Selling your house
If you are thinking about selling your home, it's important to understand the steps you'll need to take to ensure a successful sale. If you haven't done this before, you may think that all you do is call a real estate agent, have your home listed, maybe have an open house or two, and magic - your house is sold. True, in some markets this may actually happen, but not often. Also, you want to not only sell your house, but make sure that you get a good price when it does sell.
In this section, we outline the basic steps involved in selling a home, from the initial preparation of the house to the actual closing. Do your homework now and the process will not only be easier, especially because you'll know what's involved and what to expect, but there should also be fewer surprises and disappointments along the way.
- Getting the house ready
The most important thing you can do is to prepare your house both inside and outside. In most cases, there are inexpensive ways to improve the appeal of your house. We've included two checklists that will help you identify these items.
- Do you need an agent or should you sell it yourself?
Some people prefer to sell their own home, hoping to save that agent's commission. Is this the right thing for you?
- If you want an agent, find the best one
It's imperative that your agent represent you, not the buyer, and that they have the experience and resources necessary to expedite your sale.
- Setting the right price
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of selling a house is determining the right price.
- Negotiating with buyers
Once someone makes an offer, what do you do?
- Key elements of the contract
You should understand every aspect of the purchase agreement, especially if you sell the home yourself.
- Preparing for settlement
If you want to avoid problems at closing, you should understand the process and the players.
- The papers you'll need
If you don't bring the right papers to closing, it's going to be a long, frustrating day and the sale may not happen.
Keep in mind that the process can take a long time, and be very stressful. If you need to better understand the players, and how they see your property, this pictorial might help you.