Home Seller's Guide

From staging your home to negotiating your offer we’ll walk you through every step of the way.

Step-by-Step Home Selling Process

You’ve decided to sell your home but have no idea where to start. From staging your home to negotiating your offer we’ll walk you through every step of the way

You’re not required to hire a Realtor, but we recommend it. Why? Because they are aware of local market trends and can best advise you on how to get top dollar for your home. They also have access to local market pricing and sold data. A realistic price for your home makes it very attractive to potential home buyers.

When you are vetting Realtors, you should consider the following:  

Are there online reviews or testimonials available about the Realtor?

  • Do they know your local market?  
  • Did they prepare a marketing plan for your home?  
  • When you agree to have them represent you, what commitments are required of you (i.e. long-term exclusive listing agreement)?  
  • Can they also help you find a new home?  

From improving the curb appeal of the exterior to staging the interior for a fresh look, you will want your home to make a great first impression to potential buyers. You won’t have to empty your bank account to do this but investing in some attractive updates could make all the difference in how long it takes to sell, and for how much.

Here are some budget-friendly fixes:

  • Exterior— Freshen your landscapes, power wash your siding, put a fresh coat of paint on the front door and mailbox. When buyers search for homes online or by driving through the neighborhood, the exterior is the first thing they’ll see. You want to make sure your curb appeal is at its best.    
  • Interior— Repaint your walls with a neutral color, fix any noticeable cracks on the walls, steam clean carpeting and replace worn area rugs.  
  • Bathroom/Kitchen— Replace old fixtures with new faucets or shower heads. Don’t forget to include fluffy white towels and scented candles.  
  • Declutter— Set aside sentimental furniture, collectible items…etc. and focus more on opening up room space to make your home appear larger. Most buyers are very visual-oriented and may have a hard time imagining life in your home if they are distracted by clutter.  
  • Professional Stagers— These interior design pros can dress up a room at an affordable price. Stagers can dramatically change the look of your home without you having to make major structural changes.   

A competitive price reflects what homes like yours are selling for and what buyers are realistically willing to pay for it in any market. To manage your expectations and get an objective view of this, your realtor should provide those numbers and corroborating information to you.

An overview of the types of real estate markets:  

  • Seller’s Market—When there is more market demand from buyers for homes than inventory available from sellers. As a result, a seller may receive multiple offers above listing price when priced correctly.  
  • Buyer’s Market—When there is more inventory available from sellers than market demand from buyers. As a result, competitive pricing by sellers is extremely important  
  • Shifting Market—During a transition from a Seller’s Market to a Buyer’s Market or vice versa is a shifting market. As a result, a seller’s price may not realistically reflect the current market demand from buyers, or a buyer may not have the buying power they originally had due to market fluctuation.

Get your home’s current value with our estimator.     

Now that you’ve partnered with a Realtor, priced your home properly, and attractively staged your home for buyers, how do you get your home to stand out? One word: Marketing. In addition to local advertising, social media and digital marketing are very engaging channels to generate interest of active buyers in the market.

Here are some ways Your Realtor will catch potential buyer’s interest:

  • Describe your property in a way that’s easy-to-read and concise. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms is a must, but also highlight any other unique features that may appeal to buyers.  
  • Hire a professional photographer/videographer to showcase the property. Over 90% of home buyers begin their search on the internet. If the photos or video are poor quality, then you will not attract the buyer’s interest. Social Media is a very visual medium, so beautiful images that pop are a must-have.  
  • Have your realtor host an Open House to bring traffic and attention to your home. This is also a great opportunity for you to understand what potential buyers are looking for in price, amenities, features…etc. This feedback can help you re-assess your description or marketing game plan with your listing Realtor.  

Learn how Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty real estate advisors make your home stand out. Call Us: (800) 942-5334  

You’ve received interest AND offers on your home. The market may or may not be what it was when you first listed the property for sale. This time in the process is very sensitive as it will test your patience, nerves, and priorities.

Here are some tips on how to negotiate an offer:

  • Shifting Market—When either the buyer or seller ( or both ) do not feel an urgency to come to an agreement or a counter-offer, creative negotiations on terms and conditions might help move the transaction along. Please consult with your Realtor, as they work in your best interest and understand your priorities.  
  • Buyer’s Market— It is imperative you speak with your realtor and competitively price your home. You may have to reduce your price after a reasonable amount of time if you are not receiving any offers. Consider a counter-offer, you don’t want to risk the buyer walking away from their offer or negotiation. Take some time to review a buyer’s offer and terms with your Realtor.  
  • Seller’s Market—Properties sell fast in a seller’s market. You may receive multiple offers. If this happens it may be tempting to go with the highest bidder. However, remember to consider both the price and the terms when accepting a buyer’s offer. Also consider removing offers that include a “home-sale” contingency from the buyers.    

When you receive an offer, we recommend you speak with your Realtor about the appropriateness of the offer, your goals, priorities, and how they would advise you to proceed.        

Once you’ve accepted an offer, your main goal is to help move the process from contract to closing. Since you’re already familiar with what goes on from the buyer’s point of view from when you purchased the home, experiencing it from the seller’s side may feel like a breeze!

What to do during this time:   

  • Cooperate with the buyers. If they need to arrange a time to see the home for an inspection, appraisal, or walk-through, do what you can to facilitate.  
  • Ensure that your Realtor is providing the disclosures and legal documents to the buyer, buyer’s Realtor, and attorney.  
  • Ensure you are following through with any conditions you agreed to in accepting the offer. (i.e. throwing out old furniture, repainting the walls, repairing the boiler…etc.)  
  • Be responsive to whatever questions your listing Realtor may ask you.  
  • Make arrangements to move to your new place (if applicable).  
  • Transfer your utilities and services to your new home days before closing day (if applicable).  

Congratulations! You made it to closing! Selling your home can be just as exciting as buying one, and we wish you a great home-selling experience.

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Work With Cottie

Cottie Maxwell is a premier broker on the North Shore of Long Island. After having been a real estate agent for 8 years in the Washington, DC, and Virginia area where she was a consistent multi-million dollar producer, Cottie joined Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty team in Locust Valley, New York in 2003.

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