A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent and this easy to follow guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for the best price possible.​​​​​​​

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Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better craft your offer. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your goal is to make a certain profit margin. Make sure you convey these needs to your Realtor® once you choose one so he or she can adjust your selling price accordingly.

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Step 2: Determine Selling Price

Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process. When you set a fair price in the beginning, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest, and underpricing leads to receiving less than what your home is worth. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to determine the right selling price for your home. An agent with experience can determine what other comparable homes are selling for, evaluate the current market, and may even suggest a home appraisal.

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Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, making any small repairs, and doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition.

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Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.

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Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is prequalified or pre-approved by a mortgage lender and that their offer is acceptable to you. If the offer is too low, you can make a counter-offer or offer other ways to bridge the gap, such as covering some or all of the closing costs, making repairs, adjusting the move-in date, or leaving some appliances or fixtures for the new buyer.

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Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once we deem the offer is acceptable, we will review the proposed contract to make sure it’s all in order and includes the necessary components such as deposit amount, down payment, financing, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, settlement date, and a list of fees and who will pay them. When both parties have agreed to the term, a final contract will be prepared by your agent.

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Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer and are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, you and the buyer must make a list of what needs to be done before closing. In some cases, your home may need to be formally inspected, surveyed, and appraised. In other cases, major or minor repairs will need to be made before the house can close. I will head up efforts to develop and execute this list, get each action item paid for by the correct party, and make sure everything is in order by the closing date. A few days before the closing date, we will call the company closing the transaction to make sure everything is ready to go. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to make arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession.

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Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. We will meet with the company closing the transaction to sign the final paperwork and go over any issues that have not yet been taken care of. During this time, you can also make plans with your Realtor® to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining and ensuring the new owner has instructions for all appliances that will remain in the home.

Congratulations!

Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.

Real Client Reviews
From the moment I was asked if I could be referred to Riley and his team there was no doubt they had the drive to take care of business! We were planning on this transition in our lives for a while but had not yet picked an agent to facilitate it. From the first conversation just about setting an appointment to look at our home to sell it was pretty clear this was gonna be a smooth ride. We looked at eve...

— Patrick L.

Real Client Reviews
Huge shout out to Riley White with The Gerdes Team of Long and Foster Real Estate Not only he was able to sell our condo in Annapolis in one day with multiple offers that we had to choose from for the record price that exceeded our expectations, but also helped us get our ultimate dream house, that checks every single thing we were looking for in a home. Riley attended every showing with us, providing us...

— Natalia L.

Real Client Reviews
Daniel was extremely helpful throughout the entire process. This was my first time purchasing a home and he taught me a lot about the end-to-end process. Any time I was interested in a home that we found online, he always made time for us to go see it the same day I requested. He'd even research similar houses close by and build them into a tour schedule so I could compare them easily. He worked many lat...

— Ryan C.

Real Client Reviews
Professional, honest and family-like experience dealing with Daniel Hebb from Gerdes Team! The entire process right from screening for homebuying, to scouting homes, to negotiating, to building the contract, home inspection and all the way to closing - Daniel was extremely resourceful and responsive. The process from start to end was as he had explained at our initial conversations, no surprises or devia...

— Vishal M.

Real Client Reviews
Would not have been able to purchase this home without Sebastian's help! I am military and bought sight unseen, which only made Sebastian's job more difficult but it was no problem for him. He is extremely easy to talk to, very friendly, and knows exactly what he's doing when it comes to the home buying process. I could not have bought a home from the west coast without his help and guidance. This is als...

— Mark V.

Real Client Reviews
Angela Krall was absolutely amazing! The best experience hands down. As a military family she understood the VA loan and connected us with a lender who understood the importance of us closing on time to make our offer competitive. Angela always responded promptly when we had questions or concerns. She truly listened to what we wanted in a home and didn't try to persuade us to compromise. Words can't expr...

— Jannie B.

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When it comes to "Team," the approach is very different from tradition. Within The Gerdes Team, each agent, their brand, their goals, their vision is equally as important as that of the Team Leader. We raise each other up, focusing on each of our strengths, values, and drive. Contact us today!