Selling a Home? Here’s Your Start-to-Finish Checklist

Selling a Home? Here’s Your Start-to-Finish Checklist

Even though the real estate world isn’t totally new to you (you did buy your house, after all!), selling a home can still feel a little overwhelming. That’s especially true if it’s your first time on the selling side of things.

Depending on the market, your timeline can be unpredictable, too. You’ll want to know what to expect as you plan your move and your next purchase.

Here’s what to do to sell your house:

✔️ Find a real estate agent!

Trust us, you don’t want to go it alone.

All the real estate apps in the world won’t be as helpful as an agent who has been selling houses in your particular market.

(And apps won’t offer wise words in moments of anxiety, either!)

An agent will help price your home competitively and ensure it makes a great impression on potential buyers. Plus, they’ll handle the complex contracts and negotiations from beginning to end.

✔️ Do your research

Put in the time to learn what’s happening in your neighborhood and city’s real estate market. And, yes, talking with your real estate agent does count as research!selling a home checklist homesnap

Ask your agent to use the Homesnap Pro app’s Rapid CMA feature, so they can quickly run a comparative analysis on nearby homes.

It doesn’t hurt to talk to neighbors (and former neighbors you keep in touch with) about their home-selling experiences, too.

✔️ Take care of quick fixes and bigger investments to increase your home value

Decide which updates and repairs will boost your home value. Not sure where to start? Check out our list of 7 Home-Selling Tips to Woo Potential Buyers!

You’ll want to make updates and fixes before taking your photos, so your home can shine in all its fully updated glory.

✔️ Ahead of open houses, make plans to be elsewhere

You’ll want to get your house looking great, but you’ll also want to be elsewhere during open houses and private showings.

Home-seekers will have a tougher time visualizing themselves in the space if they see the current owners (or their furry friends!).

Check the movie showtimes, call up some friends, or find some other way to make yourself busy for those chunks of time.

✔️ Get some great photos

You know what they say about pictures. Even 1,000 words of the most compelling marketing copy won’t make as big an impression as beautiful photos. Make sure to highlight the best parts of your house – but also make sure photos are accurate (you don’t want to set any false expectations).

✔️ Market your house to make sure potential buyers see it

Buyers can’t fall in love with your house if they can’t find it! Your agent can run Homesnap Pro Ads to get your house on Facebook, Instagram, Google and Waze.

Ask your agent to send you reports so you can track how it’s going, too — digital marketing is a huge part of a selling a home.

✔️ Plan when you’ll review offers (and review all of them)

selling a home checklist homesnapYour agent can help you set parameters for offer deadlines and let you know when to free yourself up to review them.

In the most competitive markets, you may not need to negotiate at all – the offers will be that appealing! In others, you may need to do some back-and-forth. Then, it will be helpful to (you guessed it!) talk this through with your agent.

✔️ Consider earnest money and contingencies from buyers

You probably remember this from when you bought your house: Buyers have some choice about how much earnest money to place into escrow. Earnest money can signal their level of seriousness.

As you review offers, make sure you consider the details and how much leeway buyers have left themselves to change their minds.

In some cases, a lower offer might be more attractive if the earnest money signals more commitment and fewer contingencies make closing easier.

✔️ Find out the timeline for home appraisals and inspections

Again, you’ll remember this stuff from buying, but it all feels a bit different when you’re selling a home. Talk with your agent about what to expect in terms of inspections and appraisals. In hot markets, buyers may want to conduct inspections before even placing an offer.

Learn how other houses have appraised in your area so you won’t be surprised if the appraisal comes in low. Depending on the details of the offer, you may renegotiate based on the inspection or appraisal.

✔️ Make sure you know closing costs and the timeline for moving out 

In most cases, the seller pays the closing costs and the buyer’s agent fees, so make sure you factor this into your budget.

Find out when you’ll need to be out of the house, and know your obligations when it comes to leaving behind – or hauling way – appliances, hot tubs and other items.

In short, once you get to this point, avoid surprises so you can focus on celebrating your sale.