A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent and this easy to follow guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for the best price possible.​​​​​​​

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Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better craft your offer. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your goal is to make a certain profit margin. Make sure you convey these needs to your REALTOR once you choose one so he or she can adjust your selling price accordingly.

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Step 2: Determine Selling Price

Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process. When you set a fair price in the beginning, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest, and underpricing leads to receiving less than what your home is worth. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to determine the right selling price for your home. An agent with experience can determine what other comparable homes are selling for, evaluate the current market, and may even suggest a home appraisal.

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Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, making any small repairs, and doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition.

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Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.

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Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. I will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is prequalified or pre-approved by a mortgage lender and that their offer is acceptable to you. If the offer is too low, you can make a counter-offer or offer other ways to bridge the gap, such as covering some or all of the closing costs, making repairs, adjusting the move-in date, or leaving some appliances or fixtures for the new buyer.

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Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once we deem the offer is acceptable, I will review the proposed contract to make sure it’s all in order and includes the necessary components such as deposit amount, down payment, financing, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, settlement date, and a list of fees and who will pay them. When both parties have agreed to the term, a final contract will be prepared by your agent.

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Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer and are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, you and the buyer must make a list of what needs to be done before closing. In some cases, your home may need to be formally inspected, surveyed, and appraised. In other cases, major or minor repairs will need to be made before the house can close. I will head up efforts to develop and execute this list, get each action item paid for by the correct party, and make sure everything is in order by the closing date. A few days before the closing date, I will call the company closing the transaction to make sure everything is ready to go. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to make arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession.

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Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. I will meet with the company closing the transaction to sign the final paperwork and go over any issues that have not yet been taken care of. During this time, you can also make plans with your REALTOR to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining and ensuring the new owner has instructions for all appliances that will remain in the home.

Congratulations!

Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.

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Jennifer A.
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Natalie A.
What My Clients Say
I worked in property management and knew a lot of REALTORS. Nicolette is the only agent I trusted when the time came for me to purchase my house. Nicolette is honest, trustworthy, and professional. The home I fell in love with had 10 offers and my offer was not the highest offer. Nicolette worked closely with me and the seller's agent and the house was mine without raising the price. Nicolette scheduled ...

— Buyer

What My Clients Say
We can't speak highly enough of our experience with Nicolette Langer, we were first-time buying remote property with very little knowledge about how to find the right place without looking at the house. We met with a couple of REALTORS before Nicolette, but we knew instantly that she was the one for us. She is honest and very prompt to show us the property on video calls. Nicolette was extremely responsi...

— Buyer

What My Clients Say
My family and I have the wonderful opportunity to work with Nicolette to find our piece of property to build our custom homes on. While it was a long process and took a lot of patience, Nicolette had a great attitude and was always motivated to help us find our dream lot. I must say, Nicolette also made herself readily available at almost every hour every day of the week as well. It was easy to ask quest...

— Buyer

What My Clients Say
We started working with Nicolette to find our new home. She was very thorough in understanding our needs and extremely patient as we toured properties over the course of a few months. Once we found the perfect place, she expertly negotiated on our behalf, answering all of our questions along the way and attending to every detail. We had such an amazing experience that we also had her sell our existing ho...

— Jennifer A.

What My Clients Say
I got in contact with Nicolette when I first went to check out a house I was interested in buying. I had no prior experience with home buying and had no idea of the home buying process. Nicolette helped me check out several houses. She was friendly to talk to and explained the process of home buying to me. She helped me with every step and even got me in touch with a mortgage expert who had me pre-approv...

— Buyer

What My Clients Say
Nicolette has helped us with the purchase of our home and with the sale of our investment property. She is an absolute joy to work with. She’s knowledgeable about the market, stays in constant contact throughout the whole buying/selling process, provides resources for any necessary repairs, financing the list goes on. She listed our investment property recently and within five days we were in escrow with...

— Buyer

What My Clients Say
Nicolette was very helpful in our home purchase experience. We are "out of area" buyers and appreciated Nicolette's willingness to meet our schedule needs. Nicolette was not "pushy" in an attempt to get a purchase underway but was very supportive of our needs and desires. She also was able to provide us with lender and service company recommendations that helped us through the purchase process and in the...

— Buyer

What My Clients Say
She is an absolute joy to work with. She’s knowledgeable about the market, stays in constant contact throughout the whole buying or selling process, provides resources for any necessary repairs, financing the list goes on. She listed our investment property recently and within five days we were in escrow with an offer over the asking price, and we couldn’t have done it without Nicolette’s expertise! She’...

— Natalie A.

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