The Selling Process

Whatever your reason for selling your home, it’s a big decision. A real estate agent can help you navigate the many steps and decisions involved in the home-selling process. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Selling a house involves several key steps. Here is a general overview of the process:

1. Determine Your Motivation:

  • Identify why you want to sell and set clear goals for the sale.

2. Assess Your Finances:

  • Review your current mortgage, outstanding balance, and any costs associated with selling like legal fees, moving expenses, commissions, and more.
  • Gather and organize all relevant property documents.
  • Settle any outstanding liens or debts on the property.
  • Consult with a real estate attorney to ensure a smooth transaction.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent:

  • Choose a qualified real estate agent with experience in your local market.
  • Discuss your goals, timeline, and any specific preferences.
  • Before you sign a listing agreement with a brokerage, ensure you know what it means, how long it will be in effect and what the different clauses mean. Ask questions and seek independent legal advice if you’d like a second opinion.

4. Set a Realistic Price:

  • Work with your real estate agent to determine a competitive listing price.
  • Consider the condition of your home, recent comparable sales, and market conditions.

5. Prepare Your Home:

  • Clean and declutter your home, garage and locker, if applicable.
  • Make necessary repairs to fix any visible issues.
  • Consider a fresh coat of paint if needed.
  • Have lights all working with the same temperature of light.
  • Enhance curb appeal by maintaining the landscaping.
  • Make necessary repairs and improvements to enhance its appeal.
  • Ask your Realtor for a donations list, some companies will even come and pick up!

6. Market Your Property:

  • Collaborate with your agent to create a marketing plan.

  • Use online listings, high-quality photos, and potentially virtual tours.

Ensure that all your home’s details in the listing are accurate, from the square footage, recent renovations, property taxes and lot dimensions to items that are and aren’t included (for example, water heater, appliances, light fixtures, window coverings). RECO recommends that any listing details be supported by invoices, receipts, or documentation.

7. Showings and Open Houses:

  • Make your home available for showings, including potential open houses.

  • Keep the property well-maintained and clean during this period.

  • Minimize risk by removing all valuables and securely store anything with your personal information, like credit card statements, photos and receipts.

  • Make the property available for showings, accommodating potential buyers’ schedules.

8. Receive Offers:

  • Evaluate offers received from potential buyers.

  • Consider factors such as price, contingencies, and the buyer’s financial qualifications. If you’re purchasing another home, does the closing date on the sale of your current home align with your next home? Have a contingency plan in place in case the dates don’t match up.

9. Negotiate and Accept an Offer:

  • Be prepared for negotiations on price and terms.
  • Understand the local market conditions and be flexible when necessary.
  • Review and carefully consider each offer received.
  • Work with your real estate agent to negotiate and finalize terms.
  • Once an offer is accepted, sign a purchase agreement.
Details of the offers will remain confidential between you and your real estate agent, unless you direct your agent to share the content. You may get multiple offers, and your agent is there to help you navigate any negotiations.

10. Home Inspection and Appraisal (if required by buyer’s offer):

  • Allow the buyer to conduct a home inspection.

  • Work with the buyer’s lender for the property appraisal.

11. Address Contingencies (if required by buyer’s offer):

  • Address any issues that arise from the inspection, title search or appraisal.

  • Negotiate repairs or credits if necessary.

12. Finalize Financing:

  • Work with the buyer and their lender to ensure a smooth financing process (if required by buyer’s offer).
  • Work with your mortgage broker for closing or transferring of your own mortgage, if necessary).

13. Closing Preparation:

  • Work closely with your real estate agent and attorney to prepare for closing.
  • Gather necessary documents and information.
  • Book moving trucks and elevators if needed.
  • Arrange for pet care or child care, if needed, during the move.

14. Closing Day:

  • Attend the closing meeting, if required by lawyer, with all relevant parties.
  • Sign documents to transfer ownership.

15. Closing Day:

  • Plan and execute your move out of the property.
  • Ensure the property is clean and ready for the new owners.

16. Post-Closing:

  • Cancel or transfer utilities.

  • Notify relevant parties of the change of address.

  • Keep copies of all closing documents for your records.

  • Provide the buyer with necessary information about the property.

Throughout this process, it’s crucial to communicate effectively with your real estate agent, stay informed about the market conditions, and be flexible in negotiations.  Working with professionals such as real estate agents, inspectors, and attorneys can help ensure a smooth and successful home-selling experience.