The Home Selling Journey
Posted by Niels Madsen on
Everyone dreams of that first step on the property ladder—and with good reason, your first house will live long in your memory. However that first step is rarely the final one, and in order to fulfill your property dreams, and potentially find that forever home, selling that first property will be just as important as buying it. Getting the most value for your first sale will improve the options available to you as well as helping to set you up for the long term financially. Here is what to expect as a first time home seller, and how a REALTOR® can help.
Find a REALTOR®
Choosing the right REALTOR® is a pivotal decision. Take the time to shop around, ask for recommendations from friends and family, and conduct online research. It's essential to partner with a REALTOR® you feel comfortable with, as they will be your guide throughout the entire selling process. They will guide you through the complexities of the real estate market and ensure that everything is done within regulations. Make sure to formalize the relationship, ensuring clear communication, expectations, and a solid partnership.
Get Your Finances in Order
Before delving into the selling process, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your financial standing. If you're still paying off your existing mortgage, there are several options available. Consult with your lender to explore these options and determine the best course of action for your situation.
Optimize Your Property
Before your home even hits the market, it will need to be prepped to sell and presented in the best possible light. This might involve minor repairs, decluttering, enhancing curb appeal, or even professional staging. Usually these mean rearranging furniture, decorations, and other design elements in a way that is designed to appeal to prospective buyers. Some of it can be an expense, albeit one that will often pay off in terms of increasing the sale value of your home.
Listing Your Home
Of course buyers don’t want to pay more than they have to, so it’s crucial to get the pricing right when listing. Going too high can backfire, while underestimating a home’s value might leave money on the table. Your REALTOR® will help with the pricing by considering various elements, including market statistics, competitive pricing, and other sold properties in the same neighborhood. Setting a fair price is essential to attract potential buyers, and you want to get it right the first time.
A robust marketing plan is essential for showcasing your property to as many potential buyers as possible. Your REALTOR® will create a strategy that fits your goals, including using public signs, traditional advertising, and online promotion through various real estate websites. Photographs and video walkthroughs are now crucial elements of the home selling process, as some are foregoing the in-person visits altogether, and a good REALTOR® will ensure all imagery used is of a professional standard.
Despite the emphasis on being visible online, some prefer having an open house for that final decision. Your REALTOR® will coordinate these events, which are not only an opportunity for prospective buyers to experience the home firsthand, but also can allow for immediate feedback. This can also be one of the most disruptive parts of the home selling process if you are still living in the property, however they are a great way of generating interest.
Offers and Negotiating
As offers start rolling in, your REALTOR® will assist in evaluating and understanding them. They'll provide guidance on the quality of offers, helping you to make informed decisions that align with your goals.
If you’re lucky enough to get multiple offers, you might be tempted to simply go with the highest bid. But look closely at other aspects of the offer, too, such as:
- Form of payment (cash versus financing)
- Type of financing
- Down payment amount
- Proposed closing date
- Subject clauses
When you receive an “offer to purchase,” you have four options
- Accept the Offer
If you sign a buyer’s offer without making any changes, a legally binding contract has been formed.
- Reject the Offer
You are under no obligation to accept a buyer’s offer or to make a counter-offer.
- Ignore the Offer
Should you feel that there is no reasonable way the buyer will be able to come to an agreement with you, you may choose to just ignore the offer instead of advising the buyer that you have rejected it.
If you change anything at all on the buyer’s original offer, you are considered to have rejected their offer and are making a new offer back to them. This new offer is usually referred to as a “counter-offer” and the process of counter-offers may continue until an agreement is reached.
Your REALTOR® will help during the negotiation period and act as your advocate, working to secure the best possible deal for you.
Once an offer is accepted but before it is fully completed, the buyer may conduct a home inspection. A pre-purchase inspection provides the opportunity to uncover details that won’t be apparent to the untrained eye, giving insight into the future viability and structural soundness of the property, and bringing to light any potential problems or red flags. It’s an important step for the home buyer, and should not be rushed by the seller.
As the deal progresses your REALTOR® will assist you in navigating all the legal aspects of the closing process, ultimately leading to the exciting moment when the "Sold" sign is proudly displayed. This includes reviewing and signing the necessary documents, and once the sale is final the buyer officially takes possession of the property, marking the end of your ownership.
Whether you’re moving to a larger space, downsizing, or relocating to a new city, it can be bittersweet selling your first home, but with the right guidance, it doesn't have to be a difficult or stressful experience. For REALTOR®s that will be with you every step of the way and provide all the guidance and expertise you need, get in touch with us at Madsen Langlois. Trust us to handle the details, so you can focus on the excitement of what lies ahead.