A Comprehensive Guide to Selling Your Home

An aerial view of a neighborhood.

An aerial view of a neighborhood.

There’s no doubt that anyone who’s selling their home wants the process to go smoothly without trouble and also at the maximum possible value. However, in reality, the process can be stressful due to various different factors affecting it. Sometimes, you’re just unable to control some of those factors, for example, the general market value of the area you’re situated in.

On the other hand, factors like the price and quality of the house are in your hands, and they do influence how quickly you can make a sale. That’s how the residential real estate market works and it’s always best to get used to it if as soon as possible if you want to sell your house.

If you’re looking to sell your house now after the pandemic, you’re in luck. That’s because according to many reports, the real estate market booming, with property prices rocketing sky-high. That’s because of the high demand for houses and a lack of supply due to little or no construction during the pandemic, effectively making this a seller’s market. Now is as good of a time as any to sell your home and here’s a guide to help you through the process.

Do Proper Research and Set a Timeline

A person using a laptop.

As mentioned earlier, selling a house isn’t an easy task and it’s important to understand that it can take months before you’re able to sell or even list your house. So, it’s always better to be patient and prepare a timeline of all the important things you need to do.

The moment you decide to sell your house, start doing research about your area, your house, experienced real estate agents, etc. You should also give yourself enough time to make any important repairs to the house that could affect its appeal and value. Here’s a brief checklist of all the things you need to do.

  • Proper research about potential real estate agents.
  • Declutter your home.
  • Get a home inspection so you know of any possible issues.
  • Schedule any repairs.
  • Deep clean.
  • Stage your house.
  • Get a professional real estate photographer to take photos.

Get a Home Inspection

An old home surrounded by trees.

Home inspections may seem like an unnecessary and optional thing to do but it’s always advised to get one before you sell your home. There are numerous benefits of getting home inspections and they can be a very valuable investment if you want to get a good price on your home.

The inspection will give you a detailed look at any underlying problems in your home. Those problems are most likely going to be raised by the buyer and this way you’ll be prepared for that. Furthermore, most repairs can be done affordably beforehand, and the buyer won’t have a foothold to negotiate the price.

Avoid Needless Upgrades

It’s also essential you know the difference between necessary repairs and needless upgrades. Repairs will help keep your home’s value, but upgrades may cost a lot without ROI at the time of the sale.

If you have an experienced real estate agent during this stage, they can guide you about the upgrades that will give you the best return. An example of a bad upgrade before selling would be to add something like new kitchen appliances when you already have functional ones.

On the other hand, if you still want to make updates, you should try upgrading your bathroom or kitchen’s curb appeal. For example, adding countertops or changing cabinet doors is considered to have a better return on investment. Meanwhile in the bathrooms, adding better showers or fixtures is also a good update.

Hire a Professional Photographer

A photographer taking a picture.

The one main purpose of hiring a professional photographer to take pictures is to help increase your home’s online appeal. It should attract potential buyers with just one glimpse. That’s something only a professional photographer can do.

Most real estate agents are already good at taking pictures of the house and if you work with one, they could do it for you. On the other hand, they might know some photographers who might have helped them create visual tours in the past.

If the agent doesn’t have any connections, then you might have to hire one yourself. The fee of the photographer will depend on a few different things for example how far they’d have to travel to your home or how big your house is or how long it will take to do the whole photoshoot.

A photographer who’s worked on real estate projects will know how to frame shots to make your rooms look attractive and bigger. Furthermore, they will also make your outdoor spaces more appealing.

List Your House

This is perhaps one of the most important and nerve-wracking moments when you’re selling a house. Almost everything relies on this stage going smoothly. So, here are some useful tips that can help during this stressful stage that can help you sell your home.

Set a Realistic Price

A modern house at night.

Setting the price of the house without proper research is considered a foolish mistake because a bad listing price can be harmful. Here’s an example to help you understand; if you set a low price, below market value, you’re losing money or not getting the value you deserve.

On the other hand, if you set a price too high, you won’t get potential buyers. If you’re unable to sell your house at that price, you’ll have to lower the price which is also a bad sign in the buyer’s eyes as they’d assume something wrong with the property.

This is why it’s crucial you consult a real estate agent during this stage as they’ll guide you about the market rate. You can also check out local property listings in your area to see what the market value of houses is.

