Seller’s Guide

Find the best real estate agents near you.

Find Home Value & Equity

After you decide to sell your home, one of the first home selling tips you should follow is to find the true value of your home in the current market.

Home prices have surged across the country in the last two years. In the first quarter of 2022, the median home sales price was $428,700, a 30% increase from 2020’s figure of $329,000. However, the growth in the housing market remains uneven, with some areas increasing and others remaining relatively static.

So follow this tip: If you want to sell your house fast, the first step is to price your property accordingly.

Begin by examining the selling prices of comparable homes in your area. What happens in a different neighborhood might be irrelevant. Focus your analysis as close to home as possible.

Next, look at the condition of your home and how many updates you’ve made. This could raise the value of your house. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent with in-depth knowledge of your area is important to ensure you don’t overprice or underprice your property.

Assess Your Home Equity

Another home selling tip is to review the equity you have in your home. Equity is how much of your home you have paid off. For example, if you put down a 20% payment on a home, you already have 20% home equity.

While there’s no requirement to hold equity in your home, more equity allows you to lower your home’s listing price and upsize to a larger home. U.S. homeowners today benefit from record home equity, averaging $300,000.

Leveraging your equity as part of your sale can enable you to put more money in your pocket.

Generally, most experts recommend holding at least 10% equity in your home before selling. However, if you’re upsizing, consider this tip and ensure a minimum of 15% equity to finance your move.

Estimate Costs and Profit

Is it even worth selling your home right now?

The last thing you want is to sell your home for less than you paid. Factoring in the closing costs, fees, and taxes involved in selling your home will tell you whether it’s a good idea to embark on the home selling process. Rates vary for every transaction, but as a seller, you can expect to pay 2% to 4% of the sale price in total costs, including your agent’s commission.

 

Are Zillow’s Zestimates Accurate?

There’s an innate curiosity that comes with seeing an estimated dollar value attached to our biggest asset. But for those truly looking to understand their home’s market worth, the pressing question becomes: is a Zestimate accurate? We’ve

Read more

9 Ways to Know: How Old Is My House?

Knowing the age of your house is an essential part of homeownership. You will need to know how old it is when you apply for homeowner’s insurance and will use the age to gauge when the property needs various repairs. The age of your house can also help you

Read more

Should I Sell My House in 2024? Why and Why Not

If you’ve been wondering if 2023 is a good year to sell a house, you have come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will examine the pros and cons of selling your house this year and address issues such as a potential recession and the best times to

Read more

Another one of the great tips for selling your home is around knowing the real estate market you’re about to get into. The market changes regularly, usually by season. Things can often go from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market somewhat quickly.

This can be impacted by lumber prices, inflation, and global pandemics. One local market might be seeing a surge in homes for sale while another is at an all-time low. Getting to know your market is important.

Real Estate Market Trends

Local Real Estate Market Knowledge

Start by looking at what is impacting the national market and see how close it gets to home. If supplies are limited and home builders are feeling the pinch nationwide, it’s likely there aren’t many homes being built near you. That can mean more home buyers are looking for existing homes instead of new builds.

Next, look at what is happening at a local level. Maybe your county is building a new school that everyone is excited about. Homes in that school district could see an increase in their selling price.

Ask an Agent

Real estate agents are the best people for giving home selling tips. It is part of their job to know what is happening in the real estate market they work in. If you want to know if it is the right time, when to list or changes to make before listing, get your selling tips for a top agent.

How is the Real Estate Market in Florida?

Increasing mortgage rates put pressure on the Florida housing market, but a growing population and beautiful weather preserve strong

Read more

What’s Happening in the Palm Springs Housing Market?

Palm Springs, CA is seeing change similar to the rest of the country. Get an agent’s perspective on how to handle the current

Read more

Agent Advice! Despite issues like affordability and heightened buyer competition the San Jose housing market continues to draw

Read more

The Best (and Worst) Time To Sell Your Home

Yes, there is a best time to sell your house — and a worst time, too. Home prices and selling times vary by season, month, and even day of the week. If you want to get the best possible price for your home, here’s what you need to

Read more

Why Are So Many People Moving Out of the City?

Almost three years on from the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, one trend has remained relatively strong: More and more people continue to move out of big cities to smaller, and often rural, areas. While this is a fairly widespread phenomenon worldwide,

Read more

Finding a Listing Agent

Working with the right team matters. When you start looking for a Realtor to help you sell your home, look for an agent who has sales in your neighborhood or zip code. You also will want an agent who understands your needs. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sellers who used a real estate agent sold their homes for an average of 22% more than those selling independently. This is one of the best home selling recommendations you’ll get – use a highly rated, trusted local real estate agent. You’ll end up making more money than you would have saved if you sold without.

