Home Seller's Guide

Home Seller's Guide


Your Guide to Selling Your Home

Everything a Homeowner Needs to Know About Selling Their Home

Many life events warrant a new home. Maybe you’re expanding your family or aging parents are moving in, and you need more space. Perhaps you’re an empty nester with too much space. Whatever the reason, when it’s time to move, you want to sell your home for the best price possible in the shortest time. It’s a rewarding experience, but easier said than done.

Selling a home is a complicated process. You need to:

  • Find a trusted real estate company to sell your home.
  • Determine how much your home is worth.
  • Find the best home sale timelines.
  • Prepare your home to sell.
  • Negotiate contract with buyer.
  • Follow timelines in contract.
  • Navigate through inspections, appraisal, and title work.
  • Complete closing and hand over the keys!

It's easy to get overwhelmed!

When you’re selling your home, you want more than the final home sale. You also want a smooth process, proven tips for home marketing, and guidance that gives you confidence.

You can have all of that and more when you work with an outstanding real-estate agent and company with an extensive network of connections and all the resources you need to reach your ideal home buyer.



 

Want to Sell Your Home?

Click the link below to schedule a free consulation with one of our local agents today!

Schedule a Free Consultation



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A Complex Home Sale Process Makes for Big Challenges With Home Sellers

The home sale process can be complicated. Sellers face many challenges, such as:

  • Making costly repairs and upgrades before you can sell.
  • Negotiating a reasonable but profitable price.
  • Unexpected issues found during inspections.
  • Prepare your home to sell.
  • Confusing paperwork.
  • General stress.

When all you want is a fast and advantageous home sale, these obstacles can slow down the home sale process and increase your costs.

The home sale process is already complex without these unpleasant surprises. It would take a book to review all of the steps to selling a home, but here are the most significant ones you can expect to follow on your home selling journey:

  1. Choose a listing agent.
  2. Have your home’s worth evaluated.
  3. Prepare your home for showings.
  4. Market your home.
  5. Host showings.
  6. Review buyer offers and negotiate.
  7. Open escrow, and order a title policy.
  8. Receive a home inspection report and and negotiate repairs.
  9. Schedule move out.
  10. Sign the paperwork and close.

That’s a lot of home selling steps! And they become even more complex and time consuming when you try to navigate them on your own. You never know when you’ll run into a roadblock.

Working with a reputable real-estate company will keep you on track and make all of the steps to selling a home much more straightforward and successful.

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Benefits of a Home Sale: Using a Real-Estate Agent vs. For Sale By Owner

Selling a home isn’t easy, but some people try it themselves anyway because they believe there are benefits. Let’s look at the differences between the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) approach and working with a licensed real-estate agent/realtor.

Price

FSBO sellers often want to save a real-estate agent/realtor's cost, but usually spend more money out of pocket on things an agent could do with their existing resources. And studies show that homes sold by agents sell for more.

Timeline

A real-estate agent professional usually can sell faster because they are experienced and sell homes for a living. They can spend the whole workday seeking buyers. Few FSBO sellers have that kind of experience or time to devote to selling, so the process goes much slower.

Marketing

Real-estate agents use multi-listing services that get thousands of views for their homes. FSBO sellers must pay individual listing sites to market their homes.

Negotiations

Negotiating requires some understanding of real-estate law, local markets, and more. FSBO sellers must expend a lot of energy learning those things on the fly or just wing it in negotiations, and most fail at striking a good deal. Real-estate agents, however, come to the table with all of the necessary information to negotiate the best price and terms possible for their clients.


Legal help

Selling a home is a serious legal transaction. FSBO sellers without professional expertise risk a lawsuit if they miss important details in the paperwork or inadvertently do something wrong. Sellers who hire a real-estate agent can sign with confidence, knowing that a seasoned professional has reviewed everything for them.


For all the benefits of a home sale, it’s vital to enlist the help of a real-estate agent early on. A real-estate agent:

  • Expedites the home sale process.
  • Offers experience-based advice.
  • Has marketing tools and resources in place.
  • Has an established network.
  • Does most of the legwork of selling.
  • Keeps things legal.
  • Gets you the best return on investment.
  • Minimizes the stress of selling.

Working with a local agent who knows the market where you’re selling is especially beneficial. They will be best positioned to price your home accurately and competitively.

Want to Sell Your Home?

Click the link below to schedule a free consulation with one of our local agents today!

Schedule a Free Consultation

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Determine the Best Home Value Based on Home Inspection, Appraisal, and Repairs

Determining home value is an art, and many factors go into a home appraisal. One is the results of a home inspection.

