Selling your home can often mean new beginnings with lots of excitement and memorable expectations.  At the same time, it can also be a process of great anxiety caused by a sometimes overwhelming amount of details.

Here are a few ideas that will help guide you through the process of selling your home and keeping that anxiety in check.


Motivation for Selling

Be able to define your motivation for selling your home. Sometimes the reason for selling is clear. For example, you may be getting a new job and being transferred to a new state. Other times the reason isn’t as direct. For example, you may need a bigger house for your growing family and your needs are not as clear. Or you may need to downsize when the kids have ‘left the nest’. You may want a different neighborhood with a different school for your kids, or a neighborhood that offers you a better commuter route.


Assessing the Condition of your Property

In preparing your home to list on the market, make a thorough assessment of your entire property. That is, make a list of all the things at the property, inside the home and out, that need to be repaired or replaced (leaky faucet, broken appliance, paint touch ups, new carpet, etc.).


Interviewing Agents

Unless you already have a Realtor you want to use, it is important to interview several. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable about the current market in your area and is willing to work hard for you. Your personalities need to mesh so you will feel comfortable communicating with your realtor throughout the entire selling process. When you have a concern during the selling process, you don’t want personality differences to prevent you from discussing it with your Realtor.


Your Home is under Contract

After you and a buyer agree on the terms of selling your house, the sales contract is signed and ratified. In most cases you will have around 45 days to make preparations to move to your next home. That time period is decided and agreed upon by you and the buyers. A buyer’s lender usually needs about 45 days to process the paper work for the buyer’s mortgage loan. While you are preparing to move, several other things are happening during the contract period, including the appraisal, the home inspection (and possibly other inspections), loan processing and approval (for the buyer), and the Walk-thru.


The Appraisal

After you have a ratified contract on your home, the buyer’s lender will order an appraisal. The buyer pays for the appraisal. A lending institution will not lend the buyer any more than the appraised value of the home, so it is important when listing your property that you keep that in mind. You should not try to overprice your home, but base your listing price on comparable sales in your area, because an appraiser will use those comparable sales when determining the value of your home before approving the buyer’s loan.


The Home Inspection

Per the agreed terms of the contract, the buyer will order a Home Inspection and a Termite Inspection at his or her expense. After the Home Inspection, the inspector will furnish you with a summary report. Along with the report, the buyer will indicate which items on the report he or she wants you to address. Your Realtor will go over the report with you and you will decide which items you will be willing to remedy for the buyer.



One or two days prior to settlement, the buyer and his or her agent will conduct a walk-thru of the house to make sure that all repairs are completed and that everything is in the same order as it was on the binding date of the contract.


The Closing

Your Realtor will give you a time to come to closing on the settlement date agreed upon in the sales contract. On the day of closing, you and your Realtor will meet at the closing attorney’s office. It is common for both buyer and seller to use the same closing attorney, but you will close at different times.


After the Closing

If the possession date is the same day as the closing, the new owner will be given the keys to the house as soon as all money from the transaction has been disbursed. If your possession date is later than the closing date, then your Realtor will work out the swap of keys with the buyer’s agent according to the possession date stated in the contract.