Yes, you can try to “For Sale By Owner,” but you will find that hiring a Realtor will create even more value by not only getting you more money for your home but reducing the stress that’s involved with selling such a huge asset.
Hire someone you feel comfortable around because you are going to be spending a lot of time with your realtor.
Hire someone who is commutative (your agent shouldn’t go mia for a while!)
Hire someone who knows the market you are selling in well. Your agent will also help you establish your asking price by presenting comparable properties that have sold or are for sale now in your area.
You and your agent will settle on a fee they will charge to sell your home. This includes paying the agent that brings a buyer for your home.
Your agent will gather information on your home to input it all into the MLS.
Your Realtor will help you with disclosures and legal documents. An example of something you will have to disclose is the age of the roof.
Your agent will provide professional photography, and will professionally market your home.
And this brings me to my next point, staging. Your realtor will give you tips on how your home will show the best.
The Staging Your House For Sale Phase
The declutter and depersonalize phase. Take down personal photos, organize your closets, throw away junk. Moving is a good time to purge!
Move some of your furniture to a storage unit or put it in the garage to make your home look minimal.
Spruce up the yard with fresh potted flowers, blow off dirt from the patio, and throw away any junk you may have on the side of your house (ps- no judgement- we all have that area in our yard that looks like a junk yard!)
Make the beds look nice and cozy, put fresh flowers in the kitchen, dress your table, buy fresh towels and pillows. I recommend buying from inexpensive stores like Target, TJMax, and Home Goods.
Be sure to make your house smells good. I recommend plug-ins that use essential oils, candles, and sachets.
Get your house professionally cleaned and detailed. The kitchen is very important because buyers will look inside cabinets. Bathrooms are really important too.
After the staging is complete, a photographer and videographer will come and take photos that will be on the mls, zillow, realtor.com, etc.
The Showing of Your Home Phase
Your Realtor will begin marketing your property by putting a for sale sign on your property and blasting your property on the internet.
Most likely, a lock box with the key inside will be installed for buyer’s agents to access your home and you will put showing instructions on the MLS- for example, “no showings before 4pm,” or if you have a dog, you might want to say, “please give an hour notice, owner has dogs.” You can be as specific as you want with your showing instructions.
It is ideal that the seller has a plan on where the pets will go during a showing.
Your Realtor will most likely do an Open House the first weekend your house is on the market and subsequent weekends your house stays on the market.
The Offer Acceptance Phase
When you get an offer that meets your approval, for example, your asking price and close of escrow (which basically means when the title of the home will be transferred to the buyer), you accept. You can also counter offers that you receive. You don’t have to accept the first offer you get.
The buyer also gives “Earnest Money” to hold your house.
After the offer is accepted, the buyer goes into a “Due Diligence” period where they read and understand the disclosures, hire professional inspectors to inspect the home. Typically in a residential sale this period is 10-days.
After the inspections are complete, the buyer’s real estate agent will send your listing agent a list of repairs with a document called the BINSR. You’ll have 5 days to respond and to whether or not you’ll honor those repairs or honor some of them or none. The buyer can cancel the contract if you do not honor all of the requested repairs.
After the BINSR has been negotiated, If the buyer is financing the home, an appraisal will be done for the lender so the lender can be sure the property is worth what the buyer is paying for it.
The Close of Escrow Phase
After the buyer’s contingencies are met (meaning- the home appraises at value and the buyer’s financing is approved), the title company prepares a Closing Disclosure (also known as the “CD,” like balancing all of the money and pay outs. An example of payouts include paying the old mortgage debt, the real estate agent’s commissions, and balances out prepaid taxes.
The title company will have all of the title transfer paperwork, as well as all of the paperwork from the lender signed with a notary with both the buyer and seller.
The buyer will do a “Final Walkthrough” of the home to ensure all of the agreed upon repairs have been taken care of.
The deed will get recorded and as soon as it’s recorded with the recorder’s office it can take up to 24-hours to receive your funds into your bank account.