- Do your research.
Read as much as you can about the ins-and-outs of real estate transactions. Become familiar with the language and process, then gather everything you will need for the home sale closing, including disclosures, insurance documents, copies of property records and legal documents.
- Assemble a team.
You don't need a real estate agent to sell your home, but you should enlist the services of a real estate attorney to seal the deal legally. You'll also need a title company and possibly an appraiser.
- Get your house sale-ready.
Look at your home with a critical eye, considering functional issues, cosmetic problems and things you just can't fix. Correct the first two before placing a "For Sale" sign in the yard, then deal with the third through your home's pricing.
Increase curb appeal by planting flowers and cutting the lawn, depersonalize the interior with neutral colors and make sure your house is cosmetically clean. Stage your home by clearing away clutter and creating crisp, clean interiors.
- Price your home.
Sell your home faster by pricing effectively. Asking for too much scares off buyers and lets your home get stale sitting on the market. Determine the right price by checking out recent neighborhood sales, attending open houses and doing an Internet search. If you are really stumped, hire an appraiser. There are also several free services such as Zillow's Zestimate that can get you started.
- Market your house.
Snap great photos of your house, write an enticing listing, then post them on every online avenue you can. Spread the word on social networking sites, but don't overlook traditional outlets like the local newspaper.
- Ace the negotiation stage.
Be prepared to play the offer-counteroffer dance. Justify a strong bottom-line with plenty of research, and if haggling makes you feel squeamish, hire a real estate attorney.
- Close the deal.
Your real estate attorney can also help with this step. Come to the closing table with all the paperwork required by state and federal law, and be prepared for delays and snafus along the way. A title company can also handle all the last-minute details and make the process run smoothly.
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