As a homeowner, your biggest financial asset is your property. So, it's natural for the home selling process to feel daunting. You want to get the best offer for your home and maximize your return on investment, but that's a lot of pressure.
That's why we made BidMyListing. We believe in making the real estate process easier, smarter, and more transparent for everyone – and it all starts with helping homeowners like you find the right real estate agent.
From choosing the best agent to closing your sale, here are our ten simple steps on how to sell your house:
Find a real estate agent
Finding a real estate agent may sound like a simple first step to selling your property, but it's also where most potential home sellers trip up. Every agent brings a different homeselling package to the table, so comparing your options is critical – yet 80% of home sellers select the first agent they meet! We recommend considering factors such as the agent's experience in your local market, marketing strategy for your property, and commission rate. Whatever questions you ask, make sure to complete your due diligence before signing a listing agreement. Want to compare agents easily? BidMyListing's first-of-its-kind online marketplace lets you easily compare proposals from motivated local agents who want to sell your home. Read more about how to find a real estate agent here.
Decide on a listing price
With a qualified, knowledgeable agent by your side, it's time to set your listing price (also known as the asking price). Your agent can help you choose a competitive listing price by running a "comparative market analysis." This pricing method analyzes comparable recent home sales in your area, your property's condition, seasonal changes to the housing market, and the state of the housing market overall to provide a reasonable ballpark figure. Also, remember that the listing price is your ideal number but not necessarily what you'll receive.
Make repairs and renovations
Improving your home through repairs and renovations can attract potential buyers and increase your home value – but not every upgrade is worth it. Some fixes, such as patching holes in walls or replacing light switches, provide an easy, cheap way to update your home's look. Others, such as full-scale renovations or new appliances, require more time, money, and effort. Your real estate agent can help you decide which home repairs will most likely generate a return on investment.
Stage and list your home
With repairs and upgrades completed, it's time to stage your property and show it off to the world! The end goal of staging is to make your home look clean and crisp so potential buyers can imagine it as their own. Start by deep cleaning your home, removing clutter and personal objects, and organizing any remaining items. You should also touch up your paint and remove any loud wallpaper while you're at it. A professional home stager can help tackle all these steps and more if you need help or feel overwhelmed. Once you're happy with the staging, your real estate agent will share your home on the multiple listing service (MLS). This shared database alerts buyers' agents about the property and lets them view basic details.
Market your home
In today's world, marketing your home and attracting buyers isn't as simple as putting a "For Sale" sign on your front lawn. Your real estate agent should establish a marketing strategy that includes both traditional and digital tactics, such as leveraging social media, offering in-person showings, and adding virtual walkthroughs and floorplans online. A quality marketing plan will get your home in front of the most potential buyers and the most qualified buyers.
Receive and negotiate offers
A strong marketing strategy should help your home reel in multiple offers. But choosing an offer isn't always just about the highest number. You might also want to consider factors such as cash offers or any buyer contingencies. Your real estate agent can help you review, analyze and negotiate your offers. Depending on the housing market's current state, you may have more or less room to negotiate. Buyers will often have the upper hand in a buyer's market (high housing inventory and low buyer competition), while sellers have more power in a seller's market (low housing inventory and higher buyer competition). Understanding market conditions and favorable negotiation factors unrelated to price will help you accept the best overall offer.
Budget for closing costs
Selling your home comes at a cost – literally. While you'll eventually receive money from your home sale, you're also responsible for covering several expenses before your home sale closes. These typically include closing costs (attorney fees, property taxes, agent commission, title insurance, escrow fees, etc.), capital gains taxes, and moving expenses.
Conduct a home inspection
Many buyers will request a professional home inspection before completing the sale. Home inspectors typically look for damage or wear and tear in the home's structural components, such as its foundation, roof, and floors, as well as in the plumbing and electrical systems. Your real estate agent can help you identify potential issues or fixes before the inspection.
Gather necessary documents
As you've probably guessed by now, real estate transactions require a lot of paperwork. To complete a home sale, sellers must provide or sign several documents, such as the deed for title transfer and a seller's disclosure to list any home defects. You also need to verify your identity before closing with a government-issued ID. Ask your agent to provide you with a list of necessary documents so you can gather everything ahead of time and ensure the sale goes smoothly.
Close the sale
It's the moment you've been waiting for: closing the sale! You'll need to sign over the title, close escrow, and wrap up any loose ends on the buyer's side before it's officially official. Depending on your state and whether you've already signed the necessary paperwork, you may also need to attend the closing meeting. Then it's time to say goodbye to your home, hand over the keys, and pop a bottle of champagne.
Congratulations! You just sold your home.
With the right real estate agent by your side and this handy checklist, you're ready to go out and sell your home for real. Register for BidMyListing today to compare top local agents and cross step one off the list. We can do this together!
To learn more about selling your home, visit our Home Seller Resources >