Selling A Home

First of all, recognize that every market is different. Your home may be worth more or less than what it was when you bought it. Pricing is crucial to a successful sale.  Be realistic based on the market you are in.  If you overvalue the house from the start, you will end up “chasing” the market down, often times ending up with a listing that never sold.  Price it right from the start!


The first impression – Check the condition of the paint on the exterior of your home, especially trim and the front door.  The first impression, or ‘curb appeal’ is very important.

  • Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans and garbage from the exterior of your house.
  • Check gutters and roof for dry rot and moss.  Make sure they are swept and clean.
  • Prune bushes and trees.  Consider cutting them back if they are blocking windows, doors, walkways or entryways.  “You can’t sell a house if you can’t see it!”
  • Remove dead plants, weed all planting areas and put down fresh mulch.
  • Keep your lawn cut, edged and fertilized during the growing season.
  • Clear patios, decks and porches of all clutter.


Make the house shine – Follow these small, simple, inexpensive yet effective tips.

  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • De-clutter and remove all personal items (pictures, refrigerator magnets, drawings, etc).
  • Pressure wash the sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean cobwebs.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
  • Replace worn carpeting and remove throw rugs (they can make a room appear cluttered and small).
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
  • Consider a fresh coat of neutral paint on the walls.
  • Hang fresh towels and fold them neatly.  Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.
  • On the days when the house is being shown make sure to vacuum, polish chrome, faucets and mirrors, shine floors and dust.
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. If a buyer walks up to your door and smells an odor they don’t like, they’ll turn around and walk right back out.


Consider getting an appraisal The trouble with setting the price of your house yourself is that there is always the risk that you might overprice it. It is the emotional attachment that you have to the house that makes you think it’s worth more than it actually is. Unless you are able to separate your sentiments from the house, then you should find a professional to appraise your property and give you an unbiased opinion of how much it is worth exactly.

Get your home inspected Hire a licensed professional home inspector.  This simple yet effective tool can give you insight on some minor repairs you can make to help “boost” the value of your home.

  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls.
  • Fix leaky faucets.
  • Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.


Putting your home on the Market – Now that you’re ready to put you home on the market, it’s time to find an agent you’re comfortable with and can connect with.  Your agent will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis to help you determine the best selling price based on the market you are in at that time.  Understand your price and ask questions of your agent.

Work with your agent to devise an effective marketing plan.  What types of marketing will your agent do?

  • Print and news media.
  • Online presence (What websites do they syndicate to?)
  • Single Property Website
  • Virtual Tour
  • Yard signs
  • Mailings
  • Broker’s Open Houses
  • Public Open Houses


The Offer Your real estate professional will present all offers to you and help you to negotiate and understand each offer.  Once you’ve accepted an offer, be sure your attorney gets a copy of your Purchase and Sales Agreement and all supporting documentation.  Your attorney and your real estate professional will work together to make sure all deadlines (appraisals, inspections, mortgage contingencies, title search, etc.) are met.

It might seem as though once a sales agreement has been signed that the selling process is complete. Not only is it not over yet, but some of the most complex aspects of a real estate transaction now begin.

A sales agreement sets not only a purchase price for the home, but also a series of terms and conditions. For instance:

  • Contracts routinely depend on the ability of a buyer to obtain financing, which is why most sellers prefer buyers with preapproval letters from lenders.
  • A growing percentage of transactions involve a home inspection, or a physical review of the home by a trained and independent observer.
  • Lenders will establish numerous conditions before granting a loan. They will want a title exam, title insurance to protect against title errors, termite inspections, and an appraisal to assure that the home has sufficient value to secure the loan.


The Closing –  Now, you’re sitting at the closing table.  What happens?  This is a meeting where the closing agent or attorney takes in money from the buyers, pays out money to the owner and makes sure that the purchaser’s title is properly recorded in local records along with any mortgage liens.

The closing agent reviews the sales agreement to determine what payments and credits the owner should receive and what amounts are due from the buyer. The closing agent also assures that certain transaction costs are paid (taxes and title searches).

Closing is also the time when “adjustments” will be made. For instance, suppose you’ve pre-paid taxes four months in advance. In this case, the closing agent will compensate you for the prepayment at closing by having the buyer pay you additional money.

It could also work in reverse. If you are behind on property taxes, the closing agent will reduce the money due to you at settlement by the amount of the unpaid taxes.

The closing agent or attorney will be sure all monies are properly adjusted and disbursed and that all documents are properly recorded in the county or town land records.

Congratulations on a successful sale!