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Anticipating the Home Selling Process- Step 1

Selling your home involves more than just transactions; it's a journey filled with emotions and memories. From the cherished bathroom tiles you installed to the marks left by your beloved pet, every corner holds a story. As you prepare to part ways with your home, a mix of emotions may arise, from excitement for the future to a tinge of sadness for the memories left behind. Amidst the flurry of tasks - setting the list price, preparing for showings, negotiating - it's essential to navigate each step with clarity and understanding. Let's explore the entire process, from start to finish, so you can anticipate what lies ahead.

What's the Timeline for Selling My Home?

The timeline for selling your home can vary based on several factors, including your local market conditions. Typically, sellers spend about eight to 12 days preparing their home for listing, followed by approximately 45 to 70 days for receiving and evaluating offers, and finally, a closing period ranging from 14 to 60 days. Overall, the process may last anywhere from 30 days to several months. While the exact duration is hard to predict, here's a general breakdown of each stage and its average timeframe:

Finding a real estate agent: Five to seven days If you don't already have an agent, take some time to research local agents, seek recommendations, and conduct interviews. Look for someone knowledgeable about the market, experienced in home sales, and attentive to your needs. Verify their licensing and credentials before making a decision. Ask relevant questions to ensure a good fit, such as:

  • Are you a full-time agent? Opting for a full-time agent ensures better accessibility, as part-time agents may face time constraints.

  • How long have you been an agent? Your preference may lean toward an experienced agent with a broad network or someone newer striving to establish themselves.

  • Will I work directly with you, or do you have a team? Some agents handle specific aspects, while others manage the entire sale personally.

  • Do you work with both buyers and sellers? While some agents represent both parties, be aware of potential conflicts of interest.

  • What is your marketing plan for my home? A reliable agent should outline a strategic marketing approach tailored to your area.

  • What are the comparables for this neighborhood? Discussing neighborhood comparables allows you to explore pricing strategies with the agent.

  • How many clients do you have right now? Consider whether you prefer an agent with ample time for you or one in high demand.

  • What is your commission? Although six percent is standard (split between your agent and the buyer's agent), inquire about any variations in commission rates.

Once you've selected the ideal agent, you'll proceed to sign a contract, commonly known as the listing agreement. This document grants the agent the authority to market your home, detailing information such as property description, asking price, and the contract's expiration date.

Listing your home: Three to five days

The speed of this process relies on how swiftly your agent can gather essential details about the home, like tax records, and how promptly you can stage and photograph it. Your agent may offer advice on enhancing curb appeal or suggest repairs that could impact the sale. Additionally, they might arrange for a yard sign or a lockbox for the door.

Obtain an offer: Up to 70 days

This period is challenging to pinpoint precisely as it varies based on location. In a seller's market, you might receive an offer within days of listing, while a buyer's market could extend the timeline to months. Pricing your home competitively and staying in regular contact with your agent are crucial aspects to consider.

Clear to close: 14-60 days

Congratulations, you have a potential buyer! While it's exciting, take your time before accepting the offer. Collaborate with your real estate agent to thoroughly review the offer and ensure you grasp its terms. Beyond the price, the buyer might include contingencies in the offer. It's crucial to feel comfortable not only with the price but also with the terms. Your agent can clarify the contingencies and discuss their potential impact on the final sale. Some common contingencies include:

  1. Sale contingency (requiring the buyer to sell their home before purchasing yours)

  2. Appraisal contingency (allowing the seller to back out if the home doesn't appraise for the agreed-upon price)

  3. Inspection contingency (potential impact on the sale if the inspector identifies issues)

  4. Funding contingency (granting the buyer an exit from the contract if they can't secure a mortgage loan)

Turnover possession: 0+ days

The timeframe for handing over the keys can vary based on your location. The buyer may receive the keys on the day of closing or shortly thereafter, so it's essential to have a move-out plan in place before closing. If, for any reason, you can't vacate the property immediately after closing, there's an option to negotiate a post-occupancy agreement with the buyer. Ensure you discuss and finalize the terms of this agreement before the closing date.



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