What is the First Step to Selling My House?

December 5, 2022
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You might be wanting to sell your home but are unsure how to approach those first steps to sell. You might be asking yourself, “How do I prepare my home before I sell it?” It is important to gather as much information as possible so you are prepared for the process. That’s why we’re here! Selling a house can be nerve-wracking, but it is so worth it when everything works out. 

If you want to sell your home but need help figuring out where to start, this step-by-step guide can help you get started and succeed in your house-selling journey.

What is the First Thing to Do When You Want to Sell Your House? 

There are many ways to approach selling your home. If you decide to hire a realtor or listing agent, check out the following steps from Rocket Mortgage

  1. Hire A Listing Agent – check online for local, reputable agents in your area with a good track record for timely, honest, and efficient sales.
  2. Decide On A List Price – research average prices on similar homes in your area to choose a fair price.
  3. Understand How Long It Will Take To Sell – if you’re going through a realtor, selling might take longer rather than selling your home for cash.
  4. Renovate, Repair And Stage The Home– make the most important improvements for your home to increase its value when selling it.
  5. List The Home– put your home on many listing services so people can view your property.
  6. Market Online And Offline– the more advertising are done, the more likely sales will increase. For example, hiring a professional photographer could help with online listings, or offering virtual tours of your home online could increase its popularity. 
  7. Settle On A Final Offer– you can base this on the highest price offered, but there are a few other things to consider: the presence of cash offers if the buyer is applying for a loan, are any offers attached to any contingencies, and do their offers align with what you truly need.
  8. Anticipate The Costs Of Selling– keep expenses like closing costs, capital gains tax, and moving costs in mind
  9. Assemble Your Documentation– prepare all paperwork necessary for a home sale
  10. Close On The Sale– attend the closing to ensure everything goes well in the selling process.

Now you must prepare your home for buyers to tour. It’s essential to make a great impression with your home so buyers will consider your home and trust you in the buying process. This next section will guide you on how to make your home look the best it can be.

How Do I Prepare My Home Before I Sell It?

Open Door gives a step-by-step guide:

  1. Identify repairs and make a plan– go through your house room by room to see if any repairs are needed and proceed with those
  2. Declutter and clean–  organize the home to make it feel spacious 
  3. Depersonalize your home– neutralize the home by removing personal or controversial items
  4. Paint where it needs it most– painting can make a house feel new and larger 
  5. Set the stage– make it feel like home and create a good first impression with buyers so they will consider you
  6. Keep it clean and consistent– make it a habit to go around and clean the house as needed so it has the best appearance possible for the potential buyers
  7. Takeaways– look at this process from a buyer’s perspective, and do not let old memories get in the way of selling or presenting your home.

There are two options you can look into when selling a home: selling by owner or selling with a realtor. How you go about it is based on your preferences and what you think will be best for you in the long run. The following two sections of this article will provide the steps taken towards achieving each based on what method you decide to choose.

Steps to Selling a Home by Owner (FSBO)

Bank Rate provides a step-by-step guide to selling a home by owner:

  1. Consider the pros and cons of selling a house without a realtor and determine what will work best for you.
  2. Set a realistic price– pricing your home too high can cause buyers to reconsider if they are even interested in the house anymore; a real estate appraiser can help you give a reasonable price.
  3. Get your home market ready– get your home in the best shape before buyers come to see it.
  4. Take photos– people need to see the house online before coming in person – try to take the best quality photos or hire a professional photographer if needed.
  5. Promote, promote, promote– have pictures of the home posted on every platform and look into your area’s listing services 
  6. Confirm a buyer’s financials– find out how much of a down payment they are offering, what loan program they use, and how qualified they are to meet the financial goals of your home.
  7. Consider using an attorney– if selling by yourself, a real estate attorney could help with various things, such as the legal aspects of the selling process, complex offers, and navigating closing documents.  

Some buyers may feel like a realtor would be best for them. In that case, here are steps to take in selling with a realtor.

Steps to Selling a House with a Realtor

Sold Nest provides a step-by-step guide to selling a house with a realtor:

  1. Hire the right real estate agent– hire someone who is qualified and will guarantee the best experience for you 
  2. Strategize a game plan with your realtor– have a game plan and discuss the following things: estimate costs, house preparation, and a timeline for the entire process 
  3. Get a pre-sale home inspection– having an inspection before selling the home is beneficial because buyers are more confident with their offer and are less likely to ask you to repair something before accepting the offer
  4. Prepare your home for sale– remove personal items and get into a “this is a business transaction” mindset instead of reminiscing on all the memories of that home
  5. Stage your home– make the house look presentable but not vacant
  6. Take high-quality photos– when people are searching for homes, the first thing they see is the photos and the price, so it is important to have good-quality photos to be attention-grabbing
  7. Complete your selling disclosures– anyone who sells a house is required to disclose information through a document relating to issues with the property
  8. Set the best listing price– choose a price that represents the true value of your home to attract more buyers
  9. Show your home to prospective buyers– be flexible with open houses and private showings
  10. Review offers with your real estate agent– a “purchase agreement” exists for when a buyer decides to purchase the home. Here are a few key things to have in the agreement: buyer’s pre-approval, deposit amount, and contingencies
  11. Negotiate with the buyer– this can entail the house price and other terms in which both sides need to agree
  12. Accept an offer and start the closing process– a few things need to be done before the sale is official such as the appraisal, buyer inspections, and buyer contingencies 
  13. Close the sale– the buyers must make their final walk-through, sign documents, and have payments ready

Why Should I Sell My House for Cash?

There is also the option of selling your house for cash. Selling a home for cash means the buyer pays for the home in cash without a mortgage, so it is paid off immediately. Sometimes people prefer this option because it is quick and easy without requiring extra effort on repairs. 

Selling a house for cash enables a home sale to have a fast closing period, saving thousands of dollars in closing and other additional costs. Your credit score is not affected, and a home appraisal is unnecessary. If you’re trying to sell your home quickly, don’t have time to make repairs, or are stuck in a mortgage, selling your house for cash may be the option you’ll want to go with.

If you want to learn more about this process, visit: House Guys USA.

We buy houses for cash – saving you time, money, and headaches! 

Selling your home doesn’t have to be a stressful, time-consuming process.  Given a few considerations and methods for selling your home and where to start, we hope this helps during your selling process and hope it all goes well!


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