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Your Selling Timeline

Selling a home is tricky business. Your timeline could span a few weeks or a few months, depending on your market. But there are a few things you can do to sell your house as quickly as possible.

3 - 4 Months Before Selling Your House

Choose to Sell with a REALTOR® or on Your Own. Gather as much information as you can and get well acquainted with the selling process. Decide if you want to try to sell your house with or without the assistance of real estate agent. Weigh your options carefully; saving the expense of an agent's commission might not be the most economical choice in the long run. The amount of paperwork that comes with a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listing could hamper other areas of your move.

If you decide to go with an agent, do your research and pick the REALTOR® with whom you're most comfortable.

Price Your House. Take a look online, or walk around your neighborhood to get an idea of what your home may be worth. In specific areas, an agent can give you a market analysis for free to help with your pricing.

Get Your Documents in Order. Make sure you have your deed, title and survey before you place your house on the market.

2 - 3 Months Before Selling Your House

Get a Preemptive Home Inspection. Have a professional inspector walk-through your house. A pro will identify any majors repairs needed, which will speed up the selling process after the buyer inspects the home as well.

Make Improvements to Increase Value. Put in some extra time on your landscaping, and power wash your home's exterior to increase curb appeal. Clean carpets or refinish hardwood floors. Add a new coat of paint to rooms, making sure to paint with a neutral color. You might want to give your kitchen a facelift with new appliances. If you're not sure where to begin, a real estate agent can help prioritize any repairs or renovations.

Have a Yard Sale. When you start showing your house, you want to have it as clean as possible. A yard sale will help declutter your house, and help you organize your move. Whatever you can't get rid of, donate to charity.

1 – 2 Months Before Selling Your House

Develop a Marketing Plan. Even with the help of a REALTOR®, you might want to do some extra advertising. Create a brochure for your home, and have them at the ready for the open house.

Learn about Financing. Know as much as your buyer when it comes to the financing options available. Decide if you want to include a Home Warranty with your house. Learn how to negotiate and deal with offers, and do your research on contracts. You can find sample forms online.

Stage Your Home. You'll want to make your house appear as bright and spacious as possible. Stage your furniture to get the best effect from each room. You may also want to hire a staging professional for help in this area.

Final Weeks of the Sell

Negotiate. You may receive an offer that you immediately decline, or an offer that you accept immediately. But typically a buyer's initial offer is the beginning of a negotiation. You can issue a counter-offer, and negotiate with a potential buyer until you reach an agreeable price. Once a price is decided, you will enter into a contract and escrow will begin.

Accepting the Contract. Once you enter into a contract, you will be required to submit a Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS), which will be reviewed, signed and returned by the buyer. You will also have to give the buyer a statement of property insurability (a CLUE report).

After the Buyer's Inspection. You will be issued a form detailing repairs requested by the buyer. You can either agree to make these repairs before the close of escrow or allow these repairs to affect the price of the home. If the buyer is too aggressive with a repairs list, you can also choose to cancel the contract.

Delivery of Title Commitment. The title company will issue a Title Commitment for review by both buyer and seller. Read over the commitment carefully and note anything unusual.

Closing. In these last days you will complete a final walk-through and deliver repair receipts to the buyer (or buyer's agent). Next, the buyer and seller will sign the necessary documents to transfer the property. Finally, you should transfer all keys and appliance or security system documentation to the new owners.

You don't want to be left in limbo once the sale is completed. What happens if your new home is not ready at the time you sell your previous house? You should also create a home buying timeline and moving timeline. Let Lowe's give you some suggestions.

A REALTOR® identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.

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