Typically, the home buyer hires a home inspector to assess the home's condition and help them understand its value. But a seller can have a preemptive house inspection so that there are no surprises later. Hiring a home inspector yourself will:

You can optimize your home inspection by preparing for it with these tips:

  • Clean and declutter to make a good impression.
  • Make everything accessible by moving large items, unlocking doors, opening the attic, etc.
  • Empty sinks and appliances for testing.
  • Replace burnt-out light bulbs for better visibility.
  • Leave utilities connected and pilot lights on.
  • Provide repair records.
  • Warn the inspector of possible issues.
  • Plan to stay out of the way.

Wondering what an inspector looks for during a home inspection? A few things all inspectors will look for are:

  • A damaged electrical system
  • HVAC issues
  • Pest infestations
  • Plumbing problems
  • Roof damage or aging
  • Structural issues
  • Water damage

Fortunately, with a pre-listing home inspection, you can fix some of these issues before potential buyers even see your home. This saves a lot of headaches during your home appraisal.

The experts recommend several home improvement projects that increase home value. Before you list your home, consider completing a few of these:

  • Kitchen remodel
  • New front door
  • New fireplace
  • A finished basement or attic
  • New garage door
  • New attic insulation

Some home projects won’t help increase your home's value. A trusted real estate professional can help you evaluate potential return on investment of the following items:

  • Backyard patio.
  • Unnecessary bathroom.
  • Master bedroom addition.
  • Backup generator.
  • Home office.
  • Garage addition.
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Put Your Home for Sale on the Market With the Right Home Listing

Your home inspection is done, and your house looks great. It’s time to list it!

To sell your home, an experienced real-estate agent knows how best to market your home once it’s listed for sale. They will take complimentary photos and videos of your home to share in print, online, and on social media. They might create flyers. And of course, there’s the home-for-sale sign in the front yard. Whether you’re selling your lake home, a luxury home or your first home, the to-do list for marketing your home is lengthy and time-consuming.

While your realtor will do much of the marketing work, you can do your part too:

  • Spread the word to family and friends who might know a potential buyer.
  • Share your online home listing everywhere from Facebook to YouTube.
  • Keep your home clean and clutter free for showings.
  • Be prepared to leave during last-minute showings.
  • Keep making small repairs.

All of these things should be done in tandem with your real-estate agent. Meanwhile, they will be:

  • Posting your listing everywhere.
  • Creating and sharing social media content about your home.
  • Revising the listing description as needed.
  • Talking to the neighbors.
  • Sending out postcards and flyers.
  • Hosting showings and open houses.
  • Following up on buyers’ feedback.
  • Updating you weekly.

Want to Sell Your Home?

Click the link below to schedule a free consulation with one of our local agents today!

Schedule a Free Consultation


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Hosting an Open House to Show Your Home for Sale

Now that your home is listed, your realtor is talking about hosting an open house. But what is an open house, and how is it different from a home showing?

An open house is an event where the general public is invited to tour your listed home. They are hosted by the seller’s real-estate agent to generate interest in your home and attract buyers.

To attract a buyer, you need to make the most of your open house with proper preparation. Make your home look as appealing as possible by:

  • Decluttering. No one wants to see a messy house.
  • Cleaning. Likewise, no one wants to see a dirty house.
  • Boosting Curb Appeal. The first view of your home is outside. Spruce up your landscaping and clean or repair your home's exterior.
  • De-personalizing. Remove anything very personal like family photos and mementos. Potential buyers want to see a blank slate.
  • StagingYou, your agent, or a professional stager should style your home so that the furniture and decor enhance the house and make buyers feel positive about it.

Real-estate professionals debate the efficacy of open houses, but many still swear by them. As you discuss how to market your home with your realtor, consider an open house's pros and cons.

Pros include:

  • Promising buyers have a stress-free way to view your home without a realtor breathing down their neck.
  • It widens your buyer pool to include people who weren’t sure they were ready to buy—until they saw your amazing home!
  • It lets people see your neighborhood as well as your house.
  • Your agent can get instant feedback about your home as people comment on it.
  • Potential buyers who don’t have their own real-estate agent might like yours and be willing to share your agent.

And then there are the cons:

  • You’ll have several strangers in your home who may not be supervised at all times.
  • It can be a lot of work with uncertain results.
  • More and more serious buyers are looking at homes online first instead of in person.

If an open house doesn’t sound right for you, consider deferred or delayed showings. This is where your agent delays showing the house for some time after listing it. The theory behind this is that the delay builds interest and weeds out casual buyers. However, if you go this route, you’ll need to keep your home in great shape and be prepared to leave fast when someone wants to see your house!

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Negotiating Home Offers When Selling a House

Perhaps one of the most dreaded stages of selling a house is negotiations.

It’s hard to know how things are going to go when home offers start coming in. Here are some common scenarios and how to manage negotiations and counteroffers:

An offer is lower than your asking price.

You can counter with your original asking price, compromise with an amount between your asking price and their offer, or hold to your asking price, but sweeten the deal with other concessions.

Pro tip: Respond to unreasonably low offers with your original price to keep communication open.


The buyer asks you to cover all or some of the closing costs.

