Selling your home can feel like scaling a mountain. You probably have some vague idea of what you need to do, but you might not be aware of all the steps to take, or even where to start. Fortunately, following a simple step by step checklist can help you get everything in order and your home successfully sold. Here is what you should know.
Selling your home is a team effort. At a minimum, you will need an experienced local real estate agent. Your agent will take charge of listing and marketing your home, providing tips for inexpensive repairs and staging ideas to appeal to buyers, and helping you determine a fair asking price. He or she can also help you negotiate offers to ensure that you get the best possible deal.
You might also need an accountant, a tax attorney, and/or a financial planner. If you are selling an investment property, expect to make a great deal of money on the sale, or have other specific circumstances, these financial professionals can be invaluable.
Your agent will help you determine how best to stage your home. However, following some general tips can help you get ahead of the game:
Walk-Through: Make a walk-through of your home from the buyer’s perspective. Does the house look warm and inviting, or drab and worn? Do the architectural details pop? Does your home appear clean and in good repair? The emotional response that your home evokes can make all the difference, so focus on creating positive feelings.
Deep Cleaning: Now is the time to dust the fans, clear the cobwebs, scrub the bathtub, trim the bushes, and remove all clutter. Don’t forget to wash the windows, replace broken blinds, and pack all items that you do not absolutely need during the selling process. Pressure wash the house and both front and back porches.
Neutrality: Buyers want to picture their own things and their own family in the space. Take down all family photos and personal mementos. Paint all rooms in light neutrals. Hang white or off-white towels in the bathroom and kitchen.
Staging: After removing all clutter, strategically place single items or tiny, carefully curated collections in targeted spots. Examples include a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter and rolled white towels on the edge of the bathtub. Add a flowerpot by the front door and make sure your flowerbeds are in top shape. Make sure your front door looks its best. Remove all pet bowls and litter boxes, and use a pet odor eliminator. Right before an open house, turn on soft music and open the blinds.
Selling your home involves a great deal of paperwork. Here is what to gather:
Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): Your agent will generate this report with a good deal of information about recent home sales in your area. It averages numbers to help you understand about how much your home is worth.
Preliminary Title Report (Prelim): This document shows a history of ownership along with recorded liens, covenants or conditions, and taxes owed. Review the prelim carefully and address any adverse information as soon as possible.
Seller’s Net Sheet: This estimates the amount of money you will likely receive at closing. Remember that estimates can be way off, but this is a good place to start your planning.
Proposed Marketing Plan: Your agent should give you a proposed marketing plan that lists what he or she plans to do to sell your home. This should include such activities as open houses, broker tours, and advertising plans, as well as any other marketing ideas.
Listing Agreement: This is your contract with your real estate agent. It will cover all the details such as the listing price, commission, and how property showings will be conducted.
Mandatory Seller’s Disclosures: You are required by law to disclose certain details about your home to potential buyers, such as the possibility of lead-based paint if your home was built prior to 1978. Your real estate agent should provide the necessary forms. Note that failure to disclose any known issues could be construed as fraud.
Inspection Reports: If you have had a home inspection, pest inspection, or any other inspection done, you should provide copies to potential buyers.
Offer and Counteroffer Forms: Your agent should provide these forms, which are used when a buyer is ready to make an offer to purchase your home.
Closing Statement: After your home is sold, you will receive this document, which shows how much money you made on the sale.
Documents to Gather
You also have a great deal of existing paperwork on your home. Gather these documents as soon as possible to ensure that the sales process goes smoothly:
- Property surveys are required, and some states also require an addendum to surveys delineating changes.
- Documentation related to your mortgage
- Professional appraisal from your home purchase along with any official changes – must be included with seller’s disclosure statement
- Documentation of upgrades, such as a kitchen remodel or new bathroom
- Manuals or warranty information for any included major appliances
- Homeowner’s association documentation, if applicable – required per HOA addendum
Selling your home can feel daunting. Following a step by step checklist, though, can help you stay on track. In addition, your real estate agent will be by your side throughout the entire process. Never hesitate to ask any questions you might have.
Want to Learn More?
If you are buying or selling a home in Texas, or you are a Texas real estate agent who believes you have what it takes to make our list, contact AgentHarvest today at 469-362-6194 to learn more!