Home Sellers June 10, 2024

The Home-Selling Timeline & Mistakes to Avoid

The home-selling timeline can vary greatly due to factors like market conditions and how well your home is priced. However, if you follow these general steps for selling a home and avoid common mistakes, there is a greater chance of selling your home faster and for top dollar.

Use a well-qualified, local agent

A well-qualified agent will serve many purposes in your home-selling journey. First and foremost, they will know your local market. They can do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and will price your home correctly. Great local agents often know excellent local vendors who will help prepare your home.  In addition, they have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which will broadcast your home to numerous buyers agents.

Prepare your home, and don’t leave it to chance

Before listing your home, make sure you’ve addressed all home maintenance needs. A pre-listing inspection is a valuable tool. It can determine areas of the home that need attention. Also, check out this list of home maintenance projects you shouldn’t put off. Your home-selling timeline will go much faster when you’ve already cleaned gutters, checked your roof, ensured there aren’t any pests, and made necessary repairs.

Your agent can also determine the value of larger home projects. Together, you can decide if it’s worth the time and effort to make various improvements. Updating the kitchen, replacing an old front door, or even improving the home’s curb appeal could be profitable. If you need funds to finance a project, consider the Windermere Ready Program. This program fronts the costs of the home improvements for Windermere clients. Through this program, you don’t have to pay back the loan until the home sells.

Finally, staging the home can significantly impact the appeal of your home. While it involves upfront costs, according to a survey done by the National Association of Realtors, it often results in homes selling faster and for more.

Show your home, but don’t stick around

Once your home is listed for sale, your agent will begin showing it. It is best to leave the home and remove pets during showings. Keep the home neat and tidy so potential buyers can envision themselves in it. Ensure your valuables are safe, and put miscellaneous items away.

Carefully review offers, and don’t accept just anything

You might receive multiple offers. Review each offer carefully with your agent. Consider your personal timeline, financial needs, and other benefits of each offer before choosing one.

Understand agreements, and don’t forget the addendums

Once you’ve accepted an offer, you and the buyer will enter into a sales agreement. This will outline the details of your property transfer. It is very common for sales agreements to include multiple addendums. Financing, inspections, and condition reports/disclosures are common addendums. Depending upon the situation, there might be a contingency addendum and other special condition addendums.

Be prepared for escrow, and don’t ignore the deadlines

The process will move to escrow once disclosures, a home inspection, and any repair negotiations are finalized. Stay in constant touch with your lender (if financing the home), the escrow company, and your real estate agent. You will need all of them to finalize financing, close on the home, and prepare legal documents such as the title to the home. Keep careful track of any documents that need to be submitted, signed, and/or notarized to keep the home-selling timeline on track.

Reap your rewards, but don’t be surprised by home-selling fees

Hopefully, selling your home will result in a net profit. However, don’t be surprised by the fees associated with selling a home. State taxes, inspections, and existing home loans are all factored into your estimated net proceeds. Your real estate professional can explain other fees you may face as well, such as brokerage fees.

Come to closing, and don’t forget your ID

Bring all required documentation and identification when it’s time to come to closing and sign the final paperwork. Oftentimes a notary public will also be present to witness the signing. Any fees that are due will be expected at this time. Then, upon completion of closing, everything will be recorded.

Don’t forget to enjoy what’s next

While preparing a home for the market and selling it can be stressful, don’t forget to look forward to your next steps. Perhaps you’re downsizing and can look forward to having a smaller space to maintain. Or, maybe you’re relocating for an exciting new job. Whatever the case may be, don’t forget to enjoy the positive aspects of the experience and all that comes next.

If you are in the process of selling your home and buying a new one at the same time, consider a Windermere Bridge Loan. It allows you to access the equity in your home to put a down payment on your next one. Although the requirements for a bridge loan are more stringent, they are definitely something to consider if you want to increase your competitiveness as a buyer.

We wish you the best of luck in your home-selling journey, and all that lies ahead!