Ryan's Chico Real Estate Blog


Ryan's 8 Steps to Selling Your Home

Over the years I have put together a few tips for my sellers. Here are the top 8 steps to selling your home. Starting with what you need and why, and ending with closing. The more informed a seller is the better I can help them get to their next home.

  1. Define your needs. Write down all the reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, "Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?" For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. For your goals, write down if you'd like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. Work with your real estate agent to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.

  2. Name your price. Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. You will need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area. It's often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so your real estate agent's expertise is invaluable at this step. Your agent will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done. This typically costs a few hundred dollars. Remember: You're always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.

  3. Prepare your home. Most of us don't keep our homes in "showroom" condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. It's time to break out of that owner's mindset and get your house in tip-top shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important. Your real estate agent can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers.
    • A home with too much "personality" is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized decor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs.
    • Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer's first impression.
    • Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed all knick-knacks from your shelves and cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.

  4. Get the word out. Now that you're ready to sell, your real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including:
    • The Internet
    • Yard signs
    • Open houses
    • Media advertising
    • Agent-to-agent referrals
    • Direct mail marketing campaigns
    In addition to listing your home on the MLS, your agent will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. Your agent should structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest.

  5. Receive an offer. When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then you and your agent will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:
    • Legal description of the property
    • Offer price
    • Down payment
    • Financing arrangements
    • List of fees and who will pay them
    • Deposit amount
    • Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
    • Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing
    • Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home
    • Settlement date
    • Contingencies
    At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with your real estate agent right away.

  6. Negotiate to sell. Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Your real estate agent is well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Your agent also knows what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items:
    • Price
    • Financing
    • Closing costs
    • Repairs
    • Appliances and fixtures
    • Landscaping
    • Painting
    • Move-in date
    Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, your agent will prepare a contract.

  7. Prepare to close. Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Your real estate agent can spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer's agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing. Important reminder: A few days before the closing, you will want to contact the entity that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date. Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so.

  8. Close the deal. "Closing" refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. Your agent will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, he or she can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. In some states, an attorney is required and you may wish to have one present. After the closing, you should make a "to do" list for turning the property over to the new owners. Here is a checklist to get you started.
    • Cancel electricity, gas, lawn care, cable and other routine services.
    • If the new owner is retaining any of the services, change the name on the account.
    • Gather owner's manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances.

Take a look at my latest market report

Currently Ryan has about 15 listings in inventory, and will have sold over 15 homes so far in 2008. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions about Chico area real estate.

Interested in learning more about the Chico area or Ryan
Vaught Properties: Chico Income Property
Chico Condos: Chico Condo Sales
Ryan Vaught: Ryan's Residential website

Ryan Vaught, Realtor
Keller Williams Chico CA
Office Phone: (530) 343-2959

  • Ryan's Current Listings
  • Chico MLS Search
  • Today's New Listings
  • 16 Reasons to Choose Me
  • Why Ryan?
  • Commercial & Income Property

    © Ryan Vaught Real Estate
    RyanVaught.com | VaughtRealEstate.com | VaughtProperties.com | ChicoSolds.com | ChicoCondos.com | ChicoInvestmentProperty.com | ChicoHomesByRyan.com
  • 60 Glenview Way, Oroville $415,000
      3 Bedroom 2 Bath 1729 Sq. Ft.
      Beautifully maintained home. There are great features including a newer roof, HVAC, granite counter tops, granite around the fireplace, and new paint. This home is in great co...
    More Information on 60 Glenview Way
    10 Patrick Ct, Oroville $315,000
      4 Bedroom 2 Bath 1650 Sq. Ft.
      This beautiful contemporary home is located on a quiet cul-de-sac and in a wonderful neighborhood. Close to boating, hiking, and shopping. This home has lots of great upgrade...
    More Information on 10 Patrick Ct
    3249 Myers Street, Oroville $289,000
        2448 Sq. Ft.
      Investors crunch your numbers. This property consists of a triplex and single family home. Gross rents are about $2000 per month. Home has a newer roof, appliances, water heat...
    More Information on 3249 Myers Street
    1235 Neal Dow Ave, Chico $279,000
      2 Bedroom 1 Bath 1169 Sq. Ft.
      Cute beyond your wildest dreams! This home is full of charm and functionality. Oak hardwood floors, dual pane windows and a hot tub off the master, make this home quaint. Larg...
    More Information on 1235 Neal Dow Ave
    1459 Yosemite Dr, Chico $275,000
      3 Bedroom 2 Bath 1718 Sq. Ft.
      This newer home is in California Park features a large kitchen, seperate master bedroom, a sunken family room, and more! Come see this immaculate light and bright home.
    More Information on 1459 Yosemite Dr
    71 Melody Ln, Oroville $269,000
      3 Bedroom 2 Bath 1213 Sq. Ft.
      Home on 10 acres in beautiful Oroville! Home needs some TLC, but has many great features. Home features a dog run, detached shop, ceiling fans in most rooms, and a master bedr...
    More Information on 71 Melody Ln
    2520 El Paso Way, Chico $265,000
      3 Bedroom 2 Bath 1298 Sq. Ft.
      Charming updated home on a great lot! Features include tile flooring thoroughout home with granite tile in bathrooms, crown molding, pool, fireplace and a large garage. There ...
    More Information on 2520 El Paso Way
    2099 Hartford Dr, Chico $229,000
      3 Bedroom 2 Bath 1375 Sq. Ft.
      Newer and contemporary this cute condo is much bigger than most on the market. Built in 2005 it has all of today's amenities with a very affordable price. Close to Chico mall ...
    More Information on 2099 Hartford Dr
    417 Hickory St, Chico $200,000
      3 Bedroom 1 Bath 985 Sq. Ft.
      Great for investor or first time home buyer! Fenced yard with alley access, fresh paint inside and out. Zoned for second unit on large lot. This property is virtually never va...
    More Information on 417 Hickory St
    6276 Canella Dr, Orland $175,000
      3 Bedroom 1.75 Bath 1140 Sq. Ft.
      Quaint and charming home in a good neighborhood. This home has many practical features like a large backyard, quiet street, and there is extra parking for an RV.
    More Information on 6276 Canella Dr

    Comment balloon 4 commentsRyan Vaught • June 26 2008 11:18PM
    Ryan's 8 Steps to Selling Your Home
    Over the years I have put together a few tips for my sellers. Here are the top 8 steps to selling your home. Starting with what you need and why, and ending with closing. The more informed a seller is the better I can help them get to their next… more