Sellers June 27, 2024

The Home-Selling Timeline & Our Tips for Success

If you’re thinking of selling your home, it helps to have a timeline in mind with the key steps involved. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the process, detailed information can help you plan ahead and manage your expectations. Below, you’ll find a helpful timeline, and we’ve included our top tips to ensure a successful outcome. Whether you’re selling to buy your dream home, getting ready to downsize, or starting a new chapter of your life, we’re here to streamline the process.

Starting the Selling Process

Find a highly-rated, local listing agent: A highly rated, local agent makes a huge difference. A local agent will not only know your local real estate market well, but they’ll also be able to properly price your home, utilize excellent local vendors, and have an extensive network for preparing and marketing your home. Online reviews or word-of-mouth recommendations are helpful. But it’s also important to think about the qualities you’d like in your agent.

Preparing Your Home For Market

Make renovations/repairs: Your agent will conduct a Comparative Market Analysis to assess your home’s worth. A pre-listing inspection can also really help. From there, you can decide based on which projects are necessary and/or will increase your home’s resale value. Again, utilize your agent’s knowledge so that you can make data-informed decisions. This step in the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months, depending on what projects need to be completed to get your home ready for market. Contractors’ schedules and supply/demand are also factors. If you’re concerned about the cost involved in renovation/repairs, you may want to consider the Windermere Ready program. Through this program, you can access equity in your home before you sell (up to $100,000) to cover improvement costs. Doing so helps you sell for more, often in less time.

Pricing your home: Pricing your home correctly is crucial. Your agent will factor in comparable properties in your area and the current market. While there are many automated valuation models out there today, they can’t replace an agent’s expertise. Those tools are estimates and can provide a starting point, but a deeper dive into the data and the local, on-the-ground knowledge of an experienced real estate professional will be very advantageous.

Declutter/stage your space: Depending on the state of your home and its size, this can take anywhere from an hour to one week per room. Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves living in your home, so each room should be de-personalized with strategically placed items and furniture to make your home even more appealing, selling its best features. This is where professional staging can really enhance your home. While some opt out of having their home staged, research shows that even partially staged homes typically sell for more and in less time.

Listing and Showing Your Home

List your home: Once your home is ready, your agent will put the listing together. Excellent professional photography is one of the key components. Many listings also have drone shots, videography, and/or a virtual walkthrough. This process can take anywhere from one day to a few weeks, depending on the photographer/videographer’s availability, and your agent will also prepare signage, flyers, etc.

Showings/open houses: Expect showings to take 1 to 4+ weeks. Sometimes, showings may happen within the first couple of days after your home hits the market. Being flexible and allowing for multiple showings/open houses is really beneficial. If a seller only allows a few brief opportunities to see the home, it may sit on the market longer because buyers can’t easily view it in person.

Offers

Review offers: Unfortunately, no one can predict exactly how long this will take, how many offers you’ll get, or what kind of offers you’ll get (above asking price, all cash, multiple contingencies, etc.).  Review each offer carefully and discuss the pros and cons with your agent. Also, check out these negotiation tips when selling.

Accept an offer, and wait for the home inspection/appraisal: Once you accept an offer, there’s often a home inspection/appraisal process. The buyer’s lender will hire a professional appraiser to evaluate your home’s location, size, and condition. They will also look at sales of comparable listings to determine its appraised value. This ensures the buyer isn’t overpaying for the property and that you’re not underselling it. A home inspection involves an expert inspector who checks the roof, plumbing, foundation, HVAC, and other parts of the home. Their report can point out any problems requiring a buyer’s attention and can be used in negotiations.

Closing and Moving

Close the deal: While closing times can vary, Realtor.com states, “A home seller should expect the whole process of selling a home to take about 30 to 45 days once an offer has been accepted.” Sometimes, the lender can hold up a deal, whereas an all-cash sale can close faster.

Move out: The average timeframe for moving out is 30 days. However, some home sellers will request more time. For additional information, view our Guide to Selling, which includes moving tips, information regarding the purchase and sale agreement, a glossary, and much more.