Finding a Listing Agent

Refer to a Real Estate Agent Platform

Finding a real estate agent is challenging because there are many options, especially in major metropolitan areas. Many home sellers look to neighbors but their information could be dated and might not fit your needs.

Make your search simpler by using a real estate agent directory like FastExpert to connect with a top rated real estate agent. Our platform lets you see all the details, including prior client reviews, at a glance.

Review and Select an Agent

Another great tip when selling your home – don’t choose the first agent you meet. The key to how to sell your house is to create a shortlist of agents and get to know them.

Ask every agent on your shortlist how they maximize value for their clients. First, question them on their fees, selling processes, and negotiating steps. Find out what they think makes them an asset to your real estate selling journey.

Never choose an agent purely because of their fees. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Discount agents give you a discount experience. When you are dealing with such a large financial transaction, you want the best.

Selling Your Home Without a Realtor

Many sellers consider how to sell a home by owner because they don’t want to pay any real estate commissions. But, unfortunately, while saving a few percent may sound smart, you’re opening yourself up to more work, stress, and potentially lower profits than with agent assisted sales.

Anyone can sell a home without a realtor by listing their homes on any popular real estate portal or even classified ad platforms like Craigslist. But if you don’t know the market or how to handle a complex real estate transaction, you will likely leave a lot of money on the table. You also can expect more buyers when using an agent and asking for a fair price.

If you are selling your home, the best recommendation we can make is to find a good real estate agent. The top ones will prove their worth quickly and tangibly. Check out FastExpert to see what realtors in your area can do for you.

Relisting a House With the Same or Different Agent: Which is Better?

Moving is a natural part of life. While most conventional mortgages last 30 years, very few people stay in the same home for that length of time. On average, people stay in their homes for eight years, with nearly half of Americans (47%) moving within six to

Read more

The Pros and Cons of Low-Commission Realtors

One of the tenets of real estate is that you shouldn’t sell your house until you can at least break even on the sale. While this isn’t always possible, it guides homeowners to do the math on the current value of their home minus any closing costs and

Read more

Can I Change My Realtor After Signing a Contract?

It is extremely important to get along with your real estate agent during the buying and selling process. You will talk to this person almost daily until your closing appointment and will have to work through complicated financial decisions with them. You

Read more

Agent Advice: 10 Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling a Home

Ensure you find the perfect real estate agent with these 10 questions to ask a realtor when selling a

Read more

Finding Your Dream Realtor – Insider Tips for a Flawless Hiring Experience

The field of real estate is exploding, with more people than ever entering this field and securing their professional licenses. More than 156,000 people became real estate agents in 2021, a 60% increase from two years prior. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic

Read more

Preparing to Sell

After reviewing the numbers and consulting realtors, it’s time to prepare your house for the market. This process is critical to how to sell your house quickly and with minimum fuss. It’s important to know if you are in a buyer’s market or seller’s market. From there you can decide how aggressive to be on your asking price.

When small areas of a house are in disrepair, it tells potential buyers that the home may not have been taken care of. Take this selling tip – spend time fixing the small things and ensuring everything is in working order. This will show prospective buyers that your home has been cared for and is ready for new occupants.

Preparing to Sell

Determine Your List Price

Listing prices must balance attracting potential buyers while ensuring you don’t leave money on the table. Working with trusted real estate agents provide access to local real estate statistics, empowering you to make an intelligent decision.

Navigating today’s market is even more challenging for sellers because 42.42% of homes sold above the listing price in February 2022. While the market has cooled since then, it is still largely considered a seller’s market. these high prices indicate many sellers aren’t listing their homes at high enough prices.

Remember, listing too high allows you to lower the price later, but you’ll never recoup those lost dollars if you list too low. Most real estate agents will tell you to list at the high end of your range, especially in a seller’s market.

Consult Your Agent For Necessary Repairs

Launching a wholesale renovation project isn’t necessary to sell a home. However, some repairs may be needed. For example, buyers will expect a significant discount if your home has structural or mechanical issues.

Your goal is to make your home as marketable as possible in the selling process. First, work with your agent to order a home inspection. Home inspectors aren’t legally required, but they can flag any issues that could be a barrier to marketing your home for its maximum value.

Consider Effective Home Renovations

What is an effective home renovation?

Renovations should increase your home’s value while recouping most of its costs. Some renovations are more in-demand than others, with the most valuable home improvement projects being:

  • Adding a wooden deck
  • Replacing your home’s siding
  • Minor kitchen remodel
  • Bathroom remodel
  • Window replacement
  • Fresh coat of paint

Anything that can increase your home’s appeal would be considered an effective home renovation. Talk to your agent about cost-effective home improvement projects. Your agent can make recommendations based on how much capital you have and how quickly you want to move.

