Breaking Down the Timeline to Sell a Home in 10 Easy Steps
Selling a home can be a daunting process, but with careful planning and the right approach, you can navigate it both smoothly as well as quickly. A common question that is asked among those considering selling is simply, “how long will it take?” While there isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question, we’ve broken down the selling process in 10 easy steps, as well as average timelines to help our clients understand the selling timeline and the steps needed to lead to a successful sale.
Step 1: Prepare Your Home for the Market
The first step in selling your home is to assess its condition and make necessary repairs or renovations. The timeline for this step can vary widely based on the extent of work required but on average takes anywhere from 2 weeks to several months. Smaller repairs may take just a day or two, while major renovations could span several months. It's essential to hire trusted professionals for larger projects and consider getting a pre-listing inspection to identify necessary improvements.
Step 2: Hire a Real Estate Agent
Selecting the right real estate agent is crucial. Take your time to meet with multiple agents, evaluate their experience, and assess their marketing plans. An experienced agent can provide valuable insights into pricing and preparing your home for sale. Hiring the right agent is arguably the most important step to selling a home, so don’t rush! Generally this step only takes a few days.
Step 3: Find the Value of Your Home
Determining your home's market value is essential. While automated valuation models (AVMs) can provide a rough estimate, your listing agent's expertise in comparing your property to local comps is invaluable. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks, but it's crucial to price your home correctly.
Step 4: Decluttering and Staging
Cleaning, decluttering, and staging your home are vital to increase its appeal to potential buyers. Give yourself ample time to go through your belongings, and consider hiring a professional staging company to showcase your home's potential. The time required for this step depends on the size of your home and the level of detail you want to achieve.
Step 5: Create Your Listing
Your listing agent will take care of creating your property listing. This process involves photography, video tours, and more. The availability of photographers and videographers can affect the timeline, but a reputable agent will ensure that your listing is professionally presented to attract potential buyers. In most cases a listing is created in a week or so and active on the MLS.
Step 6: Tours and Showings
Once your home is listed, you'll start receiving requests for showings and open houses. Be flexible with scheduling showings to accommodate potential buyers. Typically, 12 to 24 hours' notice is required for a showing. By being flexible, you may find that you are getting tours regularly, however, a week after listing, your agent may plan an open house to help generate interest. Pending on the current market, this step can be as short as a weekend, but on average, a home will sit on the market for roughly 2 weeks.
Step 7: Receive Offers and Negotiate
The time it takes to receive offers can vary depending on the market. It's essential to give your house at least 72 hours to attract as many potential buyers as possible. Don't rush into accepting an offer – waiting might yield a better one. The common response time for sellers is 24 to 48 hours. Keep in mind that the highest offer isn’t always the best. Discuss each offer with your agent, review contingencies, and ultimately find the offer that best suits your needs. In a hot market you may receive offers immediately, however, in other instances you may find yourself waiting for weeks.
Step 8: Accepting an Offer, Ordering Appraisals and Inspections
Once you've accepted an offer, the process of accepting it typically takes about an hour. However, the buyer may conduct a home inspection within seven days, and if financing is involved, an appraisal might take an additional two or more weeks. This step is crucial to ensure the buyer is satisfied with the property's condition and value. From the time an offer is accepted to the completion of the inspections and appraisals can be roughly 3 weeks.
Step 9: Closing
The closing process largely depends on the buyer's financing. With an all-cash buyer, you can close quickly, typically within 10 to 14 days. However, for financed purchases, it may take 30 to 45 days. Once the lender gives the clearance to close, you can schedule the final signing of documents.
Step 10: Moving Out
After closing, you'll need to move out of the property. The most common timeframe for this is 30 days, but some sellers may request more time or negotiate a post-close occupancy agreement with the buyer. This allows you to stay in the home for a specified period after the closing, either for free or by paying rent.
Selling a home involves several steps and a variety of timelines, but careful planning, patience, and professional guidance can help you navigate the process successfully. By following these ten steps, you'll be well-prepared to sell your home with confidence and achieve the best possible outcome. Ready to sell your home? Contact our office today!