Before Listing Your Home
Whether you're selling a home with ample acreage, a suburban estate, or something in between, you'll want to do more than just stick a "For Sale" sign in your front yard to prepare for buyers. Taking a few key steps before listing can help you sell faster and secure a better overall price. Explore a few of my top tips, or give me a call with any questions—I'm happy to lend my expertise!
2+ months out
Find an experienced local real estate agent
Here in Middle Tennessee, it's crucial to work with a top-notch local agent to list, market, and sell your home. This is especially important if you're looking to sell a more niche property, like a farm or acreage.
Interview a few potential agents before making a decision, even if you're still a few months out from your move. You'll want to work with someone you can trust with one of your biggest investments!
6 – 8 weeks out
Consider repairs and improvements
A good agent will perform a thorough walkthrough of your property to recommend potential repairs or improvements. Believe it or not, making some smaller upgrades (like painting or adding new hardware) can yield a greater return on investment than an entire renovation.
If your home isn't quite move-in ready, consider having a pre-listing inspection to uncover any lingering problems. From there, you can address any necessary fixes or decide to list your home as-is.
4 – 8 weeks out
Price it right
Even the most stunning homes can sit on the market if they aren't priced right. Your agent will use recently sold listings and their expertise to determine a competitive price for your home. It's imperative to price low enough to attract buyers without sacrificing any of your equity!
1 – 4 weeks out
Get your home ready
Staging is the easiest way to make a lasting first impression on buyers. Start by decluttering every room in your house, including your garage, attic, and basement. From there, do a deep clean and start depersonalizing your decor. You can do this by taking down family photos, knicknacks, and memorabilia, and neutralizing any other bold design choices.
Don't forget to pay special attention to your exterior, too! Now is the time to mow the lawn, sweep away and debris, and ensure your landscaping looks its best.
Listing Your Home
Now that you've tackled all the prep work, it's time to get your home on the market. Here's what to expect as you search for the right buyer.
Reach the greatest number of buyers
Your agent will be responsible for marketing your home to a global audience of motivated buyers. Be sure to ask your agent about their marketing package—they should use a multi-faceted approach that includes listing your home on the MLS, online promotion, and print advertising. If your agent is particularly well-connected, they may even have a buyer lined up before you list.
Let buyers take a tour
Although most buyers search for homes and land online, they'll likely schedule an in-person tour before making an offer. To keep your home ready at all times, establish a regular cleaning schedule. Before you leave for a showing, ensure all dishes are put away, beds are made, and the trash is taken out. You should also leave well before buyers arrive—you don't want to make them uncomfortable during their tour!
Dealing with offers
Negotiate and accept an offer
If a buyer is interested in your home, they'll submit an offer detailing how much they'll pay, their mortgage amount, closing and occupancy dates, and any contingencies. From there, you can accept the offer, counter with different terms, or decline.
It's normal to negotiate with a buyer at least a few times until you settle on a deal that satisfies everyone. Your agent will also provide guidance throughout negotiations.
The Closing Process
You've almost reached the finish line! Just a few more steps until you hand over your keys and officially sell your home.
Cooperate with home inspections & appraisals
Most buyers request a home inspection before the closing. During an inspection, a qualified inspector will evaluate your home for major and minor issues. They'll likely pay close attention to the roof, basement, heating and cooling systems, structure, plumbing, and electrical systems.
If your buyer is taking out a mortgage, their lender may request an appraisal. Appraisals are similar to inspections, but instead of evaluating a home's condition, they confirm its market value.
Waiting in escrow
Gather some paperwork
Next, you'll enter escrow. During this step, you and your agent will work with an escrow company to complete paperwork and ensure that all parts of the contract are complete. Your buyer will use this time to secure their financing.
Finally... the close!
Sign, collect & hand over your keys
On a pre-determined date, you'll sit down with your agent to sign any remaining paperwork and pay any fees. Once the title has transferred and you've handed over your keys, you've officially sold your home!
Ready to Sell Your Home in Middle Tennessee?
Selling your home or land doesn't have to be stressful if you work with the right agent! I'd be honored to help you achieve top dollar and sell in no time at all. Get in touch with me, Chuck Simpson, with any questions. You can also take a look at my resources below for even more tips.