5 Steps to Listing Your House for Sale
If the time has come to get serious about selling your home, you may wonder what happens after you make that initial call to a real estate office. Selling your first home is emotional and stressful enough without having to wonder what happens next.
Your Realtor will be able to answer your questions about the home selling process and what happens next with greater specifics. But, to start feeling more confident right now about your big move, here are the first five steps you’ll take when selling your house.
You need to select a listing agent. To list your house, market it, and sell it through an agency you need to choose a Realtor to represent you. Look for experience, someone who knows the market and someone you feel comfortable working with. You may want to meet with a couple of Realtors and discuss how they will market your home and what they bring to the table. When you decide on your agent, you will sign an agreement to have them represent you in the sale, and it will also outline commissions and marketing basics.
Once you have a Realtor, you need to agree to a listing price for your home. Your Realtor will do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your property, which will set a price range based on current market conditions for a home like yours. It compares your home with those of similar size and features that have recently sold in your area. Your price should fall in the range of these current market values.
Next, you will sign a listing agreement for the house with your Realtor. This document includes the asking price and any specific contingencies you may have – like taking the refrigerator with you or a specific amount of time needed before you can close. You will also fill out a property disclosure that provides all information you need to disclose to the potential buyer. For example, the disclosure could list the new windows installed last fall, your furnace’s age and last service date, and any issues you have had with the property and how (or if) those issues have been fixed.
Your Realtor will get ready to market your house. Your agent will take photos and get your home listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), write up ads, schedule a tour for local agents (so they know your listing and can help sell it to their clients) and get a “for sale” sign set up on the property.
- You will start to get calls from your Realtor for showings. This is when your Realtor will be showing your home to potential buyers. You should clean, declutter, and be ready to leave the house to spend time somewhere else during any scheduled showing.
Current market trends in much of New England are favorable for you to receive showing requests as soon as your home hits the market. Be prepared that offers may start to come in, but you don’t have to accept the first one. Your Realtor will help guide you through the negotiation process to get you the best price for your home with all the contingencies that are important to your move.
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