Merv Realty


Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Your Home

It is important that you work with a realtor you trust and confide in. Someone who is available to you and will put your needs first, going above and beyond to sell your home at the highest price possible. Working with a professional real estate agent is the easiest, fastest, and most profitable way to sell your home. Make sure that the agent you select has a vast knowledge in marketing and the appropriate tools and knowledge to advertise your home to potential buyers. Once you decide on your real estate agent, review and execute the Sellers Listing Agreement provided.

Your listing agent will help you perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) or a Brokers Price Opinion (BPO) by pulling average sales prices and the active days on market of similar homes nearby (also known as “comps”).

This step is very important for presentation and will help ensure you obtain the highest and best offers on your home! Some things to consider when preparing your home to sell are:

  • Fresh coat of paint
  • Professionally clean the carpet (if applicable)
  • Declutter as much as possible! Home buyers do not want the feeling that someone else lives in the home.
  • Invest in minor repairs but don’t go overboard. Some investments do not add value to your home price. Consult with your listing agent about which repairs will add to the value of your home and which are for cosmetic appeal only.
  • Clean your home thoroughly. Any lingering smells or stains can deter buyers at first site.
  • Service your landscaping, clean and declutter the exterior areas of your home.
  • Power wash your garage, driveway and backyard so there is a fresh clean feel.


The following repairs have the best ROI:

  • Minor bathroom remodel
  • Minor kitchen remodel – if more than 15 years old updating the cabinetry, floor and appliances is a good idea
  • Paint the interior
  • Open the floor plan – Older homes typically have many walls and narrow hallways. An open floor plan is in high demand by buyers.
  • Upgrading lighting fixtures and upgrade to energy efficient features – There is a large trend shifting towards energy efficient items like tankless water heaters, LED converter bulbs
  • Install or repurpose flooring – clean carpet or refinish hardwood if not in bad condition.
  • Exterior improvements (Landscaping, roofing replacement, vinyl siding, exterior pain, fiber cement siding, remove old awnings, patio cover, garage door replacement)

Once your home is cleaned and staged, your listing agent will hire a professional photographer to take photos of your interior and exterior as well as virtual tours, if desired or necessary. Experienced real estate agents know how to properly stage a home and make every room look its best. Professional drone footage is also highly recommended for luxury homes and large estates. These photos and videos will be used to advertise and market your home.

The majority of properties are discovered through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a comprehensive database for of listings for Realtors throughout the United States. After listing your property on the MLS, a real estate agent will typically run a full marketing campaign to catch the eyes of potential buyers. This could include everything from standard lawn signs, fliers, social media posts or open house events. Marketing is no exact science, but the extent of your campaign should depend on your property, location, and the demographics you’re hoping to attract.

  • Review any offers submitted with your realtor. Remember that serious buyers usually start with a strong offer, especially if they are selling their own home and need to relocate. Your listing agent will help advise you which offers are the most promising and when a counter offer should be submitted.
  • Finding the right buyer might take some negotiation. During this step, your Realtor will really be able to show their value. It is their responsibility to handle the back and forth communication and secure the best and highest purchase price for you.
  • The Seller MUST fill out a disclosure form that identifies any and ALL known issues within your property relating to the water supply, septic and electrical system, potential pest problems, natural disaster damage, structural integrity, water leaks, mold and any other hazardous materials.
  • Once you have a final buyer it is time to finalize a Purchase Agreement. The Agreement will contain the final purchase price, closing dates, closing cost allocation, earnest money deposit required by buyer, and any contingencies that must be met before closing.
  • Open escrow and hire a title company
  • Order a home appraisal – The buyers lender will require a professional appraisal to guarantee their investment. If the home price doesn’t match the selling price, the buyer may have to cover the difference out of pocket which could lead to delays or interruption to your sale.
  • Order a home inspection – You may have contingencies to deal with, as well as repairs identified by the home inspection.
  • Final walk thru

Sign title documents and close escrow – Once all contingencies have been met it is now time to sign the final closing documents and officially transfer title. When you close escrow, the escrow service will transfer you the full price of your home. From this payment, you are then responsible for paying off your remaining mortgage debt, realtor fees agreed upon in your listing agreement, and any other closing costs associated with the sale of your home.

Your lender will hire the appraiser, so there’s not much for you to do here. Your real estate agent should work with the seller’s agent and the appraiser to schedule the appraisal. After the appraisal is complete, you and your agent will receive copies of the appraisal report, so you can see the appraised fair market value and check out the comps that were used in the calculations.

  • If the appraisal matches your offer price: You should be clear to close.
  • If the appraisal comes in above your offer price: Even better! This means not only are you clear to close, but you’re purchasing the home for a price below market value, giving you instant equity.
  • If the appraisal comes in low: Your lender won’t approve the full loan amount, as in their eyes, you’re overpaying for the property. You’ll need to either make up the difference between the appraised value and the offer price in cash or try to re-negotiate the offer price with the seller. If you believe the appraisal was incorrect, you can try to request a new appraisal from your lender.

Before closing, you will need to procure a homeowner’s insurance policy. Your lender may be able to help you obtain a policy that can be paid through your monthly escrow account. Also, ask your real estate agent for any professional recommendations for a trusted vendor.

Hooray! Your home has conveyed and you can celebrate.

Sell Your Home Today

The Merv Realty team puts your needs first, going above and beyond to sell your home for highest possible price. Sell your home today!

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Our expert agents and partners can assist you with all of your commercial and residential real estate services across the US.