Selling your home can be stressful, especially if you’re selling for the first time. We’ll make your experience as stress-free as possible by educating you about the selling process and preparing you for each step along the way. This guide will give you an idea of what to expect when selling your home, from our first consultation to the final closing.
Step 1: Consultation
Our first step is to set up a meeting, at either our office or a local coffee shop. During the meeting, we’ll talk about your wants and needs and develop a plan to make sure they’re taken care of. For example, if selling quickly is your top priority, we’ll strategize to get the soonest closing date; or, if price is the most important factor, we’ll pick the optimal time to put your home on the market. We will also educate you on the New Orleans housing market and give you more detailed information about the selling process. We will make sure we’re prepared for all of the costs and any potential mishaps ahead of time, so that nothing will catch us by surprise and we’ll be prepared for anything that comes our way.
Step 2: Pricing Your Home for Sale
Picking the right price may be the most important step in selling a home: Too low, and you don’t get your money’s worth; too high, and you don’t get anything. Here are some points you should keep in mind while we’re determining the price for your home:
- Your home’s personal value is higher than its market value. With all the memories you’ve made there, it’s natural that you value your home more than anyone else, but its price will need to reflect what buyers are willing to pay.
- Your price won’t necessarily match the prices of other homes currently on the market. There’s a reason those homes haven’t sold yet!
- Remodeling and special features (such as a swimming pool) may not actually increase your home’s value on the market. Before making major renovations, we should weigh renovation costs against potential gains and make sure you won’t end up losing money.
- If your home sits on the market too long, its value can actually go down. Rather than start too high and end up dropping below what your home is really worth, we’ll list your home at the right price from day one.
- That your home sold quickly doesn’t mean you sold too low: It means you sold for the right price and didn’t lose money by drawing out the process.
Step 3: Preparing Your Home
When you sell your home, what you’re showing buyers isn’t the place you’ve lived: It’s the place they want to live. Before we invite potential buyers to see your home, we’ll give it a facelift to highlight its best features and take care of any less appealing ones. That means clearing out clutter, making small repairs, and sprucing up your lawn and garden to improve your curb appeal. We’ll also do a pre-inspection so that we can catch and fix any problems ahead of time.
Step 4: Putting Your Home on the Market
Once your home is looking sharp, we’ll take professional-looking photos that show off its best features and list your home in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS puts your home on the radar of local realtors as well as major websites, like Realtor.com and Zillow, that reach buyers all over the world. We’ll add a FOR SALE sign to your front yard to get the attention of people passing through your neighborhood as well as the attention of neighbors who might spread the word to friends and family. We’ll also market your home to local realtors so that they can bring their prospective buyers, increasing our chances of getting an offer.
Step 5: Showing Your Home
Once your home is looking great and officially on the market, we’ll make sure your home reaches the widest possible audience by organizing a combination of traditional open houses, broker open houses, and private showings. Traditional open houses are a great way to get word out about your home and pique people’s interest. Broker open houses are held specifically for local realtors, so that they can check out the home themselves and bring in potential buyers. Private showings are more thorough tours arranged by buyers’ agents for seriously interested clients. This can be a stressful time for sellers, especially if you’re still living in the home that’s being shown, but it’s important to be flexible and accommodate as many showings as possible if we want to bring in offers. In every case, we will make sure even the busiest buyers and realtors remember your home by providing professional flyers listing its features and upgrades.
Step 6: Negotiation
Once you start receiving offers on your home, we will make sure you have the information you need and help you make the best decision for you and your needs. We will work with the buyer’s agent to make sure that negotiation runs smoothly and that both you and your buyer are satisfied with the outcome.
Step 7: Inspections and Appraisals
Your buyer will have your home professionally inspected to make sure that everything is in working order. This will most likely include a general home inspection as well as a pest inspection. We will attend the inspections, and, if anything comes up, we will work out the details with the buyer and buyer’s agent, whether that means agreeing to make repairs before closing, adjusting the sale price to accommodate necessary work, or finding another arrangement that works for both you and the buyer. An appraiser will also inspect the home and make an assessment of its market value, which may be higher or lower than the buyer’s offer. If necessary, we’ll adjust our agreement with the buyer after the appraisal. Finally, we will make sure that all your home’s documents are in good standing and that we’re ready to move on to the final steps.
Step 8: Moving Out
We will provide you with all the information you need for a successful move. In addition to physically moving your belongings, you’ll also transfer or cancel utilities, cancel your homeowner’s insurance, forward your mail, and update your contact information.
Step 9: Final Walkthrough and Closing
Before closing, the buyer will visit the home again to make sure that everything is in good condition — that any agreed-upon repairs have been made and that the home is ready for move-in. After the walkthrough, you and the buyer will sign closing documents and make any remaining payments, and we’ll hand over the title and keys to the house.
Step 10: Wrapping Up
After closing, it’s time to congratulate ourselves on a job well done! To celebrate, we will make a donation in your name to the charity you choose. And remember: Just because the sale is finished doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Even after closing, we’ll always be happy to help you, your friends, or your family with real estate needs in the future.