Declutter and Depersonalize

Homes that are clean, decluttered, and without personal items everywhere tend to sell much better than the opposite. Cleaning removes distractions and gives the house a chance to shine.

Depersonalizing your space allows buyers to envision themselves living there easily. Making your home look nice can pay off when you start offering offers. Many buyers are turned off by family photos and personal items. A good selling strategy is staging and cleaning a home properly. These tips for selling will help you sell quickly.

Clean Your Home

Keeping your home clean enhances the look and feel of your home. It allows you to highlight the most-coveted features of your home intelligently. There’s a real connection between home values and cleanliness, with clean homes selling for more than those presented “as is.”

Consider a full deep clean before taking photos and staging your home. Enlisting a professional company for a deep cleaning should only cost a few hundred dollars, but it’s an investment well worth making before your first open house.

Invest in Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the impression your home gives off when seeing it for the first time. Unfortunately, the average time to form a first impression is 27 seconds, meaning if you don’t nail it immediately, you have an uphill battle to sell your home.

Most agents agree that dolling up the front of your home should be a priority. However, mowing your lawn, painting your home, and investing in professional landscaping can give you an edge over the competition.

Stage Your Home

A big mistake that homeowners make is using bad pictures to market their homes. According to the NAR, in 2021, 95% of buyers used online tools to search for a home. Unfortunately, when buyers see bad-quality pictures that don’t show off the home well, they get easily turned off. Both the interior and exterior are important.

A top real estate agent should be able to recommend a professional photographer to take pictures of your home. While it may seem like a superfluous expense, it can impact how much interest you garner from the market.

How Much Value Does a Deck Add to a House?

If you want to increase the value of your home by improving the backyard, consider installing a patio or porch. These structures create entertainment space for your family and any guests who stop by. You can use your porch year-round, starting with grill-outs

Read more

Do New Windows Increase Home Value?

If you are preparing to sell your home, you might have a list of repairs and renovations to complete. Making these upgrades can increase the desirability of your property and potentially speed up the home sale. At the very least, making repairs before selling

Read more

How Much Does New Carpet Increase Home Value?

On average, homeowners spend $5,400 improving their homes before listing them for sale. They invest in landscaping services, pressure washing, deep cleaning, and other improvements to make the property more desirable. Most upgrades strike a balance between

Read more

12 Tips For Selling a House in the Spring

Better weather is one of the main reasons spring is the ideal time to sell your property. In most U.S. states, spring ushers in milder temperatures and longer, sunnier days, which lend themselves perfectly to almost any pre-listing home improvement

Read more

Home Appraisal Checklist: Complete Guide for Homeowners

In most cases, the appraisal will be a standard part of the home selling or refinancing process. Buyers are required to schedule appraisals when they secure financing from mortgage lenders, and homeowners need to get their home reappraised if they want to

Read more

Home Marketing

Marketing your home will determine how fast you can sell and the price you get for your home. With more than two million real estate agents across the country, this is where your realtor earns their commissions.

Depending on the current market, you may get a lot of interest or just a few showings requests. Either way, making your home available to all buyers who want to see it will increase your chances of a sale. Keeping it in tip-top shape will also work in your favor with impressing potential buyers.

Home Marketing

Promote Your Home Online and Offline

Curb appeal is what most people talk about in terms of selling a home. However, successful agents now talk about online appeal because how your home appears online is just as important. Spreading your reach across multiple platforms and brokerages is key to maximizing your reach.

You also need to think about offline sales. Your offline appeal applies to how your house looks when people visit and how your home looks in the window or catalog of a realtor.

Work with the right real estate agent that knows how to utilize both increases your pool of potential buyers and sell for top dollar.

12 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Mistakes are often made in sellers’ rush to get their homes sold quickly. It’s easy to focus on the end result and not what it takes to get there. To make it easy on you, we’ve made a list of common mistakes you might make when selling your home. Learn from

Read more

20 Creative Ways To Market a House for Sale

Do you think there is only one way to sell a property? Think again. Keep reading if you want to find more profitable and creative ways to market a house for sale. The best way to market your real estate listing might be something you’ve never

Read more

The Essential Dos (and Don’ts) of Selling a House

If you want to sell your house but aren’t quite sure what to do — and what not to do — our guide on the dos and don’ts when selling a home can

Read more

Showings & Open Houses

Prepare for House Showings

To prepare for house showings, keep your home as clean and free of clutter as possible. Also, make sure you’re flexible. Narrowing down house viewing times will only lead buyers to look elsewhere. Allow other real estate agents to schedule time for their clients to view your home whenever possible.

Showings & Open Houses

One top tip for how to sell your house is to make yourself scarce. Hanging around your house is distracting and potentially intimidating for buyers. In addition, it’s not uncommon for buyers to feel unable to express their opinions honestly when the current owner is lurking in the background.