You can agree to make the deal go through. You can raise the price and cover the costs so that you still get the original sale price. Or simply reject their request. Your decision should hinge on whether they can afford to buy if you do not cover those costs.

Pro tip: Raise the price to cover the closing costs so that the buyer can finance the expense and you break even.


Multiple offers come in.

You can keep it simple and negotiate with only the top offer or start a bidding war. While the last sounds exciting, you might lose some offers.

Pro tip: Compare every detail of each offer. While one offer might have a better sale price, another may offer to pay for closing costs and be worth more.


The buyer asks for a home fixture that you wanted.

Your options are to specify which items stay and which ones go with you in your purchase agreement or offer to swap the desired item for another fixture of equal value.

Pro tip: Avoid this situation by removing anything you want before showing the house.


You receive a long list of repair requests.

Here, offer a home warranty to cover home repairs and maintenance or give the buyer money for the repairs.

Pro tip: Don’t waste time fighting this, and be gracious about paying for the repairs.


If all of that sounds complicated, you’d be right. And those are straightforward situations. Consider challenging home sales after a death or during a divorce. No matter the circumstances, an expert real-estate agent will negotiate the best price and terms for you.

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Home Closing Process for Sellers

Finally, you’re at the finish line. It’s time for your home closing. Here’s what to expect.

A home closing is when money and documents are transferred and the new owner takes control of the seller’s house. These actions take place in the office of the escrowee, usually the title insurance company that insures the buyer’s title. The buyer certainly will be there, but the seller often can pre-sign the documents.

But before you sign everything, a few things happen:

  1. Your closing agent will order a title search to ensure no claims or judgments against the property will prevent its sale.
  2. Next, a home inspection will need to be completed.
  3. A lender appraisal should be received if the buyer is borrowing money.
  4. Then, the final walkthrough takes place.
  5. And lastly, the deed and receive payment need to be signed over.

During these steps, your responsibilities as the seller are to:

  • Remove your belongings.
  • Make agreed-to repairs.
  • Clean the home.
  • Pay your share of closing costs, usually between 1 and 7% unless negotiated otherwise.

If there are additional requirements on your part, your realtor will let you know.

Want to Sell Your Home?

Click the link below to schedule a free consulation with one of our local agents today!

Schedule a Free Consultation


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What to Look for When Hiring a Realtor to Sell Your House

By now, you understand the importance of hiring a realtor, but how do you do so?

First of all, some terms you need to know:

  • A seller’s agent is the agent who sells your home.
  • A buyer’s agent is the agent helping a buyer find and buy a home.
  • A selling agent is a buyer’s agent who has “sold” the house by bringing in the buyer.

If you are selling your home, you want a seller’s agent. You can find one through referrals from acquaintances or an online search. But to narrow down your choices and pick the perfect seller’s agent for your home sale, ask them these questions:

  • Do you specialize in the neighborhoods I like?
  • How many clients are you representing right now?
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • How many sales did you close last year?
  • Do I work with you or a colleague?
  • How much do you charge, and what’s included in your fee?
  • How will we communicate?
  • Can you provide references?
  • Can you also help me find a home to buy?

The home sale process is unpredictable, so go into it with reasonable expectations. For instance, understand that a portion of the final sale price won’t be yours.

A 6% commission on the final sale price, is split between the seller and buyer brokerages. Additionally, you’ll likely pay another 2% towards closing costs.

If these costs make you want to sell your house yourself, remember all the valuable benefits of hiring a professional realtor. Despite the small commission they get, you’ll still come out with more after the expense of hiring a real-estate agent.

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Why Choose McGraw Realtors to Sell Your Home

McGraw Realtors is the largest independent real-estate company in Northwest Oklahoma. For over 80 years, we have helped Oklahoma and Arkansas homeowners sell their homes for the best price possible.

As a full-service brokerage, McGraw Realtors understands all of the ins and outs of Oklahoma real estate and Arkansas real estate. Whatever home sale challenges you face, we have the solutions. We combine innovative technology with our decades of experience to make the home sale process simple for sellers. With our network of industry professionals and deft negotiation skills, we find you the right buyer for the right price fast.

McGraw Realtors is passionate about developing our agents to serve you better. Our knowledgeable realtors know everything about real-estate marketing, pricing, negotiating, and more and will meet all of your real-estate needs.

When you start the exciting but overwhelming home sale process, we are there for you from the initial appraisal until closing and beyond.

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Sell Your Home With Confidence

No one goes into the home sale process with trepidation when they’re working with McGraw Realtors. Our experience and proven results give our clients confidence as we sell their home together.

Whether you’re looking for the best price possible, a smooth process, fast sale, or all of the above, McGraw Realtors knows how to market and negotiate your home sale expertly to get what you want with little hassle.

To get started on your home selling journey, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, and get a comparative market analysis for your home and neighborhood.

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What Steps Should You Take
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