Five Stages Of Home Selling

By Harbour Team June 25, 2019

Recent Posts   

The home selling process can be overwhelming for everyone, including for those who’ve been through it in years past. And it doesn’t have to be. You can master the art of an easy home sale simply by taking it step by step, and all of these steps are manageable. One after the other they lead to success. Let us show you how to do it.



Once you’ve become familiar with the five key stages of home selling, and the particular details of each stage, you can directly apply them to the sale of your own home. Imagine an experience that’s actually the smooth transition you’ve dreamed it could be. It really is possible. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.


Property Preparation Before You Go To Market


Before you get too caught up in getting your property on the market, take a breath. Then follow it with an honest look at what the public would see if they walked in the door today. Most of our homes are so personal to us that we’re blind to how they look to new eyes – especially eyes that will gaze with scrutiny. Imagine walking into a department store and seeing a rack full of wrinkled clothes hung in a random fashion, or a grocery store where the fresh foods aren’t so fresh. In most cases, you’d turn around and take your business elsewhere. 


It’s important to realize that your home may give that same impression to a potential buyer if it hasn’t been properly prepared for the market. Do you have a refrigerator covered with family photos, grocery lists and memorabilia from vacations past? You know that it’s not uncommon, and the people coming to see your home just might have that in their kitchen as well. But if they see your personal history laid out, they might not be able to envision the place as their own. In fact, they may even feel as if they are intruding. Moving personal items out of sight before a showing is a good first step. But it’s not the only step. Toys of both children and pets should be neatly put away, clothes should be properly hung, beds made, and a good, deep cleaning throughout your home are all steps you’ll need to take before having potential buyers come and look. While you’re performing this cleanup, you just might find a few things that need fixing. Replace those light bulbs, clear out the basement, and even pull weeds out of the lawn. If your house looks cared for and loved, there’s a good chance that buyers will fall in love with it too!


Just remember these 3 D’s of Pre-Sale Prep 

  1. Deep Clean
  2. De-Clutter
  3. De-Personalize

The Value Of Determining The Right Pricing


When a home comes on the market, there is usually an instant buzz as buyers become aware of a new property within their price range. 

You’ll want to take advantage of that excitement to get a quick sale – and that means pricing your property correctly from the very start. That critical first phase, when your home is newly listed, is when the property stands the best chance of securing the highest offer. 


Homes that are priced correctly – at market value, sell for 99.5% of the list price on average. And it’s no secret that a good Realtor can land an even higher sale price. Wisely setting the price means you’re not just playing a crap shoot – you’re strategically taking a property to market at the right price to sell. But how do you determine that perfect price? It most likely won’t be the same price that your neighbor’s home just sold for. Ultimately the market determines a home’s value, with varying factors converging to arrive at the best price. But “the market” isn’t some mystic, whimsical force. Becoming aware of your market will give you the skills to navigate and work within it. The two professionals who know how to best read a property’s value in its market are appraisers and Realtors. Appraisers will look at what they refer to as comps – at least three comparable homes in the same market. They’ll consider similarities such as location and the home’s attributes to arrive upon a price. Agents take a similar approach, using recent nearby sales with adjustments for condition, square footage, bed/bath count, and whatever else is needed to determine a price.


Comparisons and analysis of recent sales of similar properties reveal what buyers, or the market, are willing to pay. When you’ve accurately priced your home for that market, selling it is simply the next step.


Secrets of Successfully Marketing Your Home


Taking your home to market doesn’t stop once you’ve found the right price. The next thing to consider is marketing, and one could say that this is where the fun begins. You want to be sure that your home dazzles prospective buyers. Start envisioning your home as the next owner’s dream home. What about your property will “wow” them? And how will you depict those great features? No doubt you know about the value of photographs, but consider the value of good – even great – photographs. It’s wise to hire a professional photographer to allow your home’s attributes to truly shine. Great photos of your home posted online will attract buyers to show up to Open Houses. It’s that allure that romances a homebuyer into considering your home as their must-have property. It’s their first impression, as well as the magic of marketing. 


Now that you’ve shown off your home online and through your Realtor’s flyers, you’ll have to be sure it lives up to expectations at the Open House and private showings. Whether you have only 10 minutes to prepare your home for a showing, or an hour or more, there are a number of things that can be done to ensure your home is prepped and ready. A savvy Realtor will have such a list to share. Think in terms of staging your home as you did for the photographs. Some must-dos include:


  1. Tidying up each room
  2. Turning on all the lights
  3. Closing commode lids
  4. Wiping out all sinks
  5. Putting away toys and clothing
  6. Moving animals out of the way, or taking them with you from the home

These small steps go a long way in impressing buyers and selling your home at the best possible price. And proper marketing is key in today’s competitive market.


Aspects of Offers – Negotiation Navigation


Once you’ve taken the steps to present your property in the best possible light, taken it to the marketplace, and opened the doors to buyers, you’ll likely have offers to consider. They may vary in value, with price offered being just one of several considerations. How will you know what to choose?

From the type of loan the buyer will be obtaining, the amount of money they’re able to put down, the due diligence time frame, as well as other factors you’ll want to take into account, deciding which offer to accept requires a bit of negotiating savvy. 

“Special Stipulations” listed at the bottom of a contract may include a request for anything from a home warranty to seller-paid closing costs, or even your refrigerator. Money that was in one pocket suddenly slips out the other, and you may find that a lower offer without added requests is your best option. Things beyond the offer price that you might not have automatically considered:

  1. Closing Costs: attorney fee, title fee, lender fee, title insurance, etc., which can be requested as seller-paid
  2. Closing Date: this may take 30-45 days for buyers who are getting a loan
  3. Contingencies: time-sensitive conditions that may allow the buyer to get out of the contract, or come back for further negotiation. Common contingencies include: appraisal, financing, and sale of home
  4. Maintenance issues found during the due diligence period
  5. Earnest Money: the amount of money a seller is willing to put down to show their intent to buy is serious; usually 1% of the contract price
  6. Down Payment: a dollar amount that goes beyond “earnest money”
  7. Escalation Clause: a technique to ensure a buyer’s offer is the highest

A buyer brings their own agenda to any contract, and knowing how to interpret what it is that motivates them is an expertise possessed by the most professional Realtors. An agent who has fine-tuned her skills in the art of real estate negotiation will be sure that her seller won’t be losing money on an offer because of unanticipated costs. And if the agent representing the buyer is a seasoned negotiator, you’ll want someone just as sharp representing you for the best possible contract.


Taking Your Home From Contract to Close


Is a contract an airtight agreement? Not likely! This is the final phase of a home-selling process and it should never be underestimated. The timeline through this period is critical, with essential deadlines to be met along the way. The best Real Estate team will maintain tight deadlines and keep close watch on every part of the process to be sure things progress smoothly. One valuable thing your agent can do for you during the closing period is to work with the appraiser to help justify the contract price. A showing to an appraiser is just as critical as showing the home to buyers. You’ll want to prepare your home to be viewed in the best possible light. But even if your house is picture perfect upon inspection, be prepared for an appraiser’s booklet listing pages and pages full of problems for the buyer to consider. Don’t let what seems like an intimidating list of recommended repairs trigger your pride or emotions. This is actually an opportunity for further negotiation, as the cost of repairs may be deducted from the price, or given as money toward closing costs. It’s another step in contract negotiation where a true professional can lead you toward the best outcome. Your Real Estate agent should come to you loaded with resources, and this is a time to utilize them. You can tap into their knowledge of:

  1. Highly Rated Contractors
  2. Vendor Partners
  3. Knowledge of Repairs Made on Comparable Homes

Another part of the timeline is to make sure that the buyer’s loan process is on track. You should expect your Real Estate agent to remain connected to keep the deal moving forward, and on schedule. If snags arrive in lending, a knowledgeable agent will connect the buyer to another lender. A seller’s best resource is a good Real Estate team that remains vigilant with timelines and communication crucial to carrying the contract to the closing table. A seller should remain in the loop, but also be shielded from the daily grind associated with this process. It’s a lot to keep track of, and it takes a team, not just one agent, to stay on top of it. 

For a successful journey through the entire selling process, you’ll want to work with a team that can guide, advise, negotiate and deliver you to the best possible price for your home, and the smoothest experience.

Want to go further into this topic? Watch the seven videos in our Sellers Quick Start Guide to learn in-depth tips, secrets and stories – both success stories and cautionary tales. Once you’ve gotten a good sense of our proven strategies for easy home sales, you’ll feel more confident taking your home to the market, AND you’ll get the best results! Click the following to get started!:

Share This Post: