Selling a Home: The Process
Selling a home is a lengthy process that consists of several unique stages. We highly recommend that anyone who is planning to sell their home get familiar with each of the steps illustrated here. A description of each stage is available by clicking any of the boxes in the diagram.
The Selling Process
For most people, selling a home is the biggest financial decision they’ll make during their lifetime. Selling a home successfully requires not just one, but a series of many critical decisions, each of which builds on the decisions that preceded it. Some sellers make good decisions, while others struggle through the entire process. In general, making good decisions is based on thorough knowledge and years of experience: the kind of knowledge and experience that a typical seller is not likely to come by in a matter of weeks or even months.
Based on our experience and knowledge, we have outlined the process for selling a home so you may better understand what’s involved in the process. Our outline summarizes only the major stages in the home selling process. You should know there are many more small steps that vary based on an individual seller’s needs and goals, so we aren’t able to present them properly here.
Below you will find the summary of six major steps in selling your home, including the three major commitments you have to make in order to move through the selling process successfully.
Please call us at (408) 973-9805 or (650) 323-9805 if you have any questions about selling a home in our service area or have other real estate needs we may help you with. Your phone call to us could be the most important decision you’ll make when it comes to successfully selling your home.
S1 – First Stage: Information Gathering Stage
In this initial stage, you may have already decided to sell your Eichler home. Or, you may be still gathering information in order to make a sound decision that will work best for you.
During this stage, you are likely interested in learning more about the market conditions. Some of the most common questions asked include:
- Is it a sellers’ or a buyers’ market?
- What is the status of the economy and how are unemployment conditions affecting the real estate market?
- Are low mortgage rates easily available and will that impact how fast I might sell my home?
- Is real estate a seasonal market and what are the specific characteristics, challenges and opportunities in the market today?
Essentially, you want to know if now is a good time to sell your house or of you should wait until conditions improve.
When you are selling a home, you’ll find that some information is readily available and straightforward. However, some important information may not be readily available to the public or may be out of date, incomplete or inaccurate. As active, full-time real estate agents, we monitor MLS listings and other aspects of the real estate market constantly and can provide you with the information you need to make the decision that’s right for you.
Furthermore, real estate market conditions change constantly. Many cities and neighborhoods are made up of vastly different micro-markets. Therefore, we strongly suggest setting up a confidential consultation so that we may review with you the most recent and pertinent market information that applies to your specific neighborhood.
It’s also important to consider your own personal and financial situation when selling a home:
- Why do you want to sell your house?
- Are you and your family mentally ready to sell your home?
- What are your children’s school needs?
- Have you spoken with your financial and tax advisors?
- Do you want or need to sell your house before buying, or do you plan to buy another home first and then sell?
- What are your ultimate financial goals for the proceeds from the sale of your home?
It’s very important to address these types of questions so you’ll feel comfortable moving forward with the selling process.
Once you’ve gathered the necessary information and feel comfortable with your research, you can then proceed to the next step in selling a home: hiring a Real Estate Agent.
C1 – First Commitment: Hiring a Real Estate Agent (more specifically an Eichler Listing Agent)
Once you decide to sell your home, the next question you need to answer is whether you’ll hire a professional real estate agent who is fully experienced with the process of selling a home and fully knowledgeable in your neighborhood, or if you’ll try to sell the house on your own. This should be a relatively easy decision to make.
While we certainly understand that some sellers think they might save money by selling their home themselves, statistics show that home sellers without professional real estate agents usually end up leaving money on the table. Additionally, the process of selling your home can be emotionally and financially draining as well as time consuming and risky.
You should realize that selling a home involves making a series of what could turn out to be the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. In short, the sale of your home can have deep personal, emotional and financial consequences.
Sellers sometimes tend to underestimate the amount of exposure, advertising, marketing and networking, as well as market knowledge and negotiation skills that are required for selling a house. Trying to sell your house on your own is not much different than acting as your own lawyer. That’s why the sale of your home should be placed in the trusted hands of a professional, experienced Eichler Listing Agent who has a proven track record of success.
As the number one listing agent for Eichler homes in Santa Clara County, and the number one listing agent for homes in Santa Clara County that have sold for over $950K in 2008 and 2009, Nil Erdal’s primary focus has been representing sellers as their listing agent.
