Looking to sell your home, buy another, and move on with your life? Unfortunately, it’s never that easy.
Even though there are about seven million homes selling each year, the process is very inefficient on both the buying and selling end.
The home selling process is complicated, and there’s a lot that can go wrong. Even if nothing goes wrong, the natural process can take weeks, if not months in certain circumstances.
Are you convinced that it’s time to pack up and move on? Wondering what home selling steps you need to take in order to prepare for a listing, and handle the selling process? Keep reading below to learn how to sell a house.
Average Length of Time to Sell a House
So how long does it take to sell a house? There’s no singular answer, as there are many factors and many ways to answer that question.
In a normal market, the average length of time to receive and accept a fair offer on your home is about three weeks. In one sense, you’ve “sold” your house at this point, though the process isn’t quite over.
Once you’ve accepted an offer, you’ll enter the closing process. Since most buyers finance their home purchase, the closing timeline is largely dependent on their lender.
The closing process can take an additional two to three weeks with most traditional lenders. It’s not until your closing date, where you sign away your home, do you receive the check from the buyer.
But this timeline doesn’t account for the preparation process, either. Most homeowners want to maximize how much they can make from the sale of their home. This usually means spending months, and thousands of dollars, refreshing the property, cleaning it up, and making it more attractive to prospective buyers.
All in, the overall selling process for most homeowners is two to three months.
Interested in selling your home much sooner? Working with a cash buyer who is willing to buy as-is can allow you to close in as little as a few days, allowing you to move on with your life without any headaches.
What Does the Home Selling Process Look Like?
Need a home selling checklist, to help you understand the process for yourself? Here’s a step-by-step look at listing homes for sale.
Prep Your Home
Unless your home was built recently and still looks great, there are probably a few projects you’re going to want to complete to increase the value of your home. It will also increase the chances of buyers making full-price or more than full-price offers.
If there are any obvious needs for repair, such as holes in the walls, missing roof shingles, plumbing issues, cracked windows, etc, get those fixed.
Home looking a little tired? A fresh coat of paint, both on the inside and outside can make your home look new.
You’ll also want to start decluttering as much as possible. Ideally, your home looks well presented but doesn’t look like another family lives there. Homes sell faster when prospective buyers can envision themselves in the home. That means replacing family photos with neutral art, clearing kids’ artwork off the fridge, and so forth.
It may help to get a storage unit during this time, so you can start making and freeing up space in your home.
It’s helpful to hire professional cleaners as well. And if you haven’t cleaned your windows or the exterior of your home in recent years, you may need to hire someone to take of that as well.
Hire an Agent
With your house in order and ready to put on the market, it’s time to reach out to a real estate listing agent. Getting recommendations from friends or family is one of the best ways to find a reliable realtor.
And be selective about who you work with. You don’t have to work with the first person you talk to. You can interview candidates to see who you’d prefer to work with based on personality and experience level.
Show Your Home
Once you’ve chosen an agent, you’ll work with them to finalize your home for showings, schedule an open house, and have professional photos taken for your web listing.
You’ll discuss with your agent what a fair listing price is, based on other comparable home sales in your area.
Having an open house, or a scheduled time for all showings over the course of a few days makes things easier for you, so you can get them all done at once time.
Accept an Offer
Hopefully, after all of those showings, you’ll receive a number of offers. In a seller’s market, which has categorized 2020 and 2021, most homes get numerous offers within a day or two after the showings.
You can accept an offer as is, or try negotiating for a better deal.
Make Agreed Repairs
Occasionally, buyers will make an offer not requesting any repairs to be made. But if your house is in need of repairs, a buyer may only want to purchase if you make repairs before closing the sale.
If that’s the case, you’ll need to schedule these right away, so that there is no delay in the closing process.
On the day of your closing, you officially sign away the deed to your home. You receive a check, the buyer receives the key, and you are no longer the owner.
Sometimes, a seller will be given a specified timeframe to move out after closing. This is usually 15 to 30 days. But you may be able to negotiate for a longer timeframe, such as 45 to 60 days.
You need to be out of the house by your move-out date, as the buyer will have already planned when they are moving in.
Is Selling Worth it?
The home selling process is long. And it’s a lot of work. If you’re considering a move, make sure it’s worth the effort.
Buying a house is just as difficult as selling a home, especially in today’s competitive markets. While it’s a great time to sell, it’s not a great time to buy.
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