Selling a home can make for an arduous and confusing process if you’re unsure of what this process should look like and how it should progress. However, positioning your home for a sale can also be an exciting and invigorating journey if you take the rights steps and have the right support to help you navigate the home selling process. You want to make sure that you’re prepared to get the best price for your home, which means that extensive research will need to be done prior to listing your home for sale.
Much of this research will be handled by your realtor — which allows you to take care of other aspects of preparing your home for a sale. The realtor that you hire can help facilitate the home selling process, which allows you to obtain valuable market insight as well as access to local connections and in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the process that occurs when selling a home. Realtors also typically have substantial local experience, which means that they will be able to determine what price your home should be listed at based on the sale history throughout your neighborhood and the performance of the homes in the surrounding community.
If you’ve been thinking about placing your home on the market, the following is a 9-step guide to the home selling process that gives you a structured look at what to expect!
1. Finding a Realtor
Likely the most important aspect of selling a home is to find a realtor to help you with the selling process. It’s important to understand that not all realtors have the same experience or resources to get you the best price for your home. When you go to a mechanic to fix your vehicle, you likely shop around to find one that has a solid reputation and experience — the same must be done when you’re trying to find the right realtor. This could be the most important decision that you make during the home selling process. We are the local Tucson real estate experts that have the experience necessary to ensure that the sale of your house is a straightforward and enjoyable process for you and your family.
Using an experienced realtor (such as our team at Grogan & Grogan) which has extensive local experience will help increase your chances at getting the best price for your home. Realtors take an extensive look at the quality of your home as well as the history of home sales in the neighborhood to determine how you should price your home in a way that will be appealing to prospective buyers. Experienced local Realtors also have the experience and local network that is vital when you’re trying to sell your home quickly. Properties that remain on the market for a lengthy period of time become less attractive to buyers with each passing day, which is why a Realtor will aim to make your home appear as attractive as possible (both in offering price and aesthetically through interior design and home staging).
A Realtor will also help you navigate the complexities of the home selling process, which includes everything from figuring out how to effectively stage the home to setting expectations for the process, the latter of which should keep you well informed about every facet of the selling process. Some of the additional complexities of the selling process that a Realtor will assist you with includes all of the paperwork, the necessary negotiations with the buyer, and any talks that must be held with other professionals and service providers while the process is ongoing. A Realtor’s primary goal throughout this entire process is to make sure that it’s a comfortable and enjoyable process for you.
2. Prepare Your Home for Sale
Once you’ve hired a Realtor, the next step of the home selling process will involve preparing your home for sale. You should perform a walk through of your home to determine the value of the property as well as any touch-ups that need to be made before you place the property on the market. The amount of time that it takes to prepare your home for sale depends entirely on how extensive any repairs or replacements are. Some of the most common repairs and replacements that are deemed necessary when preparing a home for sale include replacing the roof and repairing the HVAC unit. If your existing roof is at least 15 years old, you’ll likely want to replace the entire roof if you want buyers to be interested in purchasing your home.
You should also consider an interior designer to stage your home for a sale. Properly staging your home before it’s listed on the market may be able to increase the value of your home by up to five percent (often more than paying for the cost of a professional designer). An interior designer will be able to stage your home in a manner that’s appealing to modern home buyers, which should get you a great price. These designers will likely favor natural light, an open design, and minimal clutter while they prepare your home.
One of the things that you can do to prepare your home for sale is to clean it so that it presents well. While it’s perfectly fine to live in your home while it’s being sold, no prospective buyer is going to want to purchase a home that’s messy. Clutter can also make the interior space seem smaller than it actually is. While you’re preparing your home for the sale, consider adding some low-cost additions to increase the value of your home. These additions could be anything from new mulch in a natural area to a ceiling fan in one of the bedrooms.
