Home Selling Tips May 25, 2023

Navigating the Home Selling Process

The home selling process has grown significantly more complex over the years. Seller disclosure statements, intricate form agreements, and a slew of environmental concerns have all surfaced in the past decade, adding layers to the selling process.

The journey of selling your home typically commences several months prior to your property hitting the market. It’s critical to view your home from the perspective of a potential buyer, identifying what needs to be tidied, repaired, painted, or discarded.

Consider, if you were in the buyer’s shoes, what would appeal to you about this home? The ultimate goal of the home selling process is to present a property that is aesthetically pleasing, maximizes space, and draws in as many buyers as possible. All of this will thereby drive up demand.

The preliminary phase of getting ready not only involves making necessary repairs, painting, and other home improvements but also provides a good time to reflect on your motives for selling.

Selling Process Step 1: Hire a REALTOR®

Whether you’re a novice in the home selling process or an experienced seller, finding the best local REALTOR® is a critical step. There are several ways to go about this:

  • Leverage our “REALTOR® Agent Search” feature to find agents active in your community.
  • Seek recommendations from previous sellers.
  • Look out for REALTOR® signs in your locality.
  • Scour the classifieds into local newspapers and shopping publications.
  • Peruse listings in local real estate magazines.
  • Some sellers prefer to meet with one REALTOR®, while others may choose to consult with several. Regardless of your preference, there are key questions you’ll want to ask during the selling process.

Step 2: Determine the Price

Every sensible homeowner desires the best possible price and terms for their home. Various factors, including market conditions and interest rates, dictate what you can get for your home during the selling process. The aim is to secure the maximum price and optimal terms within the marketing timeframe of your home.

Every home carries a price—sometimes more than one. There’s the aspirational price of the owner, the value the buyer is willing to offer, and a mutual agreement point that could lead to a sale.

In the home selling process, several factors are crucial to determining home values:

  • Your home’s value is tied to local sale prices. The same property situated elsewhere might command a different value. Sale prices are governed by supply and demand.
  • The urgency of the seller can influence sale values. If a seller is in a hurry to sell, they may have less leverage in the marketplace. Buyers might assume that such a seller is willing to compromise on price for a quicker closing.

Since every transaction is unique, there is room for flexibility in the marketplace during the home-selling process. The extent of this flexibility is largely dependent on local conditions.

Step 3: Market Your Home

Every home is unique, and the real estate market is constantly fluctuating. Interest rates vary, and new buyers enter the market each day. Such dynamism necessitates Century 21 REALTORS® to design bespoke marketing plans for each home, aligned with the current selling process and market conditions. Our experienced REALTORS® base their marketing strategies on past transactions and ongoing market research.

The selling process with Century 21 can involve an array of marketing tactics. Once your home is listed, it will likely be swiftly entered into the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and featured on our property search page. In addition, Century 21 REALTORS® routinely employs direct mail marketing. In addition, they may use common tactics such as hosting open houses, broker access to the home via a lock box, and networking with both local and out-of-town brokers.

Century 21’s approach to marketing your home during the selling process entails five primary areas where our REALTORS® provide invaluable assistance:

  • Preparation
  • Pricing
  • Marketing
  • Negotiation
  • Closing

Open House

In the instance of an open house, a Century 21 REALTOR® typically advertises a specified open period (2-5 p.m. on Sunday, for example). During this window, the REALTOR® hosts the home while the owners are away. They provide literature, maintain a visitor log, answer questions, and gather feedback about the home, enabling follow-ups with potential buyers.

Step 4: Selling Your Home

Selling a home intertwines personal and business considerations, making it crucial to get it right. It requires meticulous preparation of your home, a keen understanding of the market, and awareness of the realistic alternatives available. Century 21 guides you through this process with the time-tested motto, “Be prepared.”

What constitutes an acceptable offer?

