Selling your home is often viewed as one of life's most overwhelming events—but it doesn't have to be. By planning in advance and working with a great agent, you'll be well on your way to a stress-free sale! If you want to get started on the right foot, check out my step-by-step selling guide, and let me know if you have any questions. I'm always here to offer my expertise!
How to Successfully Sell Your Houston-Area Home
Step 1: Find an experienced agent
While it may be tempting to go "for sale by owner" (or FSBO) to avoid paying commission, working with an agent can actually make you more money in the long run. Not only will a qualified local agent list your home, but they'll also help you price it right, market it to the right buyer, and help you understand all the complicated paperwork that comes before and during the closing.
When choosing an agent, it's crucial to interview a few different candidates before making a commitment. Be sure to ask them about their recently sold homes and read plenty of reviews!
Step 2: Make improvements
Your agent will likely want to complete a thorough walkthrough of your home and make note of any repairs or improvements that need to be made before it hits the market. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to really impress buyers—a few key upgrades are all it takes to boost your home's value!
Wonder what your agent might recommend? Refinishing floors, adding a fresh coat of paint, or updating fixtures and hardware can yield an impressive return on investment.
Step 3: Determine the right price
Pricing your home right can make or break your entire sale, which is why it's important to trust the professionals. Your agent will compare your home to other recently sold listings in your neighborhood to determine a competitive listing price. You'll want to strike the perfect balance—pricing too high will drive buyers away, but pricing too low means you'll lose out on your hard-earned equity.
Step 4: Start staging
Want your home to look its best online and in person? Then it's time to do some staging! Work on your curb appeal by mowing the lawn, sweeping away debris, and sprucing up your front porch with a new welcome mat or potted plant. On the inside, you'll want to declutter and deep clean everything to give your home a more polished feel. It may be worth hiring a professional cleaning service or renting a storage unit, too.
While you're getting your home ready for the market, take some steps to depersonalize your decor. You can do this by removing family photos, getting rid of any bold design choices, and packing away knick knacks and memorabilia. These changes will help buyers picture themselves living in your space.
Step 5: List and show your home
Once your home officially hits the market, buyers will start scheduling in-person tours so they can take a closer look at your space. That means you'll have to be ready for showings at all times—you can make this easier by establishing a regular cleaning schedule and having somewhere to go while buyers tour your home. And before a showing, always double check that all beds are made, clutter has been put away, and the trash is taken out.
Step 6: Negotiate an offer
When a buyer is interested in your home, they'll send over a written offer that details how much they're willing to pay, their financing, and any contingencies (like a home inspection or appraisal). From there, you can decide to accept their offer, decline it, or counter back with modified terms.
If you send back a counteroffer, you've started the negotiation process. It's normal to go back and forth with the buyer a few times to reach a deal that satisfies everyone. Your agent will always be on hand to answer questions and handle communication, too.
Step 7: Enter due diligence
Once you and the buyer agree on the terms of the sale, you go under contract and enter the due diligence period. This is when buyers can do a little digging on your home to find out if they still want to purchase it. Typically, they'll request a home inspection, appraisal, survey, and a title search before moving on to the next step.
If problems come up in the inspection or your home appraises below the proposed sale price, the buyer may want to renegotiate. It's up to you to decide which requests you'll accept or deny, but your agent can guide you in the right direction.
Step 8: Sign and close!
The big day is finally here! On a predetermined date, you'll sit down with the buyer and your agents to sign the paperwork and iron out any last minute details regarding the sale. Once the title has been transferred and the deed is recorded, you've officially sold your home—congrats!
Home-Selling Made Easy
If you're looking to sell your home in Houston, Sugar Land, or the surrounding area, I'm here to help! Contact me today to learn how I'll leverage my 10+ years of real estate experience to sell your home fast and for top dollar. You can also check out the resources below to learn even more about the selling process.
Need to buy a new home after you sell? I can certainly help with that, too!