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A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent and this easy to follow guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for the best price possible.​​​​​​​


Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better craft your offer. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your goal is to make a certain profit margin. Make sure you convey these needs to your REALTOR once you choose one so he or she can adjust your selling price accordingly.


Step 2: Find a Real Estate Agent

Commit to your real estate agent. As your agent. I will provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) which will consist of properties currently on the market, those recently sold and closed, and those in contract. All apartments used in this comparison should be comparable to yours in terms of location, size and type (co-op, condo or townhouse). This is the basis for your pricing strategy.


Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, making any small repairs, and doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition.


Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.


Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is pre-approved by a mortgage lender and that their offer is acceptable to you. If the offer is too low, you can make a counter-offer or offer other ways to bridge the gap, such as covering some or all of the closing costs, making repairs, adjusting the move-in date, or leaving some appliances or fixtures for the new buyer.


Step 6: Accept an Offer

All property transactions in New York City require a real estate attorney. I can assist you in finding experienced attorneys. Once negotiations are complete, the seller’s attorney will begin preparing a contract of sale during which time your attorney will begin his/her due diligence. Your attorney will review the contract, read the co-op or condo’s financial statements and by-laws, review the building’s offering plan, read the board meeting minutes, etc.

Once your attorney feels comfortable with his/her findings, you will be invited to sign the contract and submit a deposit of 10% of the purchase price. The contract is then forwarded to the seller for signature. The 10% deposit is held in the seller’s attorney’s escrow account until closing.


Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer and are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, you and the buyer must make a list of what needs to be done before closing. In some cases, your home may need to be formally inspected, surveyed, and appraised. In other cases, major or minor repairs will need to be made before the house can close. I will head up efforts to develop and execute this list, get each action item paid for by the correct party, and make sure everything is in order by the closing date. A few days before the closing date, we will call the company closing the transaction to make sure everything is ready to go. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to make arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession.


Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. The Managing Agents, banks, attorneys, buyers and sellers will all work to coordinate a time and place for the closing. Generally, if all parties are ready to close, a closing can be scheduled within two to three weeks of board approval, if not sooner. During this time, you can also make plans to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining and ensuring the new owner has instructions for all appliances that will remain in the home.


Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.


See why my clients love working with me.
Alexandrea R.

Alexandrea R.

Marga is diligent, professional, patient, and personable as a buyer's agent, she made the home search process pain-free. She was very attentive to my asks, strategic in finding high-quality options (and scheduling viewings!) in...
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