You can always ask your agent to be present at the time. Remember, the goal of a house showing is to allow potential buyers to imagine themselves living in that space.

12 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Mistakes are often made in sellers’ rush to get their homes sold quickly. It’s easy to focus on the end result and not what it takes to get there. To make it easy on you, we’ve made a list of common mistakes you might make when selling your home. Learn from

Read more

10 Tips for Taking Perfect Real Estate Listing Photos

Home listing photos can be the thing that brings interested buyers in or turns them away. If you’re ready to enter the real estate market and find a great buyer for your property, listen up. Your listing could be one of the most important tools for piquing

Read more

The Essential Dos (and Don’ts) of Selling a House

If you want to sell your house but aren’t quite sure what to do — and what not to do — our guide on the dos and don’ts when selling a home can

Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Hosting an Open House

Click here to browse our Real Estate Agent Directory and contact top-rated agents in your area! Whether you’re selling your home by yourself, or with an agent, at some point, you’ll likely hold an open house. Open houses are a great way to show

Read more

Reviewing Offers & Negotiating

Review Offers and Accept

Assuming all went well, you should begin receiving offers within weeks of listing your home. Of course, all offers must be reviewed in line with your priorities before the home sale.

If you aren’t getting offers, talk with the buyer’s agent. They may have feedback and tips for selling that will make a huge difference in getting multiple offers. You can aways change to a lower price or offer financial incentives to buyers. Not all homes sell fast or lead to bidding wars but if you list at the best price, you can expect to get offers.

Whether you are looking for a quick sale, a high profit, a long rent-back, or someone to love your home as much as you did, it’s important to remember your priorities when considering offers. The best offer for your house is one that fits what is most important to you.

Reviewing Offers & Negotiating

The Essential Dos (and Don’ts) of Selling a House

If you want to sell your house but aren’t quite sure what to do — and what not to do — our guide on the dos and don’ts when selling a home can

Read more

How to Get Multiple Offers on a House …Every Time!

Maximize profit with multiple offers on a house! Here are 5 surefire ways to increase the number of bids you receive on your home.

Read more

After Your Home Sale

The next step is to close the sale. Then, assuming the buyer is happy with the property’s price and condition, it’s time to address the nuts and bolts of the deal.

Your realtor will work with the buyer’s agent to complete this process.

Go Through Your Settlement Statement

Before closing, you’ll need to look over the settlement statement. A settlement statement details the fees and credits making up the real estate transaction. It details where money has changed hands at every stage of the process.

Some examples of items appearing on a settlement statement include:

  • Real estate commissions
  • Taxes owed to local municipalities
  • Lender charges

It also details who is responsible for each fee. Go through every charge and dispute anything that doesn’t appear correct.

Collect Proceeds from the Sale

If both buyers and sellers are happy with the settlement agreement, you can collect the sale proceeds from the designated escrow company.

Most of the time, you can collect your check on the day of the sale. Remember, if you complete the sale after 2 pm Pacific time on a Friday, you’ll have to wait until Monday. All wires operate on Eastern time, meaning the cut-off is 5 pm Eastern.

Assess Taxes on the Sale

You may be required to pay capital gains taxes on your home. Capital gains tax applies if you have owned and lived in the home for less than two of the five years leading up to the date of the sale. If you qualify for avoiding capital gains, you can exclude up to $500,000 of your profits if married and filing jointly. Any other tax status means you can exclude $250,000 of potential profit.

As part of this home sellers guide, we recommend working with a tax advisor to reduce your capital gains taxes, such as by accounting for home improvements and selling expenses.

Moving Out

It’s time to move out of your old home and into your new one. The moving process is usually as simple as getting your stuff and leaving. But there are certain things you need to do before you leave.

Transfer Utilities

Make sure your utilities stay on for the business day after closing. Delays in closing the sale could mean you’re left without utilities over the weekend if the sale fails to record because of a non-business day.

Remember, once you turn off your utilities, some companies can take 24-48 hours to turn them back on at your new place, especially if a technician needs to visit your home. So ideally, your utilities should always be kept on for a short time.

Change Your Address in Your Accounts

Make sure your essential mail is routed to your new abode. Update your address on the official USPS Change of Address website. Change your address at least two weeks before the day the sale closes so that the changes have a chance to take effect.

Go out of your way to notify any creditors, family, and friends you have of your change of address. Alter your subscriptions to ensure nothing gets delivered to your old home.

When and How Do You Get Paid After Selling Your House?

You worked with your real estate agent, the offer came in and it looks good! Now that you’ve accepted, you’re wondering when you get the money. It’s an important question, when and how does the seller get paid after selling a house? Before that sweet

Read more