Selling Your Property: Step by Step

New sellers often ask us what STEPS are involved to get a property on the market. Here is a step-by-step guide.  If / when you are ready, give us a call.  We are happy to speak with you or take a look at your property and provide a free valuation analysis. 


1.  Getting Ready.  Be clear about the reasons your are selling and how much time you want your house to be on the market.  It all boils down to motivation:  are you truly a patient seller, who can wait a year or more to find the right buyer willing to pay "top dollar".  Or do you need to sell now because of changes in life plans or life pressures.  Or are you somewhere in the middle?  If more than one person owns the house, you need to get everyone on board and clarify who will be involved in decision-making and who will take the lead role in the preparation for selling the house, and taking care of details that arise.  You also need to consider the timing of when to choose a Realtor and when to put the house on the market.  Spring and Summer are often better choices than Winter for first listing your house for sale, for example.  It generally takes 2-4 weeks to get a house on the market, once you have made your decisions and are ready to go.


2.  Choose a Competent Realtor.  The choice of who you choose as your Realtor should be thought through carefully.  The competence, professional background, integrity and actual success of of the Realtor you choose and of the firm you choose is far more important than whether you are "friends with them in the - - - club" for example.  After all, this is the sale of likely what is the most valuable asset you have - your house.  And the choice of Realtor can make a significant difference.  So before you call the first person you think of, stop and make a list of the Realtors you may consider.  Then go on the Internet/Web, and do a little research on their professional backgrounds (take a minute to read the bio of everyone you are considering).  Then read about their firm and their philosophy and approach to property marketing.  Look at the listings they have and ask yourself if you think they have good listings, too many listings, or do they have so few that they do not look like they are full-time committed to the business.  The last thing you need is to hire a part-time agent who does real estate as a "hobby".  For example, you would not choose your doctor or attorney simply because they are funny or nice.  Some sellers make the mistake of hiring the agent that tells them their property will sell for the highest price.  Since pricing is a very important decision, choosing a Realtor based on flattery/dreaming is also a mistake that will lead to disappointment, not selling your property any sooner or for a higher price.  You are interested in competence.  This is not to say that you want to establish a Realtor relationship with someone who has poor people skills.  You need to feel comfortable with them.  But choosing a Realtor who is competent is highest priority.

You can read about Snyder Donegan's agents by clicking HERE


3.  Ask Your Realtor's Advice.  Once you have made the important decision on which Realtor and firm you will use, you should explicitly ASK your Realtor to help.  They will help you make informed, smart decisions on how best to stage your house, and what - if any - repairs or improvements might be wise/cost-effective - to improve your chance of selling sooner or for a higher price.  And your Realtor will provide valuable insight into the important decision of setting the initial listing price for your property.  At Snyder Donegan Real Estate, we strongly believe that pricing is not our decision, it is our clients' decision, because our clients own the property, not us.  But we can also provide valuable insight into how best to price a property given the unique and special features of the property and how it compares to similar properties that have recently sold or are currently on the market (the "competition").   Snyder Donegan also produces a quarterly report with statistics and commentary on market conditions, sales and pricing statistics and other useful info on our local real estate market.  You can find this report on our website, or by clicking HERE.    We are open, and share any information that helps you, our clients, make more intelligent, informed decisions. 


4.  Actively Market Your Property.  Your Realtor will do your propety marketing, of course.  But initially, you can help by sharing everything you know about the property, working with them to fill out necessary paperwork and by gathering good digital photos you may have of the exterior of the house in various seasons.  Your agent will go from there to create beautiful presentations of the property and written descriptions that highlight what is wonderful and unique about your property.  

At Snyder Donegan, we also have a lead-agent policy, whereby YOUR broker will show YOUR property except in the case of a scheduling conflict where the buyer has no flexibility (very rare).  At some other firms, your property may be shown by a half-dozen people, depending on whose day it is.   (How can anyone intimately know the details of 50-100 properties?)  We feel like we provide a better service to our sellers - and are more likely to sell your property and earn our commission - by having your lead Broker do the showings as our standard policy.  In the event of a conflict, all of our agents will be familiar with all of our listings, as a backup for showings and to ensure that we match buyers with our Seller's listings if at all possible - we owe that to our Sellers.  Finally, when you do get an offer, you already have established a relationship with your broker, so there is no awkward hand-off where you now have to start working with another broker through the tricky and critical steps of negotiations, inspections and getting to a successful closing. In virtually all circumstances, the lead broker at Snyder Donegan will work with you every step of the way, from day 1, until Closing.

Since 99% of all buyers go online to "shop" for houses today, effective online/Web marketing is absolutely critical.  Our firm also creates excellent printed materials to mail out or hand out at showings, and we put ads in the paper, but in today's world, online marketing is they key to selling your house sooner and for the best price.

You can check out how we present our other clients' properties online by clicking HERE.  

You can also read more about Snyder Donegan's approach to property marketing by clicking HERE.


4.  Offers, negotiations, inspections and closing.   While it can be exciting to receive an offer on your property, this is also a critical time when you need the advice and counsel of a competent broker, whose loyalty and confidentiality you can trust.  Good Realtors know how to manage the negotiation process, and advise you on offers, terms, and counter-offers.  Once your property is "under agreement", a competent broker will also successfully navigate issues that arise during inspections or contingencies, work with the buyer's broker (if another firm is involved) and give you solid consel on how to proceed towards a successful closing.  A good broker will also recommend where to find help (lawyers, movers, cleaning companies, etc) as you prepare to move on and move out.  We take pride in paying attention to the details for you, so that you can focus on making wise choices and moving forward to the next thing in your own lives.

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If you are thinking about listing your property for sale, give us a call.  We would be happy to meet with you and talk in person.