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The Home Selling Process From Start to Finish

October 20, 2009


By Julie Ursetta

Broker Associate, Realtor®

Prudential Rocky Mountain, REALTORS®


You’ve made the decision to sell your home.  Even if you’ve sold a house before, the process can be daunting.  It is a major financial transaction that involves many steps, which include selecting a sales professional, marketing the home, negotiating with buyers, and finally receiving funds at the closing. Yet, the home selling process doesn’t have to be intimidating if you know what to expect. The process can be divided in nine steps.

Step 1: List Your Property with a Real Estate Professional. Select someone who is knowledgeable, listens carefully, and with whom you feel comfortable. Interview at least three real estate professionals. Review their listing presentations to compare  preparation and professionalism. Don’t base your selection solely on selling price or commission. If you are promised an unrealistic sales price, you will end up reducing the price later, resulting in a longer time on the market.  Instead, focus on marketing plans, service and past results.

Step 2: Establish Price and Time Frame. Determining a fair asking price is crucial in this market. Price the property too high and it could languish on the market. Of course, you could always decrease the price later at the cost of losing potential buyers. Your real estate professional can help you determine true market value based on a comparable market analysis, which will include recent property sales, as well as homes currently on the market. Supply and demand, craftsmanship, amenities, condition, and any special circumstances can also impact price.

Step 3: Develop and Implement a Marketing Strategy. To get the most exposure for your property, you should have a marketing plan with clear objectives and an outline of specific resources to be used. The plan should include a mixture of conventional and online marketing to optimize your exposure to potential buyers. Your real estate professional will have many resources for marketing your property.

Step 4: Get Your Home in Show Condition. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure your property is in tip-top shape inside and out. Eliminate clutter and remove personal items. Refresh the paint, clean the carpets and make minor repairs. Keep the grass trimmed and add color to your landscape. You may also want to consider hiring a professional to stage your home. A property in move-in condition is much more attractive to buyers in a competitive market.

Step 5: An Offer is Submitted. Once your property is on the market, a buyer will make an offer through his/her real estate sales professional. The buyer’s sales professional will present the offer to your representative, who will promptly relay it to you and help you evaluate the offer.

Step 6: The Negotiation Process Begins and an Offer is Accepted. One of the most critical roles played by your real estate professional is in the negotiation phase. Negotiations over the terms of a contract to purchase a property can be extremely sensitive. The process of offer and counter-offer may go on until parties arrive at an acceptable contract.

Step 7: Buyers Submit a Loan Application and Home Inspections are Scheduled. Most often, the loan approval is contingent upon a satisfactory appraisal and various inspections.

Step 8: The Loan is Approved and the Closing Process Begins. Once the buyer’s home loan has been approved, preparations begin for the closing. The closing, the final step toward completing the sales transaction, is the time that money and title is exchanged between the buyer and seller.  During this process, your sales professional will work with the title company to ensure all the necessary closing documents are in place.  A final walk-through of the property is typically scheduled by the buyer just prior to closing.

Step 9: Time to move!

Of course this is a simplification of what is otherwise a complex transaction. As you are going through each stage of the process, look to your real estate professional to provide guidance so that you feel comfortable every step of the way.

Julie Ursetta can be reached at 720-352-1610 or Prudential Rocky Mountain, REALTORS® is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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