Every day we guide sellers through the initial decision-making process as well as the preparation and sales process. We recognize that every home seller is different. Based on your specific goals and needs, we take into consideration the current market conditions as well as your personal situation in order to decide together with you whether it is a favorable time to sell your house.
If you feel ready to take this step, call us for a complimentary consultation and Nil and her team will help you create a selling strategy that is right for you. Remember, we work for you. Our goal is to help you achieve optimum results when you sell your house. When you want the best, you want Nil Erdal and her team.
S2 – Second Stage: Preparation Stage
In the second stage of the selling process, steps are taken to prepare your home before officially putting it on the ‘MLS’ – the Multiple Listing Service.
This stage might include activities such as getting inspections done, cleaning, painting, repairs and improvements, as well as staging. As your listing agent, we will guide and direct most of the activities during this stage of selling your home.
We’ve teamed up with quality contractors and other service providers who smooth out the preparation process for you and help minimize the impact of preparing your home for sale on your daily life. Depending on your home’s needs and how much money, time and effort you are able to put forth during this stage, we will guide you in prioritizing the most critical steps we recommend to prepare your home to look its best for showing.
The activities that take place during this stage of selling your house are primarily driven by your goals. As your listing agent, we’ll customize a strategy that best suits your needs.
C2 – Second Commitment: Putting Your House on the Market
The second commitment you will make when selling your house is to actually decide on when to put your home on the market and set the price for the property listing. We help you make these decisions as part of your larger strategic plan, based on your specific needs and goals.
This stage of selling your house also includes deciding what terms of a potential offer would be most advantageous to you and making other decisions on some of the marketing aspects of selling your home, such as having a lock box, holding open houses, placing a for sale sign in the yard, etc.
S3 – Third Stage: Marketing Stage
The marketing stage of selling your home is one of the most vital parts of the selling process and is fully driven by us as your real estate professionals. It consists of organizing agent tours, open houses, preparing flyers and postcards, photographing your home, creating virtual tours and all newspaper and Internet advertising.
We focus our marketing plan on reaching as many potential buyers as possible and making it easy for buyers to find your home. Information on your property listing will be distributed to more than two dozen top real estate search web sites, including Realtor.com, Google, Yahoo, and mlslistings. (We’ll be happy to share the complete list of web sites with you.)
Property listings are also advertised on our web sites, www.nilerdal.com, www.erdalteam.com, www.paloaltoeichlers.com which attracts approximately 150 to 200 visitors every day. The information presented typically includes detailed information about your property, 8-12 pictures and a virtual tour (video) of your home.
C3 -Third Commitment: Signing a Contract
The third stage in the process of selling a home is followed by the third critical commitment: committing to a contract. As each offer is received, you’ll have to decide whether to accept, counter, or reject it. As your Eichler home listing agent, our experience, knowledge and negotiation skills combine to become a critical asset for you during this stage.
Having the right Eichler real estate team on your side could literally mean a gain of thousands of dollars or it could save you from losing thousands of dollars when you sell your house. It could also make the difference between days and months on the market. That’s why selecting the right listing agent is critical when selling your house. And that’s exactly why you’ll want Nil Erdal’s team on your side.
S4 – Fourth Stage: Pending State; Contingency Period
At the end of the process of selling a home, all the hard work and negotiations pay off and you accept an offer. Then, the contract typically goes into what is called the “pending” state.
During this time, if necessary, the buyer proceeds with further inspections and gathers more information about the house to make sure all the facts are known before the final commitment.
Once the buyer is satisfied with all the inspections and the lender is committed to financing the mortgage, the buyer removes any remaining contingencies and makes a final commitment to buying the house.
S5 – Fifth Stage: Pending State; Final Escrow Steps
Once the buyer removes the contingencies, you’ll be in the final phase of escrow. During this stage of selling your home, the title and escrow company, the buyer, buyer’s agent, and the lender each take active roles in making sure escrow closes successfully.
All of the formal documents required for the sale are prepared and signed for the recording of the change of title to the new owners. Our role as your Eichler listing agent in this stage is to coordinate the many activities and important dates, ensure that repairs, appraisals and re-inspections are done in a timely manner, and assist you with your moving plans.
S6 – Sixth Stage: Closing
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the process of selling a home and have successfully sold your house. This occurs when the funds are transferred from the lender to the escrow company and when we receive confirmation from the county that title has been officially recorded in the new owner’s name. At this time, you’ll receive the proceeds from the sale of your house.