agents. You might get a discount at the closing table if you are able to negotiate.

  1. Decide what upgrades to make — and what not

You should ensure that you have a high return on your investment if you are going to spend money on expensive upgrades. If you are only able to make a profit on granite countertops or lose money, it doesn’t make financial sense. These improvements might not be necessary to sell your house for top dollar, especially if there is low inventory in your area. A good agent can guide you. They know the area’s expectations and can help plan improvements accordingly.

The best return on investment is generally in the kitchen and bathrooms. You might be able simply to replace your doors and hardware if you have older cabinetry. This will give you a modern look that won’t cost too much. You can make a good first impression with a coat of neutral paint or a landscape re-spruce.

A pre-sale inspection can also be an option, but it is a smart upfront investment, especially if you have an older house. A detailed inspection report will be provided that highlights any problems. It costs only a few hundred dollars. This report will alert you ahead of any issues buyers may flag during their inspection.

You might be able speed up the sale by being a step ahead of the buyer and doing repairs along with other home-prep work. It should be ready for sale by the time it hits the market.

  1. Professional photos

Your agent can arrange for a photographer to take marketing photos of your house. High-quality photos are essential due to the increasing popularity of online house hunting. NAR reports that nearly all homebuyers view online listings – 96 percent. It can make a big difference whether your listing sells quickly or languishes.

Agents may include professional photography and virtual tours in their range of services. You can also search for a photographer by yourself. Professional photography fees will vary depending on the size and location of your property, as well as how long it takes to photograph the property.

Professional photographers with strong portfolios know how to make rooms look bigger, brighter, and more appealing. Your lawn and outdoor spaces are the same. Poorly taken photos online can turn away homebuyers before they have the chance to see the beautiful bike path or new roof. So it pays to take good photos.

  1. A realistic price

Buyers don’t like to pay more than necessary, even in highly competitive markets. It’s important to set the right pricing. Overpricing a property can lead to financial problems. Underestimating its value could result in you losing money.

To price the home right from the beginning, refer to the comps. You can get an idea of the market value of comparable properties in your area, as well as information on properties that have recently sold, by looking at similar properties.

Lopez states that a common mistake made by sellers is to price a home too high, then to lower it frequently. This practice is believed to yield the best return. In reality, it is often the opposite. Potential buyers may avoid homes that are too expensive.

Multiple price drops can give buyers the impression that a property is in poor condition or that it’s undesirable. It is best to price your home so that you attract the most buyers.

  1. Place your house on the market

Your agent will need to register the listing with the MLS (multiple listings service). These are some tips for getting your home ready for the market:

  • The home’s online appeal should be your primary focus. You’ve likely heard of curb appeal but experts say that online appeal is even more important. Guerra states that the first time someone sees your home is online. Your web presentation is what will decide if someone calls to make an appointment or clicks on the next listing.
  • Stage it, keep it clean, and make it ready for viewings: Home staging means taking out excess furniture, personal possessions, and unsightly items while the home is on the market. It also involves arranging the rooms to achieve optimal flow and purpose. A professional stager can help you stand out if you are selling a home in a slow market or selling one that is more luxurious. According to HomeAdvisor national average home staging costs around $1,766, but prices can range from $770 to $2,863.
  • Make yourself scarce to potential buyers who visit your home. You can let them visualize themselves in the space without the distraction of you meeting or talking to them. Grant Lopez, a Realtor at Keller Williams Heritage and the former chairman of San Antonio Board of Realtors in Texas, says that buyers might be reluctant to voice their opinions if they see the homeowner still living there. It could discourage them from considering your home as an offer. Usually, buyers must be accompanied by their real estate agent in order to view your home. Your agent can also be asked to attend showings.
  1. Negotiate offers and review them

Once your house is officially on the market, and potential buyers have seen it in person, you can expect the offers to start coming in. A real estate agent or attorney is your best advocate. Buyers will often offer more than the asking price if there is a favorable market. If sales are slow in your region, you might need to be flexible and open to negotiation.

You have three options when you are offered a deal: you can accept the offer as is or you can make a counter-offer. An counter-offer refers to a response to an offer. It allows you to negotiate terms and/or prices. Always make counter-offers in writing. Give the buyer a time frame (ideally, 48 hours) to respond. While you can offer credit for carpet and paint, it is important to keep your original asking price. To sweeten the deal, you could offer to leave some items behind .

You might feel tempted to choose the highest offer if you are lucky enough to receive multiple offers. You should also look at the other aspects of your offer, such as:

  • Form of payment (cash or financing)
  • Types of financing
  • Amount of down payment
  • Contingencies
  • Concession Requests
  • Proposed closing date

If a buyer relies on lender financing, they must appraise the property. The deal may be canceled if there is a difference between the purchase price and the appraised value.

  1. Consider closing costs and tax implications

Both the seller and buyer must pay closing fees. The home seller usually pays real estate agents’ commissions. These typically amount to around 5-6 percent of the home’s selling price.

Other closing expenses that are commonly paid by the seller include

  • Transfer tax Government
  • Recording fees
  • Outstanding liens
  • Attorney fees

If the buyer has agreed to pay any closing credits, such as repairs, the seller will also pay them. The closing agent or your real estate agent should give you a detailed list of the costs that you will be responsible for at closing.

You may not have to pay taxes on the profits you make from the sale. It all depends on whether the home was your primary residence, and how much you make from the sale. You don’t have to pay tax on profits up to $250,000. If your home has been your primary residence for at least two of the five years prior to selling, The amount that you can exempt from taxes for married couples is $500,000. You can exclude from taxes any profit made on a home sale that exceeds $500,000.

  1. Hire a real-estate attorney

While some states require that sellers have a real-estate attorney in order to close a home sale transaction, many do not. It doesn’t matter what state’s rules are, it is worth the cost to secure such a significant financial transaction. Although it may be expensive, there is a lot at stake. It’s worth the expense. For more details to visit the web

An attorney can also help with paperwork, reviewing contracts and documents, and identifying potential issues to ensure that the sale proceeds smoothly. An attorney can also spot title problems that could delay your sale for weeks, months, or even destroy the deal.

  • Outstanding judgments, liens, or other encumbrances
  • Trust issues
  • Mortgage balances
  • Tax issues
  • Encroachments
  1. Close the file and gather paperwork

To properly document a sale of a house, there is a lot of paperwork. Keep it all organized to make things easier. You can rely on your agent to help you ensure you have everything you need. The main documents you will need to create are:

  • Original purchase contract
  • Property survey Certificate of occupancy , certificates of compliance with local codes
  • Mortgage documents
  • Tax records
  • Appraisal of your home
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • If you have a home inspection report

Finalize the transaction by bringing all paperwork, along with payment of any fees, and keys. Your house will be sold once everything has been signed and given over.

Bottom line

Selling your house is a complicated process that requires a lot more work. This 10-step guide and a trusted real estate professional can help you navigate the process.


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