The ideal scenario for every seller is a queue of buyers at their front door, each with increasingly higher offers. Although this occasionally occurs, most markets strike a balance between the number of buyers and sellers. Several factors determine the acceptability of a buyer’s offer in the selling process:

  • Is the offer at or near the asking price? Is it above?
  • Has the buyer agreed to the asking price or something close?
  • What alternatives exist to the buyer’s offer?
  • Does the owner have sufficient time to wait for other offers?
  • What if no other offers come in?
  • What if multiple offers are received? Do you opt for the highest offer from a buyer with questionable finances who may not be able to close, or a slightly lower offer from a buyer with pre-approved financing?
  • In each instance, homeowners – with the support of Century 21 REALTORS® – will need to thoroughly review offers, consider market options, and decide if an offer is acceptable during the selling process.

What is a Counter-Offer?

Understanding a Counter-Offer in the Home Selling Process with Century 21 Realty Services
A counter-offer is simply a new offer. Just as the buyer had options in response to the owner’s original price and terms, the seller can now choose to accept the offer, decline the offer, or make a new counter-offer.

Offers and counter-offers are part of the back-and-forth activity of the marketplace when selling a home. It’s an efficient and practical process, yet it can include intricate clauses and hidden costs. The Century 21 Realty Services REALTOR® who lists your home can explain the local bargaining process in detail and assist in the actual negotiations.

Negotiating should be seen as a natural business process; buyers should be treated with respect; and homeowners should never lose sight of their best interests or their baseline transaction requirements. These are the standards unique to each homeowner, which must be met before the home can be sold.

Step 5: Closing the Deal with Century 21 Realty Services

What happens during closing? Closing, also known as “settlement” or “escrow” in some areas, is essentially a meeting where the closing agent collects money from the buyers, pays the owner, and ensures that the purchaser’s title is properly recorded in local records along with any mortgage liens.

The closing agent reviews the sale agreement to determine what payments and credits the owner should receive and what amounts are due from the buyer. The closing agent also ensures that certain transaction costs are paid (taxes and title searches).

How do you prepare to sell your home?

It’s crucial to examine the sale agreement and review your obligations. For instance, if you have agreed to paint a room, such work must be completed before closing. Your Century 21 Realtor can discuss your agreement and the steps to be taken.

Step 6: Moving After Selling a Home

Even the smallest home contains a significant amount of furniture, clothes, kitchen equipment, pictures, and other items. For a short move, it may be worthwhile to transport smaller goods by yourself, but larger items will likely require a professional mover.

It’s best to dispose of excess furniture and other items by having a sale before you move. This reduces the volume of goods to be moved and lowers moving costs. Unwanted furniture which can’t be sold can often be donated to charitable groups, many of which will come to your home to pick up donations.

How do you plan a move?

The time to plan your move begins once you’ve decided to sell your home. Some of the activities required to sell the home can help with the moving process. For example, cleaning out closets, basements, and attics means there will be less to do once the home is under contract.

Choosing the Right Movers After Selling a Home

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing movers. Money is one issue: You’ll want to spend as little as possible, but choosing only on the basis of cost can be a mistake. Movers must have the right equipment, training, and experience to do a good job. A mover should be able to provide recent references for home sellers with a similar volume of goods to transport. Always confirm mover credentials. Movers should be licensed and bonded as required in your state, and employees should have workman’s comp insurance.

Get a checklist

Moving is a big job, and checklists can make it more organized and easier. Here are some of the major items to consider:

  • Money. If you’re moving more than a few miles, ensure you have enough cash or credit to cover travel, food, transportation, and lodging.
  • Number boxes so that all items can be counted on arrival. Make a list of boxes by number and indicate their contents.
  • If moving with children, ensure that each has a favorite toy or toys, blankets, games, music, and other goods.
  • Moving historic, breakable, or valued items? Such goods routinely require special handling and packaging.
  • Have address books readily available in case you need help.
  • If you have a laptop computer with a modem, make it accessible during your trip to pick up business and personal e-mail.
  • Medicine. Keep medicines and related prescriptions in a place where they will be available during the move.