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The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your House

The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your House

Are you considering selling your home? Whether you've finally saved enough money for the perfect lakefront home, need to downsize from the house you raised your family in, or are moving across the country, there are so many reasons why you might welcome a fresh start. And while selling your home can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming at times. Even if you're ready to move on, knowing where to start can be challenging. With this ultimate selling guide, you will learn where to begin and what to expect through every step of the process. From start to finish, here's everything you need to know about selling a house.

Decide how you’re going to sell your home

As with every goal you have in life, to succeed at selling your house, you need a plan. Even in a competitive seller's market, it's not enough to stick a 'For Sale' sign in the front yard and hope for the best. Hope is not a strategy, but implementing a smart, measurable goal is. First and foremost, decide how you will sell your home. Will you work with a local real estate expert, or will you sell it on your own? Both approaches have pluses and downsides, and it's essential to understand all the facts before deciding. Here are some of your options for listing your property.

Use a real estate agent or Realtor (recommended)

In today's real estate market, everything changes in the blink of an eye. Whether it's interest rates influencing buyer activity or technology influencing marketing strategies, trying to keep up with everything can be overwhelming. By working with a local real estate expert, you will not only be able to keep up with what is currently happening in your local real estate market, but you can also save time and energy trying to market your property yourself.

Working with a real estate agent is also the most popular approach sellers take, with over 86% of homeowners choosing to work with a listing agent to list their property. There are so many benefits to working with an agent, but ultimately, your agent's job is to represent and advocate for you through the entire selling process. If you're considering working with a real estate agent, do your research. You want to work with an agent who communicates clearly and has previous experience selling in your neighborhood.

For sale by owner (FSBO)

If you're on the fence over whether or not you want to work with a real estate agent, there are alternatives you can consider if you want to sell your house. In fact, many homeowners decide they want to sell the property themselves, with for sale by owner (FSBO) sales making up around 10% of homes sold in the last year. There are many reasons why sellers take on this approach; namely, one of the most popular reasons is homeowners want to save money on commission. This is understandable, yet doing a 'for sale by owner' approach can be counterintuitive. The median sales price for a home sold through an agent was around $345,000 last year, while the median sales price for an FSBO listing was around $225,000. So while it can be tempting to forego hiring an expert, doing so could mean leaving money on the table – money you could put toward your next home.

There are many different approaches to selling your home, and ultimately the decision over whether or not to use a real estate agent is a personal one. Your choice will depend on many different factors, including the real estate market activity in your neighborhood, how much time and energy you want to dedicate to marketing and selling your home, and what the benefits and costs are to both approaches. Regardless of what you decide, having a smart marketing strategy is essential for getting your home sold.

Research the market to determine your asking price

Whether or not you decide to work with an agent, one of the essential aspects of selling your home is determining a list price for your property. Do your research. Are you currently in a buyer's market or seller's market? What has the activity been like in your neighborhood over the past six months, and how much did the homes sell for? If you are working with an experienced real estate agent, they will help you determine fair market value for your home using a comparative market analysis (CMA). If you are selling your property on your own, you still need to figure out the fair market value for your property. Remember, buyers determine your home's value — not the other way around.

Prepare and market your home for sale

Once you have decided on the list price, you need to get your home market-ready. Your agent will recommend different steps to get your home ready to list. Pay close attention. By following your listing agent's advice, you will not only increase the likelihood of attracting more buyers, but you are also far more likely to connect with qualified buyers who are ready and willing to submit their strongest offer on your home. Ultimately, the goal is to get prospective buyers through the door and make them feel so comfortable and at ease in your home that they already imagine themselves moving in. Here are some foolproof tips on how to get your home market-ready:
  • Clean and stage your home
  • Enhance your curb appeal
  • Get eyes on your home listing

Accept an offer and close the deal

Once your home is market-ready, your job is to get as many qualified buyers through the door as possible. Host some open houses or schedule private showings for motivated buyers. If your home is priced at fair market value, it's only a matter of time before you have offers coming your way. Once you have offers, read through the terms. While it can be tempting to choose the highest bid, there are many other factors you should consider, including contingencies, financing, and closing date. Remember, the best offer might not be the highest offer. Once you have accepted an offer, you are one step closer to selling your home.

Find a trusted real estate agent

Are you considering selling your home? When you need a top-tier expert in Cornelius, NC, real estate, you need Susan Dolan. Backed by over 19 years of industry experience and local market expertise, Susan is your trusted Cornelius real estate agent. Book a free consultation with Susan today, and we'll get your home sold in no time.

*Header photo courtesy of Susan Dolan

Work With Susan

Susan's 19 years of experience and in-depth knowledge of inventory and current market conditions combine with extensive and aggressive marketing techniques to allow the process of property buying and selling to happen efficiently, seamlessly, and successfully. Susan is focused and determined on getting results.