Every home sale is different, but in general, most home sales happen in four stages. Knowing these various stages and what to expect can help home sellers throughout the home purchasing process. Going into the process with open eyes can reduce stress and make the process more enjoyable. If you're a homeowner who would like to sell your home, here's what you need to know.
Home Staging and Improvement
Often before listing a home for sale, homeowners will make small home improvements to make their home more appealing to buyers. Some homeowners stage their home, some make home improvements.
Home staging involves improving the appearance of the home through decor, upgrades and intense cleaning. Home improvements are often made specifically to impress home buyers, and thus they often involve a combination of remodeling and upgrading appliances to ensure the home has the latest features. Staging and preparing the home can take many months.
Listing the Home
Once the homeowner has made improvements and they're ready to sell, they usually proceed by contacting a real estate professional. The real estate professional evaluates comparable homes in the community and then helps the homeowner list with the correct market price.
Next, the real estate professional crafts the listing. When the home is listed for sale online, the listing typically includes photographs, price and a general description of the property. After listing the home, buyers make arrangements to view the home. The real estate agent usually continues to market the home until a buyer makes an offer.
The purchase offer is a contract that includes the price of the home, the condition of the property, the buyer's financial information and details about the escrow period. Sometimes a seller will accept a buyer's offer without negotiating any details, but often the seller will attempt to negotiate changes to price or other details. This a crucial part of the home selling experience, so it's helpful to have an experienced real estate agent assist with negotiating the deal.
The escrow period is the period that begins as soon as the purchase offer has been accepted by both parties. It's at this point that the buyer writes a check for "earnest money." Earnest money is a deposit that is held in an escrow account until the home buying process is finalized. If the home buyer backs out of the purchase without cause or reason not laid out in the contract, the earnest money may be given to the seller. When the home sale is finalized, the earnest money becomes a part of the down payment.
During the escrow period, the seller packs and gets ready to leave their home. Montgomery new home buyers may also take the time to inspect the home and request the home seller make home improvements as needed. The escrow period typically lasts for a month, though it can take longer. Unless the home purchase is canceled by one of the parties, escrow ends when the house has been purchased and the contract to purchase closes.
Contact Your Real Estate Professional
If you're a homeowner who would like to sell your home soon, contact a real estate professional. Your real estate professional can help you through the home selling process by suggesting a competitive home price, negotiating the home sale and by walking you through the sale process. For more information, contact a real estate agent today.