11 Steps to Selling a Home

Thinking of selling your home in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland? It's important to understand that if you expect to make money on your home, you've got to give yourself plenty of time to prepare, and that can mean starting to plan months ahead of the date you'd actually like to move out of your home. Here's what to expect when you list your home in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland.

11 Steps to Take Your Home from For Sale to Sold

Step 1: Find an Experienced Agent

Choosing the right agent might be the difference between selling your home for top dollar and losing thousands of dollars in equity—or waiting around for months for your home to sell. Be sure to get recommendations from friends, explore various agents’ experience, and interview several agents.

Step 2: Consider Repairs and Improvements

Major home updates may not always yield long-term benefits. Yet, minor aesthetic improvements can enhance buyer appeal and increase value. Consult your agent for advice on worthwhile updates—they know what pays off in the long run.

Step 3: Set the Price Right

Another crucial step to ensuring the highest return on your valuable investment in the shortest amount of time is finding a competitive price. You will want to consider the price of nearby homes that have recently sold, the prices of nearby homes currently on the market, and the condition and location of your specific home. Request a neighborhood sold report and work with your agent to find the right listing price.

Step 4: Prep Your Home

Transform your home into a magazine-worthy model! The simplest and most effective methods to enhance its appearance are through cleaning and decluttering. Additionally, elevating your home involves neutralizing colors, eliminating personalized decorations, and incorporating subtle decor touches for that extra touch of sophistication.

Step 5: Market Your Home

The key to selling a home is in finding the right buyers, and that requires a lot of marketing and advertising. This is where working with a skilled agent can really pay off. Skilled listing agents are skilled marketers. They know where to find the best buyers for your home, and they have access to a wealth of resources, including online listing services, print advertising distribution, large social media followings, even local agent networks.

Step 6: Show Your Home

In addition to scheduled open houses, your home can be shown at any time, so be prepared. Keep it neat, clean, organized, and staged. Don't leave dirty dishes or laundry lying around, be sure to dust and vacuum regularly, and promptly address any potential clutter buildups. Additionally, you should be ready to clear out of the house during showings to avoid making buyers uncomfortable.

Step 7: Negotiate and Accept an Offer

A potential buyer presents a written offer, specifying price, mortgage amount, closing, and occupancy dates, along with contingencies. You can accept or negotiate terms. Negotiations might involve your contingencies, like a first right of refusal, making the offer contingent on your home purchase, or adding conditions for closing, occupancy, or buyer financing.

Step 8: Sign a Purchase and Sale Agreement

Once you and the buyer have agreed upon an offer, you will both sign a legal contract called a Purchase and Sale Agreement. This outlines the specific terms, conditions, and contingencies of the home sale.

Step 9: Cooperate with Inspections

Next, the buyer will hire an inspector to ensure that no major repairs will be needed after they buy the house. The inspector will go through every inch of the house, paying particular attention to the roof, basement, heating and cooling systems, structure, plumbing, and electrical. If the inspector finds any needed repairs, the buyer can negotiate for the costs of the repairs.

Step 10: Enter Escrow

Next, you will enter escrow, which is a sort of limbo period between selling your home and receiving the money. You may remember this step from buying your home, though rather than putting money down, your role is now to hold up your end of the agreement. During this time, you and your agent will work with an escrow company to complete paperwork and ensure that all parts of the contract are complete.

Step 11: Sign, Pay, and Close!

On a predetermined closing date, you and your buyer will sit down with your agents to sign all the paperwork and pay all your fees. You will relinquish your keys and your property title, and you will receive a check for the remaining balance after the remainder of your mortgage is paid to your bank. Congrats - you have sold your home!

Ready to Sell in DMV Area?

The first step is to contact us! From home staging and professional photographs to negotiations and closing paperwork, we're here to be your home selling guide, every step of the way! Call us today to learn more about how we can help you successfully list and sell your home in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland! Not quite ready to start selling? That's okay; we've got plenty of resources to help you learn more about selling a home!

DMV Area Home Seller Resources