Improve Online Appeal

It’s true that having good curb appeal for your house is beneficial but you should also improve its online appeal as first impressions these days are usually online. As mentioned earlier, high-quality photographs are always useful, but you can also have an online virtual tour designed for a more engaging experience for potential buyers.

Stage Your Home

A home staging.

Almost every real estate agent will recommend you stage your home when you’ve listed your house on the market. The process essentially involves setting up your home to look perfect.

You do this by removing unnecessary furniture, removing belongings, and setting up rooms to be more spacious and open. Sometimes it’s even beneficial if you hire a professional stager that can showcase the best features of your house in unique and creative ways.

Let Your Agent Show Your Home Instead of Yourself

This may seem unexpected to hear but it’s actually very useful when you’re looking to sell your home. Almost every buyer will visit your home with a realtor of their own and they’ll have their own opinions about your home.

If you’re present, they may be reluctant in talking about it. However, if you’re not present, they can be more open about their opinions, and it will also be easier for them to imagine themselves in the house.

Negotiate Offers

If you’ve had a successful listing stage, you should expect numerous offers for your house. You need an experienced realtor by your side during this stage, as they’re experts at negotiations and getting the best value out of the sale.

You should know that if the market is a sellers’ market, there’s a chance that you might get offers above the price you’re asking for. Furthermore, in this market, there are also chances that there are multiple buyers willing to buy your property which could mean a bidding war between them. In case that happens, you need to consider the following things before you decide on someone.

  • How are they going to pay? (External financing or cash upfront)
  • How they will finance the payment?
  • How high of a down payment can they make?
  • The closing date they’re asking for.

Sometimes you’re not as lucky to have a lot of buyers lined up for your property and you might have to use your negotiation skills during this stage. If you believe that the offered price is too low then you can make a counteroffer.

Keep in mind that your counteroffer needs to have a time limit and should be in writing. Furthermore, it’s also advised to keep your asking price unchanged in the counteroffer and make compromises on various things such as the paint of the house or the carpeting. This way you don’t lose a lot of money.

Calculate Closing Costs

During real estate dealings, there are always closing costs that you need to figure out. A closing cost usually means the additional third-party costs incurred during the whole selling process. Some of these costs include agent’s fees, taxations, inspection fees, or any outstanding liens. Furthermore, there also are additional costs that you may have to pay if you’ve agreed on any repairs for the property.

Luckily, most of the closing costs are paid by the buyers. The buyer’s real estate agent or attorney will provide you with the list of closing costs you’d have to pay that you agreed on during the dealing process.

Find Out Any Tax Implications

Tax documents in a file.

You should always be careful when dealing with taxation rules as they can be a little unforgiving. However, if you’ve lived in the house you’re selling for at least two years out of the last five and making a profit below $250,000 then you don’t have to pay any taxes on them. This is even better for married couples as that limit goes up to $500,000. That’s because according to the law, you don’t have to pay any taxes on profit when you sell your primary home.

Gather Documentation

The sale of your home will be incomplete if you don’t have the proper documentation. A professional real estate agent will guide you about the different documents you need and why they are important. However, if you’re looking to compile them yourself, here’s a list of all the documents you’re going to need.

  • Original purchase documents
  • Mortgage documents if any
  • Tax records
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Home inspection report
  • Certificate of occupancy

Hire a Real Estate Agent

A person handing over house keys.

Sometimes choosing a real estate agent can be tough but it’s always best to find one who has had past experience working in your area. They will be better equipped with useful information about your market and will also have established connections with other agents which could make your selling process a lot easier.

Most people assume that it’s not worth it to pay the agent’s fee when selling the house. However, as the mentioned sales process indicates, there are a lot of things that can go wrong during the sale of a house which can cost you a lot of money.

If you’re looking to hire a Realtor agent in the southern middle Tennessee area then take a look at the team of experienced professionals from Coldwell Banker Southern Realty. They are one of the most respected real estate companies in the country that can help you sell your property without any worries.

You can also buy a home with their help as they have a wide range of real estate listings on their website that you can choose from. Learn more about the company by checking out their team or contact one of their agents so they can guide you.

About the Author

The author is a real estate agent who has been working in the industry for more than decades. Due to their experience and hundreds of real estate dealings, they’ve mastered the real estate market. Now they’re helping amateurs learn the art of buying and selling properties.