A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent  and this easy to follow  guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps  will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for  the best price possible.​​​​​​​

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Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better craft your offer. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your goal is to make a certain profit margin. Make sure you convey these needs to your REALTOR® once you choose one so he or she can adjust your selling price accordingly.

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Step 2: Determine Selling Price

Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process. When you set a fair price in the beginning, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest, and underpricing leads to receiving less than what your home is worth. Working with a local and qualified real estate agent is the best way to determine the right selling price for your home. An agent with experience can determine what other comparable homes are selling for, evaluate the current market, and may even suggest a home appraisal.

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Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, making any small repairs, updating paint, and doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition for photography and showings

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Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

We will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.

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Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is prequalified or pre-approved by a mortgage lender and that their offer is acceptable to you. If the offer is too low, you can make a counter-offer or offer other ways to bridge the gap, such as covering some or all of the closing costs, making repairs, adjusting the move-in date, or leaving some appliances or fixtures for the new buyer. We are here to help you understand each of the details within the offer.

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Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once we deem the offer is acceptable, we will review the proposed contract to make sure it’s all in order and includes the necessary components such as deposit amount, down payment, financing, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, and closing date. When both parties have agreed to the terms, you will need to sign the final contract and the buyers will submit their first escrow payment.

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Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer and are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, your agent will help you to make a list of what needs to be done before closing. In some cases, your home may need to be formally inspected and appraised. In other cases, major or minor repairs will need to be made before the house can close. We will head up efforts to develop and execute this list, get each action item paid for by the correct party, and make sure everything is in order by the closing date. A few days before the closing date, we will contact the attorney closing the transaction to make sure everything is ready to go. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to finalize arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession after the closing.

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Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. We will meet with your attorney to sign the final paperwork and go over any issues that have not yet been taken care of. During this time, you can also make plans with your REALTOR® to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining and ensuring the new owner has instructions for all appliances that will remain in the home. Once the buyers have signed their paperwork and the deed is recorded, the buyers will take legal ownership of your property.

Congratulations!

Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.

What Our Clients Say
Sarah Rock helped us find and buy a vacation home from 2000 miles away. She took the time to listen and understand what we were looking for in a property and sought out quite a few options for us during a time when there wasn’t a lot of availability on Cape. We ended up with a great house but had significant issues post-inspection. With Sarah's attention to detail, willingness to help and creatively pro...

— Julie C.

What Our Clients Say
Sarah was extremely responsive and listen to our wish list as we were looking to purchase a condo. We only wanted one particular area, which had limited units on the market. Sarah did a mailing to the residents of the complex letting them know she had a possible buyer if they were going to be selling. This resulted in us looking at and ultimately buying a unit before it was listed, which was very co...

— Gail Q.

What Our Clients Say
In spite of my husband and I (buyers) residing in Georgia and sellers being in Hawaii, Sarah Rock was able to expedite the purchase of our “dream second home” in Plymouth, Massachusetts from finding it to having a signed contract in less than a month, procuring the first home we felt worthy of placing our bid. Sarah employed her astute and skilled Realtor® expertise to expeditiously navigated our search ...

— S. Carver

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