1. Establish Your Market
Deciding when is the right time to sell your home is extremely important. There are a lot of personal & financial factors, yet one of the most important in terms of your largest investment is the current market. Is it a buyer’s market, or a seller’s market? What are homes around you selling for? What trends are hot for buyers that may increase your home’s value? You can use our free financial tools to get a great idea, but nothing beats the opinion of a professional agent.
2. Assess Home Condition
One you’ve learned more about what is going on in the St. Charles, St. Louis market, you can now compare your current home to other homes that have sold recently in your neighborhood, how they looked and what they sold for. Is your home ‘dated’? Are there any major issues or things that need repair?
[PRO TIP] While online articles out of NY and watching episodes of HGTV might be fun, these properties, and the design trends that dictate their value, won’t likely apply to you. St. Louis is often 5+ years behind these coastal markets.
3. Hire An Agent
Hiring an agent is truthfully one of the most important decisions you will make. If you’ve sold a home before, you understand this. Try not to fall into the trap of over-emphasizing flashy billboards & pie-in-the-sky sales numbers. Yes, you do want a successful agent and team- but you also want one that you can genuinely connect with and trust. Finding this combination of experience and professionalism can be difficult. Start by asking someone you already trust who’s familiar with this industry. You can also take this quiz learn what the ideal agent based on your personality and needs looks like.
4. Set Your Price
This one is tough, even for those of us who have many years of experience. The key is walk a fine line of getting the most money for your home, and evaluating the time it may be on the market. Historically, the longer a home is for sale, the amount of potential, interested buyers decreases significantly. While reducing the price while on the market can help overcome this, it opens you up to additional price negotiations and puts you on the defensive.
[PRO-TIP] Skip those inaccurate ‘Guesstimates’ on big-box sites. Try a more specific, personalized home evaluation calculator like this one.
5. Stage & Prepare Your Home
Once you have assessed the condition of your home and set the target asking price of your property, it’s time to take action. Work with your agent as to what fixes or improvements are necessary, what may increase your home’s value, and what would be a waste of money. Also make sure to discuss the presentation of the home, and what the agent’s game plan is for marketing the home sale.
6. Fill Out Paperwork
Possibly the least-enjoyable step when selling a home, it is a critical one. The process is driven by deadlines and national, state, and local regulations. A good realty team should walk you through this, but many great offers fall through simply because of issues with the paperwork and necessary requirements aren’t met on time. If you’d like us to send you our upcoming Checklist Article, subscribe to our Seller’s alerts here.
7. Get Your Home Listed
After initial paperwork, your agent will begin putting your home on MARIS, which is the Central MO and Saint Louis region’s MLS (multi-listing-service). Your agent will likely include your home on other aggregate websites to increase exposure.
[PRO-TIP] Want to fast-track the first six steps? Get your home to market in your pajamas. Complete this quick form and agents can remotely get your home listed in a matter of a few days.
8. Review Offers Received
Though this is the next step for you, there is some time, and a lot of work that your agent should be doing in the background. Things like promoting your home online and in your community, managing those deadlines we mentioned earlier, communicating with other agents, and coordinating open houses. When you have an open house, make sure to ask your agent to get on Real Estate Radio’s, Open House Segment which promotes open houses to hungry buyers & agents in the St. Louis area. If priced right, the offers should start pouring in.
9. Close the Deal
Reviewing offers with your agent is an exciting process, but there’s still work to do. This includes allowing an inspection, doing what repairs the buyer requests in the contract and moving out. This is when the home officially isn’t yours and you need to make it ready for the new residents (recent buyers) to move in, because it is now legally their house.