If you’ve been thinking about selling your home and you’ve decided that now is the right time, you’re probably wondering what it really takes to sell your home. Maybe this is your first time selling a home, and you’re probably feeling a little nervous as well as excited.

In this article we’re going to break down exactly what to expect when selling your home so you can be totally prepared for the journey ahead. Let’s get started!

How Long Does Selling Your Home Take?

The first thing to keep in mind when selling your home is that it’s going to take some time. Most buyers have to secure financing in order to purchase a home, and this takes significantly longer than a cash purchase. Forbes states that the current average conventional purchase takes 47 days to close (and that’s after the seller has accepted a buyer’s offer.) 

Selling a home isn’t exactly a simple process, and every step of course takes time. You have to prepare your home for listing, find a real estate agent to work with, schedule open houses or private showings, negotiate deals with potential buyers, wait on inspections and appraisals, wait on title work to be done, and finally sign lots of paperwork. This is why it’s so important to work with an expert real estate agent to sell your home.

Working With a Real Estate Agent

When selling your home, having the right real estate agent by your side can make all the difference in keeping the process running as smooth as possible. Selling your home can be an emotional time, and you need an expert to help you navigate the process and answer all your questions as they come up.

What can you expect from your Realtor during the home selling process? First (and maybe most important) they’ll be able to explain how the whole process will work and answer any questions you have. They’ll prepare your listing and get it seen by lots of potential buyers. They’ll help screen for serious offers, saving you time and earning you the best deal on your home. Your real estate agent’s expertise will take away the stress that comes from trying to do it all yourself.

For more about working with a real estate agent, check out the top five reasons why you need a Realtor to help sell your home.

Preparing Your Home for Listing

Once you’ve got your home cleaned and decluttered, it’s time to actually list it for sale. This is where your real estate agent comes in!

Consult with your Realtor to determine if you need to hire a real estate photographer, or if your agent will be taking the listing photos and videos of the home. Your Realtor will also write up an exciting description of the property, knowing exactly which selling points to target and how to make your home as enticing as possible to potential buyers.

From here, your agent will post the listing and start arranging showings for buyers and their agents!

For more on preparing for listing by staging your home, visit How to Stage Your Home to Sell for Top Dollar.

Review Offers, Negotiate, and Accept a Deal

Once you’ve received one or multiple offers, your real estate agent will help you determine what’s a good offer and how to choose which one to accept if you have more than one offer that sounds great. Sometimes the highest dollar amount isn’t the best deal overall. Take some time to decide which offer you want to go with, then negotiate with the buyer any terms you’d like to change. You might also receive the perfect offer that you can accept without any negotiations at all! 

Once you’re ready to accept an offer, let your real estate agent know and they’ll prepare the paperwork.

The Home Inspection and Appraisal

At this point in the home selling process, you can expect a home inspection to be ordered by the buyer. This gives the buyer the chance to back out of the deal if anything serious comes up in the inspection. More commonly, there will be a few things the buyer will ask to be repaired or replaced, or they might choose to lower the dollar amount of their offer to accommodate any needed repairs.

You can also choose to get an inspection done before you even list your home. It will probably cost a few hundred dollars, but a thorough home inspection will show you exactly what needs to be repaired before a potential buyer can find out for themselves.

Another common thing to expect when selling your home is an appraisal. An appraisal is done to determine the current value of the home, which is especially important to the buyer’s lender. The lender wants to ensure that the value of the home matches the amount they’re willing to lend, and that they could recoup their investment if the buyer were to ever default on the loan.

The Final Walkthrough

By now you’ve gone through negotiations and accepted an offer, had your home appraised and inspected, and finished a whole lot of packing and cleaning. It’s time for the final walkthrough!

This usually happens the day before your closing date, and gives the buyer one last chance to inspect the home. The buyer and their agent will be looking to make sure any requested repairs are done, all your belongings are cleaned out, etc. 

The Closing Process

So you’ve made it to the finish line — closing day! This is the day you’ll officially transfer ownership of the home from you to the buyer. Here’s what to expect on the day of closing:

You’ll meet at the title company or attorney’s office with your real estate agent. You may or may not sign paperwork at the same time as the buyers. Bring your favorite pen, because you’re going to be doing a lot of signing!

Be sure to bring your government issued IDs and the keys to your home to your closing appointment. As the seller, there’s usually not much else you have to bring, but always check with your Realtor to make sure you’re not missing anything.

Once all the paperwork has been signed by both parties, the funds from the sale will be disbursed to all necessary parties, and you should receive your proceeds from the sale in your bank account that same day.

Closing Costs

If this is your first time selling a home, you may be surprised to learn that sellers have to pay their share of closing costs too. While buyers do tend to pay the larger portion of the costs, sellers typically pay anywhere from 1% to 3% of a home’s selling price according to Realtor.com.

What expenses actually make up closing costs? It varies from case to case, but common closing costs sellers may pay include attorney fees (if applicable), mortgage prepayment penalties (if applicable), title insurance, and other costs buyers usually pay that have been negotiated in the deal. 

There’s also real estate agent’s commission to account for, which according to Bankrate usually comes to 5% or 6% of the sale. While sellers tend to pay less in other closing costs, they usually pay both the buyer’s and the seller’s real estate agent’s commission.

One final thing to keep in mind here — as mentioned earlier, closing costs can be negotiated to determine which party pays them. If a home has been sitting on the market for a while, a buyer may have more wiggle room to ask for their portion of closing costs to be paid by the seller (up to a certain dollar amount, of course.)

What to Expect when Selling Your Home

There are many steps to selling a home, and working with a trusted real estate agent can make the process much simpler and more enjoyable. If you’re looking to sell a home in the greater Sacramento area, click here to contact us here at Quantum Real Estate. We’d love the chance to visit with you and answer your questions, with no pressure at any time.

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