| Seller’s 101
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Seller’s 101

Selling a home is much more than putting a sign in the yard.  The process starts well before the house is officially “FOR SALE” and lasts long after the offer is received.  A highlight of each step in the process is included below.

Get your home in shape to sell.

Take care of any obvious repairs that need to be made prior to listing your home.  To get the most bang for the buck, focus your budget on repairs and upgrades to the kitchen and master bathroom on the interior and any improvements that may increase your curb appeal on the exterior.

Consult with a Real Estate Professional

While many people try to sell their home For Sale By Owner (FSBO), most will ultimately list with a licensed real estate professional.  Contacting a real estate professional save you time and make you money.

Photos of Your Home

Almost all buyers browse for homes on websites like  Their first impression of a home is dependent on the quality of photos.  Your agent will take high quality photos of your home or hire a professional photographer.

Pre-packing and Staging

Before you ever contract with a real estate agent, you should remove the clutter from your home.  This is called pre-packing in the industry today but regardless of the term used, the fact remains that you will need to pack or purge some of your stuff in order to sell your home.  After you pre-pack it’s time to lighten up the home with a thorough cleaning and a fresh coat of neutral paint.  Your agent can help you choose the right colors.  They will also provide staging advice so that your home shows in the best possible light.


Your agent will do much more than just post your home to your local MLS and put a sign in your front yard.  They will also provide an extensive marketing plan.  See the Market Plan under the Seller tab for additional advertising information.


You will need to work with your agent about how to coordinate showings.  Most markets have a co-op provider that will arrange showings for realtors.  You want to make your house as readily available as possible.  If your property will be vacant then, showings are very simple.  A notification is all that’s required.  In other circumstances, the seller may request to approve all appointments before a showing is allowed.  This is usually necessary to allow to time to get the home “show ready” due to work, children, pets etc.


Offers will be coming.  When you receive the offer, be sure to read the whole thing and understand all the implications.  What is the close date?  How solid is the buyer’s financing?  What type of loan do they have?  How much money are they putting down.  You have to consider all of these elements when deciding on the correct counter price and terms.


It is highly recommended that buyers have a new home inspected, even homes that appear to be in great shape.  Professional inspectors are trained to find concerns with homes that the average buyer, and even agent, can’t see.  The inspector will document all deficiencies within a home.  Many of these items are minor and can be addressed after closing.  Others are significant and should be addressed before closing.  This may mean asking the seller to make the repairs or asking for a credit in lieu of repairs, or in some circumstances both.  It’s important to be open and flexible with the suggested repairs but don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal if necessary.


Closings are handled differently in different markets.  Some states are title states and some are lawyer states.  Consult with your agent to understand how closings are handled in your market.