There are 8 basic steps to selling a house.
- Select Your Realtor
- Make Major and Minor Repairs
- Declutter and Depersonalize
- List and Show Your House
- Receive Offer and Accept
- Inspections and Appraisals
- Move Out
- Closing and Funding
Select Your Realtor
Selecting your Realtor first is very important. They will be able to guide you through all of the other steps and help set expectations for the entire process. Make sure whomever you choose understands your needs and your goals so everyone is working in the same direction.
Make Major and Minor Repairs
Go ahead and get all those “things” fixed. It will help bring a higher price to your property, it will decrease the repairs a buyer will ask of you, and it will make your product and overall more desirable purchase.
Take care of major repairs…get the roof and foundation assessed at by a reputable company, ensure all the electrical outlets work, and there are no plumbing issues. All of these items will show up later if not taken care of now.
Declutter and Depersonalize
We have all seen the “Bad MLS Photos” on social media. Don’t let your house be one of those. Clear out all the closets, cabinets, and garage. Clear the counters on in the kitchen and the bathrooms. Take down all the personal items and family photos. You want potential buyers to see themselves in the home; not wondering about the people that currently live there.
List and Show Your House
When your house is ready your Realtor will post your listing in MLS and start the marketing of it to the public and other agents. You want to be as flexible as possible in allowing showings on your property. Make sure everything is in a “show-ready” state, pets are secured, and your house make a perfect first impression. Remember, when a potential buyer is looking at your house they are looking at the others in the area so you want yours to stand out.
Review Offers and Accept
Offers may come in within hours or it may be days or weeks. There are many factors that contribute to this from price, current market, and property condition. However, whenever offers come in your Realtor is require to present each one to you. You and your Realtor will review any and all offers to determine which one is best for you and your situation. Price is not always a determining factor. Once all details and terms are agreed upon you accept the offer.
Inspections and Appraisals
Next up are the buyer’s inspection and the lender’s appraisal of your property . See our interview with a general inspector for insight on what they are hired to do.
The general inspection is basically a “state of the property” at a particular day and time. The inspector will provide a detailed report to the buyer and as a seller you can expect to receive a list of requested repairs. All of these are negotiable between you and the buyer.
The lender will always require an appraisal to determine the value of the property. An appraiser, vetted but not chosen by the lender, will come to the house to see and evaluate the property. They use MLS data as well as other resources to determine the value of the property.
Once all of the inspections, financing, and appraisals are complete it is time to move out. Typically you want to vacate the property the day before closing unless other arrangements, such as a lease back, have been arranged.
Closing and Funding
Closing is where the property is tranferred from the seller to the buyer. In Texas this is done via a Title Company and they serve as a third party ensuring all the required documents are complete.
Funding is the final step when all the documents have been approved and the lender funds the loan. At this point the property is fully transferred to the new buyer.