9 Steps to Selling your Home

There’s a lot that goes into selling a home.  From preparation to marketing, from negotiations to appraisals.  Not only can it be a lot of work, it can cause a lot of stress.  Here’s a quick look at what’s involved.  No two real estate transactions are alike, but in one way or another, all the following items will be involved.

1-Hire a Real Estate Professional            

Before you do anything hire a Realtor.  Choose someone with good references and experience in your area.  They should be able to give you an idea of a price range you could sell your home for in the specific market you are in.  With the help of the Realtor you can make the choices on upgrades and repairs that will maximize your sales price while minimizing your expenditures.  The Realtor may ask you to sign a contract at this point, especially if they provide pre-listing services at no-cost to you.

2-Meet with stager

Don’t over think meeting with the stager.  Many people will remove all the pictures from their walls, move furniture around, etc.  Leave everything as is.  The stager may still have you take things down and move them around, but they can also see what they have to work with in staging the property.  The stager will give you a list of things to do in each room of your home to help its appeal.

3-Repair, Re-paint, Clean, Organize, Stage

With the lists of to-dos from your Realtor and the stager now is the time to get to work.  Many clients will tackle these items or a portion of the lists themselves.  Let you agent help you find the contractors you need to finish up the items you can’t DIY.

4-Pricing and the Marketing Plan

Now that you have the place looking it’s best.  Your Realtor will go over comparable properties like yours to help determine the market price of your home.  They should also give you a calendar of when you can expect the photographers to come take pictures and video, when the sign will go in, when social media marketing will begin, when the home will hit MLS, and when you can expect showings.  This is about the time where you will fill out paperwork for the listing.  Part of this paperwork are the property disclosures.  Disclose everything you know about the property.  It will help both in the negotiating process and avoid any problems after the sale.

5-Showings Begin

Depending on the type of market you are currently in, you may just want to leave town for the weekend, or you may expect showings on and off for the next few months.  Know how the home should be prepared for showings by working with your realtor.  Be prepared to show your home with little notice.  The more available you can make the home the sooner it will sell.  Remember this is a team effort and you need to do your part in keeping the place clean, good curb appeal, letting your Realtor know when you are running low on brochures, or other items you believe need their attention.

6-Review Offers

You may get one offer after months on the market, or you may get twenty after days on the market.  Depending on the length of time your home has been listed, the feedback you have received, and your own personal time-frame, you will have a good feel on how to respond to the specifics of the offer you receive.  It’s normal for there to be some back and forth before there’s final agreement from both parties.  What most sellers look for in an offer are a good price, a closing date that works for them, few contingencies, and a good strong buyer (financially speaking).

7-Inspection, Appraisal, Underwriting

Between offer and closing there are any number of issues that may come up that need to be negotiated between buyer and seller.  The most common of course is negotiating any repairs that the buyer asks for after the inspection.  Sometimes the appraisal comes in under the negotiated sales price and the buyer and seller need to resolve how that will be handled.  And more times than not, the underwriters want something completely out of left field to finalize the loan.  Let your Realtor guide you through the process no matter what comes up.  And, have them keep you up to date on the progress of the buyer’s financing.  That’s why you hired them, and it will save you a lot of worry and stress.  Most times every problem can be worked through if all the parties cooperate and want to get the deal done.


There’s a lot to do before closing.  For instance, you must figure out how to get all your furniture, clothes, pets and other items from the old house to the new.  You may even have to figure out where to park them while you’re at closing.  All utilities need to be taken out of your name at one place and put into your name at the other.  There are items the buyers have asked to be repaired or replaced that need to be addressed.  While you’re doing all this your buyers will want to do a final walkthrough to make sure the home is as it was when they saw it the first time and that inspection items have been addressed.  If you need a list of companies that can assist with the moving, cleaning and repairs ask your Realtor for references.


This should be the easy part.  Sometimes there’s some tension as funds may not have arrived on time.  But for the most part you sign papers, hand over keys, shake hands, and get a large folder with paperwork and a check.  Now it’s time to celebrate.

For a complete, professional marketing plan and analysis of your home, contact Minneapolis area Realtor Dan Kokesh.