So, you decided to sell your home. Now what? This is a step by step guide to SUCCESSFULLY selling your home.
When you sell property, whether it was your home or investment, you want to make sure you take the correct approach. There are many items that need to happen in order to sell your home for the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. You want to design a plan to make the process less stressful. I have provided some of the important steps below to help you create a plan!
Steps to Selling Your Home Successfully:
Establish Your Ideal Timeline:
Things don’t always go as planned, but establishing your ideal timeline from the start will help create a foundation for the selling process. Your timeline should be focused on when you ideally would like to be out of your home and into your new one.
One mistake people make is they select this timeline based on what they think is the best season to list. We have remained extremely low on inventory for a couple of years now. There isn’t a bad season to sell! You will see studies showing that during the holidays, the number of sales slow down. The slow in sales is in direct coloration with the lack of new inventory hitting the market. When less sellers list their home, there are less options for buyers to consider, and you have less competition. Some of my best multiple offer situations have happened in November and December. Choose the timeline based on your situation and what works best.
Consult a Professional:
Once you have an idea of your timeline, consult a real estate professional. They will be able to guild you through the process and make suggestions as to when you should list your home in order to move by the desired time. They should also be able to make the transition into your new home less stressful, whether it is in the same area or not.
The key word is professional. You want to make sure they understand the market, are knowledgeable of the process, and use marketing that will attract the right attention.
Find Out Your Home’s Value
Preparing a home to be market ready typically takes 7-10 days, if done right. It is not a 24 hour process, nor should it be treated as such if you want to get the most money possible.
- Professional Cleaning – This is a must. You want your home to show well and smell great. A clean house is extremely important for the first impression it makes on buyers.
- Staging – If you aren’t living in your home when it is going to be listed, staging is highly recommended. Staged homes sell faster and for more money.
- De-Personalize the Space – If you are living in the home take down family photos, clear counter tops, and tidy up the space. You want buyers to picture themselves living in your home.
- Professional Photography – Use photography that will stir interest and make people want to see your home. You want to have captivating photos to draw people in. This is one of the last items to be done prior to listing and definitely one of the most important. “Great photography = higher interest” and “higher interest = more money”!
- Listing Video – YouTube is now the second most used search engine next to Google. Nice listing videos have become imperative to keep people engaged. Listing videos are typically shot around the same time as the photos and could take several days to complete.
Once It’s On The Market:
If you are living in the property, expect to be a bit flexible when it comes to showings. In order to get the most exposure possible, you want to be open to short notice or weekend showings. Allowing open houses is also key. Over the last year, we have been averaging under 20 days on market, so hopefully you won’t need to endure showings for too long. Every week, you should receive an update with regard to showing activity, marketing and interest.
When you do receive an offer or offers, this process is handled differently depending on the agent you use. If we are expecting multiple offers, I recommend an even playing field for buyers. We set a deadline for offers and I sit down with sellers and discuss each contract. You would then choose to respond to one, all or none of the offers. If you only receive one offer, I will give my opinion on the best strategy to use when moving forward, and then you choose how to proceed.
There is much more depth to this process, but the blog would be way too long if I continue.
It’s In Escrow!:
Once you have accepted an offer, you will have deadlines. On the standard California Association of Realtors Residential Purchase Agreement, you have 7 days to get all of your disclosures over to the buyer. Your agent will provide pages of disclosures, many of which just need to be signed and initialed.
The buyer will have 3 days to send their earnest money deposit into escrow, which is a neutral 3rd party that facilitates and disperses funds. The buyer will also have 17 days to approve or disapprove of the property and 21 days to receive full loan commitment from the bank. This period is probably the most stressful time as a seller because the buyer can cancel at any time and they are entitled to a full refund of their deposit. Once all of these contingencies are removed, the buyers’ deposit is at stake and it is rare that they cancel after this point.
A standard escrow is now around 40 days if the buyer is obtaining financing. If you do receive a cash offer, it is possible to close in as little as 5 days if it is agreeable to all parties.
When Do I Get My Money?
Once escrow closes, they typically take 24-48 hours to send your funds. Most people ask that the funds be sent via a wire so that it goes directly into your account, but there are other options such as a cashiers check.