3. Determine a Competitive Selling Price
Once your home has been properly prepared, a selling price will need to be determined, which is often handled almost entirely by your Realtor. A Realtor’s past experience will be leveraged alongside the many real estate tools at their disposal. The recommended selling price that a Realtor provides to you is typically in a small range of prices that’s based off an array of factors, which include past sales, local real estate trends, and a comprehensive survey of the local market. The real estate trends in your area can play a large role in the price that your real estate agent recommends. If the current market is a hot one with a substantial amount of competition, you may be able to go higher than you initially thought!
4. Plan an Effective Marketing Strategy
Before you place your home on the market, it’s important that you plan a marketing strategy to accompany the listing. If you want your home to sell in a timely manner and at the price you’re looking for, it’s not enough to just list your home on the market. You’ll want to create an extensive marketing strategy to best position your home for sale. For one, make sure that you work with your agent to identify the best aspects and features of your home, which will be included in any marketing materials. Your agent will craft most of the marketing campaign, which you will need to approve.
If you want to pair your listing with the best photographs possible, consider hiring a virtual tour company or professional photographer to take premium photographs of your home and place them online. It’s important that you cover all your bases, which extend to digital, print, and local advertisements. Your home should also be placed on multiple listing services to reach as many prospective buyers as possible. Your Realtor will craft a comprehensive marketing plan in order to get you the best price for your home.
5. Show Your Home
Once the home has been listed on the market, it will be time to show your home. There are a range of options on how to do so, which we’ll discuss with you before the listing has been placed online. You can show your home through open houses, private appointments, or even by lockbox, the latter of which is a method that allows your realtor to use a key to your home to show the property when you’re not there. A lockbox is a safe and secure gadget that provides your agent with more opportunities to show your home.
If you still live in the home, an appointment is likely the best option so that there are no unexpected surprises. With this option, you’ll be able to prepare for the showing. The right strategy can maximize the number of showings that we can make for your home, increasing your odds at obtaining a favorable offer.
6. Manage Buyer Offers & Negotiations
As you’re showing your home, you’ll hopefully start receiving buyer offers in just a short period of time, after which you’ll need to manage these offers and negotiate if need be. If your home is priced right, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll receive multiple bids. While you could manage buyer offers on your own, an experienced Tucson Realtor will help manage interested parties and buyer offers in order to streamline the process. A realtor will also handle any of the necessary negotiations that can include counter-offers and the general terms of the agreement, which should allow you to get the best price for your home. Your real estate agent will typically have years of experience in dealing with buyers as well as an awareness of common real estate negotiation tactics, which means that we know exactly what it takes to navigate the negotiation process to get you a great price.
7. Home Inspection & Appraisal
Among the final aspects of selling a home involves the home inspection and appraisal. In most cases, the buyer will perform the home inspection and appraisal themselves, which means that all you will need to do is wait for the results. A full disclosure of the current condition of your home is important for the buyer to remain confident in what they’re about to purchase. The inspection takes a look at every component in your home in order to asses if your home is in good condition.
An appraisal is an estimate of the true value of your home. Any findings within the home inspection or appraisal can be used against you in negotiations for better buyer terms or a lower sale price. As such, it’s recommended that you discover the issues in your home and fix them before an offer is made!
Escrow is an important element of any home selling process wherein money is held in an escrow account by an unbiased third-party until certain terms are met. In most cases, the buyer will place a certain amount of money into escrow after they’ve made an offer on your home, which acts as collateral in the event that they back out of the purchase. During this time, terms will need to be met by both parties, which usually means that you as the seller will need to make some necessary fixes and additions to your home. Once all terms have been met and both parties agree to the sale, the money will be released from escrow and given to the seller as a portion of the closing costs.
9. Closing on the Sale
It’s now time to close on the sale, which means that the most difficult aspects of the home selling process are finished. You’ll sign the final documents and hand over the keys to your home, after which the home is sold. If you’re currently part of a homeowner’s association, make sure that you include any necessary keys to your mailbox or community amenities!
We hope our guide helps you get a better understanding of how the home selling process works. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Tucson, please feel free to reach out to our team of dedicated Real Estate Professionals and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with your home buying or selling journey!