If you are hoping to enter the real estate game, whether buying or selling a property, you have a multi-faceted adventure ahead of you. The real estate industry is complex and ever-changing. Buyers must know how to navigate bidding wars, and sellers must face competition from their counterparts to come out on top. Add to the equation changing interest rates and economic uncertainties, and the whole process can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Thankfully, you don’t have to tackle the journey on your own — your expert agent will be by your side at every point. Read on for advice from McAlister Realty to achieve all your real estate goals.
The multi-step process of selling a home
From defining your goals and hiring a top local agent to home staging and negotiations, this journey will surely help you achieve a successful closing on your home sale.
1. Define your goals and set realistic expectations
Like all major undertakings, the process of selling a house is driven by a given set of goals or objectives. Whether you’re selling to upgrade to a new space, downsize to something more manageable, or move to a new city for an exciting new job, it’s important to stay focused on your goals.
2. Enlist the help of an expert
Working with a trusted local agent is one of the most important steps to selling your home. Their wealth of knowledge will help you through various stages of the process, including valuation, staging, marketing, showings, and negotiations.
3. Get the pricing right from the start
You must determine an appropriate listing price that will attract potential buyers while ensuring a solid return on investment. There are two ways to go about it. A comparative market analysis will examine similar homes sold within a specified period in the same area. The second method is a professional appraisal, which provides more accurate results. Either way, your trusted agent will help you devise a winning pricing strategy to generate interest in your listing.
4. Prepare your home for success on the market
Staging remains undefeated as the most effective way to bring in buyers; 21% of sellers' agents report that it greatly decreases the time a home sits on the market. The most common staging techniques are deep cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalization. Work with an experienced stager to bring your home to life. They will rearrange furniture and decor to create an alluring space with a neutral yet inviting atmosphere. The ultimate goal of staging is to allow your prospective buyers to envision the home as their own, which leads to offers.
5. Listing the home
This step involves uploading images of the home alongside compelling descriptions on the multiple listing service. Your agent will post your listing on online listing sites and the agent's website as well.
6. Showing the home
Once your home hits the market, interested buyers will reach out to arrange a showing. These events allow the buyer to get a live feel of the property and ask questions. Your agent will also host open houses for your property.
7. Negotiating the deal
During negotiations, both parties will present their positions and come up with a mutually agreeable figure that factors in various considerations, such as market value and contingencies. Your agent will guide you through negotiations, helping you determine how to respond to each one. They will help you evaluate which offer best fits your goals. After your buyer conducts a home inspection, your agent will also help you negotiate if the buyer asks for repairs or other concessions.
8. The closing process
The closing process involves the buyer, seller, lender, escrow agent, title company representative, and real estate agent. At this point, all terms and conditions of the sale have been agreed upon, and a signed agreement is ready to be sent to the parties involved. Funds will be transferred, and a deed will be issued to the new owner.
The journey of buying a house
Like selling, home buying will require a strategic approach to ensure success. The following steps will provide guidance.
1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan
Pre-approval is a hard credit inquiry to determine how much a buyer can borrow based on their financial strength and credit history. This step is essential, as it saves time and energy by enabling buyers to focus on homes they can afford. It also increases the buyer's bargaining power and strengthens their offers.
2. Define your goals
Now that pre-approval is in place, and the budget has been set, it's time to think about your goals. These include the preferred features you’d like to see in your new home, such as the size and amenities. Other things to consider include proximity to workplaces, shopping centers, and schools.
3. Work with a real estate agent
A real estate agent will provide access to exclusive listings through their network of professionals. They can connect you with outstanding properties that align with your wish list and must-haves. In addition, their vast experience and expertise will be invaluable during negotiations, as they will know how to craft a strong offer.
4. Start house hunting
Guided by your agent, it’s time to start searching for homes that match your goals and lifestyle. Check online listing sites, attend open houses, and schedule private showings while narrowing down your top choices by price, location, size, and other features.
5. Make an offer
Once you’ve found the perfect home, you will submit a written offer that includes the price and any contingencies you’d like to include. Your agent will help you determine a fair and competitive price based on the features of the property and market conditions. Your offer will either be accepted, rejected, or countered by the seller.
6. Negotiating the deal
If the first offer is countered, the two parties will reevaluate the price based on numerous factors. Both sides may go back and forth several times as they negotiate the terms. Once an agreement is reached, the purchase agreement should be drafted to include all the terms and conditions of the sale. This includes the purchase price, financing details, and other conditions agreed upon by both parties.
7. Conduct a home inspection
Once you have identified a favorite and your offer is accepted, it is time to conduct a home inspection to ensure it is in the expected condition. A professional home inspector will assess the condition of the structure, foundation, roof, plumbing, heating systems, insulation, and wiring, among other things. They will draft a detailed inspection report indicating any areas of concern. Depending on the issues found, you may be able to request repairs or a lower price from the seller.
The closing process is the final step before officially owning your new home. The buyer will arrange for funding to cover the down payment and other closing costs, while the seller will prepare a deed with an assigned sale price. If the buyer is employing financing, a lender's mortgage representative will have to approve the financing terms.
Seek expert guidance for all your real estate needs
McAlister Realty is your go-to agency when buying or selling a home in Hill Country. This top-tier team of highly experienced agents is known for exceptional professionalism, dedication to helping their clients, and a commitment to success. Contact McAlister Realty today to get started.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock