A Complete Guide to Selling a Home

Congratulations! We hear that you’re getting ready to sell your house, and we know how great of an accomplishment that is.

Whether you’re moving on to something bigger or smaller, we’re here to help make things easier. Selling a house isn’t a simple process. You’ll find that it’s incredibly taxing when it’s not your principal residence home that you’re selling.

If you’re feeling nervous about how to sell a house, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know in this guide to selling a home.

Just keep reading.

Steps for Selling a Home

There are many steps involve in your real estate sale transaction. However, we are discussing only ten essential steps that you must know if you’re going to sell your house:

1. Hire the right agent
2. Set a realistic timeline
3. Get your home inspected
4. Take professional photos
5. Put your house on the market
6. Decide on a reasonable price
7. Review any offers that you receive
8. Hire a real estate lawyer
9. Gather the paperwork
10. Think about closing costs

Each one of these steps is crucial to selling your home the right way. Don’t skip steps, and don’t take shortcuts—every detail matters.

Now, let’s look at each of these steps in-depth so that you know exactly what you need to do.

1. Hire the Right Agent

The very first thing that you need to do is get an agent. You don’t want to hire anyone, however. You need to make sure that you’ve got someone on your side that can tell you anything and everything you need to know about the local market.

It would help if you asked around to ensure that you’re hiring the right agent for your home sale. Most agents receive jobs based on word of mouth.

So, ask any relatives, friends, or neighbours if they know anyone who could help you sell your house.

If you can’t find anyone in the area, you should jump onto your favourite search engine and look for “real estate agents near me.” Online, you’ll find all of the information you could ever want or need about the right real estate agent.

Even better, you can look through past reviews that clients may have left. These testimonies will give you an idea of what to expect if you were to hire that agent.

Before you decide on an agent, you should meet with them in person. Once you’ve decided that you two are a great fit, you can move onto the next step.

2. Set a Realistic Timeline

With your real estate agent, you need to set a realistic timeline of sale. Without this kind of structure, it’s going to be challenging to follow the sale process. Therefore, we recommend that everyone make a timeline even if you don’t follow the dates perfectly.

Your real estate agent likely has a mock-up timeline that you can revise to fit your needs. So, if you don’t know where to start, ask them.

Remember, your agent is there to support you. Making a timeline is just one of the more minor things that they can assist with.

As you’re developing your timeline, you should consider important dates like home inspection, potential maintenance needs, closing days, and more. When in doubt, give yourself an extra day to get things done. The selling process can go relatively quickly, but you don’t want to rush yourself.

3. Get Your Home Inspected

The home inspection is critical for you and any potential buyers. It’s time to prove that you’ve been taking care of the property. If there are a few things wrong, this is your chance to fix them.

Although home inspections are optional, they’re extremely popular. It’s a wise decision to invest in this inspection to avoid any issues if the buyer were to detect any issues with the home later.

Finding issues ahead of time also helps move the timeline along faster. Rather than finding repairs last minute, you can make sure that repairs get done while you’re preparing the house for the sale. So, by the time that closing comes around, you’ll have everything in order.

4. Take Professional Photos

It’s time to make the home presentable. The act of making your home look presentable to potential buyers is known as staging. It’s one of the most important parts of selling a home.

If you can stage your home correctly, you can bring in more potential buyers. Without proper staging, buyers may have trouble imagining the home as their own.

This is yet another job that your real estate agent should shine at. They should be able to help you identify improvements and changes that need to happen within the home before open houses start.

Your agent should also be able to help with taking pictures of the property. The right pictures can bring in more buyers, too.

5. Decide on a Good Price

It’s almost time to put your house out there. Before you post about your home, you need to decide on how much you’re going to ask for it.

Some people find this to be the hardest part of the entire process.

Even if the seller pays for a home evaluation and gets an estimated price, it’s still difficult to put a price on your old home as you have so many memories and thoughts wrapped up in the property.

If you’re feeling lost, you should use the estimated home value, your home inspection, and your real estate agent as guides.

6. Put Your Home on the market

Finally, the time has come! It’s time to put the house up on the market with all of those beautiful pictures that you have.

This is the part where you wait for the offers to come pouring in. Hopefully, there are plenty of potential buyers who are waiting to make offers on the home of their dreams.

If not, don’t fret. Some of the best offers take time to come through.

Your real estate agent can help you navigate any price changes or advertising shifts that you may need to do.

7. Review Any Offers That You Receive

Once you do start getting offers in, it’s time to sift through them. Some people are going to offer less than the asking prices, while others will shoot over. Some people will ask for repairs or changes, while others will ask for the home as-is.

The offers that you get will depend on the preferences of the potential buyers. With that in mind, you shouldn’t be offended by any of the offers that come in.

Everyone has different wants and needs for their home.

After you’ve given some time for offers to come in, you should finalize the offer that you’re going to accept. Then, let your agent know.

8. Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

Selling a home isn’t an easy task. Even if you have a real estate agent with you, you may find all of the legal jargon to be too much.

Real estate lawyers can help with the selling process. You may hire a lawyer before signing any document with your realtor or a potential buyer. The lawyer can explain to you the legal consequences of entering into any contract. Once you sign the agreement of purchase and sale, you need to hire a lawyer to close the transaction. This part of the sale is called transferring the property from the current seller to the new buyer.

Keep in mind that your real estate agent cannot provide legal advice. You should turn to your real estate lawyer to help with reviewing any agreements prior to the completion of the sale.

9. Gather the Paperwork

It’s time for the next step (and perhaps the most boring): the paperwork. No one likes signing their name to twenty contracts, but it’s an important step in selling your home.

Without these legal proceedings, the sale can’t take place.

As you’re preparing for the final closing day, you should gather all of the necessary paperwork in one place so that you don’t have to go looking for something at the last minute.

Here are some of the documents that you should locate:

  • The complete copy of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for the home
  • The property survey, if required by the terms of the agreement
  • Mortgage documents and mortgage statements, if there is a mortgage registered on the property you are selling
  • Your property Tax Bill

If you’re not sure what documents you need, contact your real estate lawyer.

10. Consider the Closing Costs

Now it’s time to consider closing costs. The home seller is the one that pays the real estate agent’s commission, which is around 5% to 6% of the home’s sale price.

Sellers may also pay a mortgage discharge amount if there is any mortgage registered on the property.

All of these costs can come out to be thousands of dollars, depending on the price of the property that you’re selling.

So, you should plan accordingly to make sure that you’re not going to spend more than you expected.

If you’re concerned about closing costs, contact your real estate lawyer.

Bonus Tip: Hire a Real Estate Attorney

Selling a home isn’t an easy task. Even if you have a real estate agent with you, you may find all of the legal jargon to be too much.

That’s why we recommend hiring a real estate attorney, too.

Our team at Minhas Lawyers in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, can help you navigate the sale of your home. If anything goes wrong, we’re here to help you through it.

Whether you’re selling your home alone or you have a family to care for, a real estate attorney may be the right call. Contact us today to learn more.

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