- Define your goals for the next 5-10 years.
- Weigh the pros and cons of selling your house.
- Figure out if you can afford to sell, move and buy a new home.
- Calculate your home equity.
- Research the local housing market.
- Consider remodeling the home to fit your needs.
- Weigh the pros and cons of renting out your home.
Advertise and Market the Home.
- MLS listings – “For Sale” signs – Classified sections of local newspapers
- Real estate publications
- Put ads on free Web sites like craigslist.com.
- Create your own Web site to promote your home.
- Email notices or flyers about your home to real estate agents, friends, family, coworkers, everyone.
- Use photos to showcase your home. Hire a professional real estate photographer or learn how to take great pictures yourself.
- Use a handheld video camera to give online buyers a virtual tour of your home, by walking through each room and talking about its features.
Prepare and Stage the Home.
- Have a yard sale. Sell, donate or trash everything you don’t need.
- Make necessary repairs.
- Make improvements to increase your curb appeal, i.e. the home’s external attractiveness when viewed from the street.
- Hire a professional home stager or research staging tips.
- Declutter, depersonalize and decorate every room and outdoor areas so buyers can imagine themselves living in the home.
- Paint interior rooms neutral colors.
- Replace outdated lighting fixtures and window treatments.
Get Through Escrow.
- Create a formal plan for handling home repairs, including when they should be made and who pays for them.
- Clean and prepare the home for the appraisal and home inspections.
- Choose an escrow officer who will order a title search, request payoff information for your mortgage and other liens on the home, prepare and record documents, hold and disburse funds and prepare closing statements. Prepare for the final walk-through inspection.
- Sign the closing documents and move out of your home.
- Keep copies of your documents for reporting the sale on federal and state tax forms.