Selling a home can be a long and winding journey with ups and downs, especially for a first-time home seller who is unfamiliar with the process. One of the greatest misconceptions a homeowner can have is that selling is an uncomplicated process, and they can easily manage the entirety of the process on their own. From listing and marketing the home to considering offers and eventually closing, deciding to list your home “‘For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) is a large legal undertaking and may lead to lower closing price on your home! There are many facets to consider when selling a home — From staging to closing, having the right expert on your side will make the process far easier!

What are the stages of selling a home?

1. Once you’ve decided you’re ready to sell your home, you’ll want to contact a real estate agent. Hiring the right agent can be the difference between a smooth sale and a nightmare! Not only will the right agent have access to a network of other professionals to help streamline the process, they will also have a keen insight into what today’s buyers are looking for. They will then be able to guide you on how to get your home ready for market in order to capitalize on the value of the home. Put their experience to work for you.

2. Meet with your agent and tour your home. An agent will inspect your home and asses it’s market value, comparing it with other similar homes on the market and recent sales in the area. This is a good time to discuss the timeline you’d like to follow during the selling process. For example, if you’ve received a job offer in another town and need to sell quickly, it’s important that the agent know this from the beginning, as many other decisions may be made differently with this information. This is also a good time to discuss the potential of finding a new home with the same agent.

3. Prepare your home for sale. Start with a deep clean of your home, both inside and out. Once you have a baseline, begin to address visual eyesores. Even dated homes can be spruced up and given a healthy dose of curb appeal. Staging with furniture, décor, and light fixtures can totally transform a space. If necessary, tackle any repairs needed. While you may be tempted to do some of this work yourself, it can often be worth the investment to hire a professional to ensure the work being done is completed at a high standard. Buyers will hesitate if they notice signs of shoddy repairs.

4. Listing your home. With your home ready, photos will be taken and your home will be listed. Agents will have a marketing plan in place and will include everything from sharing your listing on social media to open houses. It’s important to work with your agent closely to allow for open houses and showings.

5. Receiving offers is exciting, but it’s important to carefully consider them. There’s more to an offer than just the dollar amount. Contingencies and timelines can make some deals more or less attractive. Your agent will help you better analyze all offers on the table. Remember that sometimes offers can fall through for various reasons.

6. Escrow process for sellers. Buyers will need to complete their end of the deal, obtaining an appraisal and home inspection and meeting their funding requirements. If the offer included any conditions you’ve agreed to, you’ll need to address them (such as repairs, termite work, or radon mitigation).

7. Once the buyer has secured funding and you’ve upheld your conditions, it’s time to close. The documents will be signed and before you know it, you’ll have sold your property and be on your way to your next home!

The home selling process can be overwhelming, which is why it’s so important to work with an experienced real estate professional. They can guide you through the entire selling process, and while the decisions are ultimately up to you, it’s helpful to have all that experience on your side! Whether this is your first home sale or your fiftieth, having a trusted agent advocating for your best interests is always a solid financial decision.