Thinking of Selling? Start Preparing Now!

Thinking of selling your home in the Crofton or DC area? If you want to sell quickly and make an impressive profit, it's crucial to start preparing at least a few months in advance! Here's a timeline that covers what to expect before, during, and after you list your home in Crofton. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out—I'm here to help!

Before Listing Your Home

Even in a hot seller's market, prepping your home should involve more than just sticking a "For Sale" sign in your front yard! Here's what needs to happen before you even list.

2+ Months Out:

Find an experienced Crofton agent

Even if you aren't quite ready to put your home on the market, you'll want to establish a relationship with a local real estate agent at least a few months in advance. Take some time to interview a few candidates—the right fit should be familiar with your neighborhood and price point. Don't be afraid to ask for references, either.

On the hunt for a great agent? Find out more about my qualifications and experience!

6-8 Weeks Out:

Consider repairs and improvements

Before you list, your agent will likely tour your home and recommend some potential upgrades or repairs. And if you want to find out about potential issues before buyers do, it may also be worth having a pre-listing home inspection.

Even if your home seems move-in ready, a few minor improvements can really make a difference. Refinishing your floors, sprucing up your landscaping, tuning up your HVAC system, adding a fresh coat of neutral-toned paint, or other smaller touches are almost always worth the investment.

4-8 Weeks Out:

Set the price right

While it may be tempting to use an online estimator to determine your home's market value, your agent will be able to calculate a more realistic number. You'll want to price low enough to attract buyers, but you also shouldn't sacrifice any of your hard-earned equity. Request a neighborhood sold report and work with your real estate agent to find the right listing price.

1-4 Week(s) Out:

Prep your home

Now it's time to get your home looking its best! Start by getting rid of any belongings you don't need, including large furniture or unnecessary clutter. It might be worth renting a storage unit until you move into your new home. You should also clean every nook and cranny (or hire a professional) to ensure your home is looking spotless for buyers.

Take some time to depersonalize your space by taking down any bold decor, family photos, or nicknacks. It's okay to still have a few decorations—just keep them minimal and neutral!

Selling Your Home

Now that you've done all the prep work, it's time to officially put your home on the market. Here's what you need to know about finding a buyer, navigating showings, and negotiating an offer.

Market your home:

The key to selling your home quickly is advertising it to the right buyer. Your agent will be responsible for marketing your listing, and they should use a multifaceted approach to attract the greatest possible audience. A well-connected agent has access to a wealth of resources, including online listing services, print advertising, large social media followings, and even local agent networks.

Show your home:

In addition to scheduled open houses, you'll need to be prepared for private showings at any time. To keep your home looking its best, establish a regular cleaning schedule. You'll want to take out the trash, clean up any dirty dishes, and make the beds before a tour. Additionally, you should be ready to clear out of the house during showings to avoid making buyers uncomfortable.

Negotiate and accept:

If a buyer is interested in your home, they'll submit an offer that details how much they'll pay, their mortgage amount, closing and occupancy dates, and any contingencies. From there, you can accept their offer, counter with revised terms, or decline. Unless an offer is significantly less than your original asking price, it's almost always in your best interest to negotiate with a buyer.

It's normal to go back and forth a few times before hammering out a deal that satisfies both parties. If you ever have any questions, be sure to ask your agent—they're the expert!

Closing on Your Home

Now that you've negotiated and accepted an offer, there's only one more step left—the closing. Here's what you need to do before handing over your keys.

Cooperate with inspections:

Most buyers will request an inspection to check for any issues before purchasing your home. A qualified home inspector will go through your home, paying careful attention to the roof, basement, heating and cooling systems, structure, plumbing, and electrical systems. If the inspector finds any issues, the buyer may want to renegotiate.

Have an appraisal:

If your buyer is taking out a mortgage, their lender may request an appraisal. An appraisal ensures that the lender isn't loaning the buyer more than a home is worth. Appraisals are largely similar to home inspections, but an appraiser will be analyzing your home's value. If your home doesn't appraise for the amount you expect, you may need to renegotiate.

Enter escrow:

Next, you'll enter escrow. During escrow, you and your agent will work with an escrow company to complete paperwork and ensure that all parts of the contract are complete. Your buyer will spend this time securing their financing, finishing up their own paperwork, and checking the title.

Sign, pay, and finalize!

On a pre-determined date, you'll sit down with your agent to sign the rest of your closing documents and pay any fees. Most sellers are able to sign their closing documents ahead of time, so you may not even meet your buyer in-person. Once you relinquish your keys and your title, you've officially sold your home—congrats!

Ready to Sell Your Crofton Home?

If you're looking for a seasoned Crofton agent who can sell your home in no time at all, I'd love to offer my expertise. Give me a call today to get a head start on your move—I look forward to working with you!

Not quite ready to sell? Take a look at my other resources, or request a free home valuation to see where you stand in today's hot market.