While listing and selling your home can feel overwhelming, knowing what to expect can make the process much easier and more enjoyable. In this article, we share with you the most common steps that occur while your house is on the market for sale.
There are typically 2 situations that homes are in once the listing agreement has been signed between you and your real estate agent. 1.) The home is ready to put on the market right away or 2.) There is some prep that needs to be done before putting the home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
Let’s start with situation #2, the house is not ready for market yet.
Step 1: Pre-Listing
You’ll want to take time to make the home show in its best light, which means, decluttering, cleaning, and setting the stage for success. You can read all about this in our free report “Preparing to Put Your House on the Market.” In the meantime, a “Coming Soon” sign will be put up in your yard.
If you find yourself in the first situation, your home is ready for the pre-listing marketing stage.
Professional photos will be taken of your home and property. Then a “Virtual Tour” of your house will be created.
Step 2: Marketing the Home
Your home will now be put on the MLS and other syndicated websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com
Your home’s listing will also be published on our website and social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The Virtual Tour will be published on YouTube as well as on our website.
There are even more ways your home is marketed for a quick sale, but there are too many to list here.
If you desire to have an Open House, they will be scheduled per your request, and we will promote the open house across our large social network.
Communication is extremely important during the marketing phase, so we will communicate with you regarding feedback from other agents and potential buyers. However, if an agent shows the house, please let us know so we can follow up with them!
Showings: Other real estate agents will most often be the ones who show your home to potential buyers. Although we may also bring prospective buyers, we will not be present when other agents show your home.
Step 3: Reviewing Offers
If your home is prepared correctly, and it’s priced to sell, offers will usually begin fairly quickly in the current market. You’ll want to review these offers with your agent.
Now it’s decision time, you can accept the offer as written, reject the offer, or accept the offer with some changes. This is done through a counteroffer.
The offer which we present to the buyer’s Agent may be accepted or rejected. They may also present a counteroffer back to us.
One caveat here, you don’t have to accept any offer at all. If you don’t like any of the offers, you can simply reject them all.
Once both parties do accept an offer and or counteroffer(s), we are ready to proceed with the opening of escrow.
Step 4: The “Escrow” Period
The Title/Escrow Company
While it’s not necessary that you understand each nuance of Title and Escrow, it’s good to have a basic understanding of the process. “The title is a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or equitable interest”1. In other words, Title refers to who has the legal ownership and the right to use a piece of property. In this case, it’s real estate, but it can also refer to a car. In that case, the Pink Slip represents the Title of the car.
Escrow, on the other hand, refers to a type of account created by a “neutral third party”, the Title Company, which prepares the necessary documents and assures that all parties perform their duties as required for the real estate transaction. Your title company or Realtor can explain in more details if you like.
Once the offer has been accepted, the buyer will usually have 3 business days to deposit their Earnest Money Deposit (sort of like a down payment) in the Escrow Account (with the title company).
The title company will order the Preliminary Title Report, mortgage payoff figures and research any liens on the property.
In most cases, there are contingencies which have certain timeframes to be completed by.
Disclosures: Our office will provide you with disclosure paperwork for the home for you to complete to the best of your knowledge. Those disclosures are provided to the buyer usually within 7 days or sooner of the offer being signed.
Inspections: The buyer will order and pay for any and all inspections they deem necessary (typically home inspection and pest inspection at the minimum) for their information only. This is usually a 10-17 day timeframe contingency.
Loan and Appraisal (if applicable): The buyer’s lender will order an appraisal on the property to verify the value and get the information from the buyer that they need to close the loan. This is usually a 17-day contingency.
In order to allow for the timely satisfaction of these timeframes, please make the home accessible for inspectors and the appraiser.
After all inspections and the appraisal are done, the buyer should be in a position to remove all contingencies in writing as stated in the contract. If any issues arise during the inspections that need negotiation or attention, we will be notified at this time. If not, we move forward to closing.
Step 5: Closing
Signing off the Deed
3-5 working days prior to the closing date, you will be contacted by the Title Company or us to set up a time to sign the paperwork deeding the property to the buyers.
Approximately 5 days prior to the close of escrow, the buyers can choose to do a walk through the home. At that time, they will be observing that the repairs, if any, have been completed and that the home’s general condition is the same or better than when the offer was submitted.
You’ll want to contact your utility companies to have them taken out of your name the day of closing or the day you will be vacating the property after closing if applicable.
On moving day, you can leave extra keys, garage door opener(s), alarm information, pamphlets on appliances, etc. at the home. We will arrange to give the key to the buyer.
Congratulations! You Just Sold your home!