Category Archives: home sale first steps

What are the first steps to selling my home?


young homeowner selling home and moving outIt’s time to sell your home! There are a million emotions that accompany the decision to sell: excitement, panic, nervousness, anticipation. The good news is that there aren’t a million steps that go with a home sale, just a few steps that stand between you and that sold sign.

Find out how much your home is worth.

One of the first steps is to find out how much your home is worth. Don’t check your property tax bill for the information; the value of your home is based on comparable sales in the area, location, condition of the property, and square footage (more details about how to determine the value of your home here). Instead, contact a local experienced real estate agent for a free estimate of your home’s worth.

Do your financial research.

Once you’ve found out the value of your home (and subtracted the costs to sell), it’s time to choose a lender for your next real estate purchase (details on how to select the right lender here). If you’re not buying another property, contact your financial advisor or tax consultant for advice.

Get a pre-listing inspection.

A pre-listing inspection is basically a home inspection done before you put your home on the market. The advantage to a pre-listing inspection is that it gives you, the home seller, the chance to resolve any issues found at your own cost by a contractor you choose. For example, if the home inspector identifies a window that needs to be replaced, you can choose a window and replace it at the cost you choose instead of making concessions that cut into your bottom line.

Once you’ve made necessary repairs, ready your home for sale. Improve the curb appeal of your property (use this curb appeal checklist) and prepare the interior for a showing. Give your home a deep clean or ask your real estate agent for a list of local cleaning companies that can make your home look like no one has ever lived there. Declutter your home so you can show off the best features of your home (i.e. archways, fireplaces, etc.) and make rooms look bigger.

Contact a real estate agent (again).

When your home is ready, contact a local experienced real estate agent to list your home.  Then wait for the sign to go up in your front yard, the calls about showings to come in (here’s how to get your home ready for a showing), and the sold sign to go up.