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A Look Into the Home Selling Process: A Step-by-Step Overview

While there are many specific steps related to the home selling process we’ll walk you through an overview of the key milestones you should expect. Don’t let the process intimidate you. With the right team, getting your home sold should be a smooth, transparent process.

Find a Great Listing Agent

With thousands of active real estate agents in Portland, how do you know who to trust your home with? We recommend meeting with at least 2 agents before making your decision. Take a look at some of our key considerations listed below. 

Read their Reviews – Zillow and Google are great, quick first step for vetting agents.

Ask Great Questions:

  • What services do you offer to sellers?
  • Do you work with a team?
  • How do you communicate with your clients?
  • How will you market my home? 
  • What data/process did you use to determine your suggested list price?
  • How does list price affect the sale price?
  • Do you foresee any issues coming up with my property? If so, how would you address them?
  • How many clients do you serve simultaneously?

Go Through their Service List – In today’s real estate market, a comprehensive service and marketing plan is key for a speedy, top-dollar sale. Make sure your agent offers a comprehensive service list that includes items like professional photography and videography, drone multimedia, Matterport 3D Tour, database outreach, and professional staging services.

Beware of These Common Red Flags:

  • Quickly pushing an exclusive contract on you before a trusting relationship has been built 
  • Overpromising results (i.e. pricing your home high)
  • They come off as a salesperson, not a trusted service partner
  • Failing to maintain consistent, reliable communication
  • Not asking you about your goals and expectations
  • Real estate is a part time job for them
  • Unfamiliar with your neighborhood or property type
  • Just not a good personality fit

Understand Your Home’s Worth and Price it Right

A strategic list price is key for a successful sale. We recommend starting with a free home valuation and then setting up a consultation with a real estate agent to determine a more accurate price range. Just like an appraisal, understanding the true market value requires fully understanding your property. 

Pricing your home too low can drive much more buyer interest and activity, but may lead to less than desired results (i.e. low offers).

Pricing your home too high can lead to a stagnant listing. Overtime, activity lessens and can lead to price reductions that may not effectively drive demand. 

Currently, demand is at an all time high, leading buyers to search for homes above or below their price range. Buyers determine market value. The key is marketing your home in a way that drives the most demand so that when multiple offers come in, they will continue to compete with each other. 

Learn more about home valuations.

Agree on a Marketing Plan

Your property’s personalized marketing plan will include everything from how we’ll present your home to buyers (both virtually and in-person), pricing, and the best time to list your home.

As mentioned above, you want to select an agent with a comprehensive service portfolio. Here at Green Buck we offer a range of services and tailor them for each client. Our available services include but aren’t limited too:

  • Staging consultation and furniture rental
  • Pre-inspection report
  • List of qualified contractors
  • Professional photography and videography
  • Drone photography and videography
  • Matterport virtual tour (3D)
  • Custom landing page for your listing
  • Hosting open houses and private showings
  • Listing sent to Portland-area realtors
  • Listing sent to 20,000+ registered clients
  • “Coming Soon” sign and mailers for the neighborhood
  • Multi-channel social media promotion

Prepare your Home for Listing

Prior to listing, our agents take sellers through a thorough pre-listing home review and consultation. We want potential buyers to love and appreciate your home just as much as you did. Even if there are existing issues in the home, the sooner we know about them, the easier they are to manage during the selling process. This can range from addressing deferred maintenance (like unclogging gutters) to minor cosmetic fixes (touching up paint). 

Check out our full blog on how to prepare your home for sale – from pre-listing to buyer showings.

List Your Home

When your home officially hits the market, expect the showing appointments to start coming in quickly. Showings can be scheduled anywhere from days to hours in advance and typically last 30 minutes. Depending on your marketing plan, you may also have a couple open houses scheduled soon after listing. Our team follows up with the showing agents to see if their buyers have any helpful feedback on the property and to gauge the interest of buyers.

Review, Negotiate, and Accept an Offer

In today’s market, if your home is priced and marketed right, expect to receive at least a couple offers within the first week. It’s not uncommon to set an offer deadline on your property – requiring all offers to be submitted by a certain day and time. Offer deadlines can be complicated, but your agent should be able to communicate the pros/cons of implementation for your unique property.

Everything in a real estate transaction is negotiable. Our team members are trained in high-stakes negotiation and will ensure a fair sale and always represent your best interest. 

Open Escrow

Once an offer has been accepted, your agent’s Transaction Coordinator will open escrow. Escrow helps protect the seller and buyer throughout the selling process, ensuring funds (i.e. earnest money, funds to close, etc.) are held by a neutral third party. Escrow will stay open until all required documents are signed and funds change hands or the transaction is mutually terminated.

Home Inspection and Appraisal

Buyers are responsible for covering the cost of their inspection(s) and the appraisal and must complete them within the agreed upon date as stated in the sales agreement. 

Home inspections help give the buyer a complete look at the status of your home. The hired inspector will go through your entire home from roof to foundation. Additional inspections can be performed including radon testing, sewer scope, and mold inspection. Any issues or notes of concern in the inspection report can be leveraged to negotiate repairs or seller credits prior to closing. 

Appraisals are required for most home loans and serve as a professional assessment of your home’s fair market value. An appraiser will come out to your home to perform an inspection of the overall condition. They’ll also research comparable homes that recently sold in your area. One thing to note is that the appraiser is protecting the interest of the bank, not the buyer or seller.

Close the Deal

Once the inspection and appraisal period has closed and there are no further negotiations, we’re off to close. On the closing date, escrow will be complete. Simultaneously, funds and the title will be transferred. Pop the champagne!

The home selling process may seem daunting, but our team is here for you every step of the way to ensure a smooth process from the initial listing appointment to close of sale. Reach out to us with any further questions!

Michael Green & Tori Buck

Green Buck Real Estate