In my experience, meeting with a seller to discuss the steps involved in the process of getting their home sold is one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of my profession. 

I’ve given the entire home sale process a lot of thought, and I have broken it down into 5 key stages:

Before the“For Sale” sign goes up in the front yard, there are typically a few meetings at the potential seller’s home to discuss value (Comparative Market Analysis), the current condition of the home, and how best to prepare the home for the market (Staging). When the value has been determined and the home is in “show-ready” condition, the For Sale sale sign goes up — and it’s time for the market!

The 5 Key Stages to Selling Your Home:

cool home

1. Marketing
Right out of the gate, many sellers perceive marketing to be such an important stage that they often assume it is the only stage to getting their home sold. Although, for the agent, the marketing process is the first “stage”, there are many other tasks to be completed after the initial meeting with a seller, even before the marketing officially begins.

In today’s real estate market, your home goes directly online and begins circulating to virtually every consumer real estate-oriented website online. In order to show the full beauty of a home, we need to either be professional photographers, or hire a professional photographer. Describing the home and its features in words that will catch a buyer’s attention is just as important.

ps home

2. Home Viewings & the Qualified Buyer(s)
As I mentioned before, once a home is up for sale, it is easily viewable online. Because of this, there is no way to predict how soon the showings and viewings of your home will begin. In the internet age, I’ve had qualified buyers inside a home within a few hours of the home being uploaded into the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) system.Within 48 hours, there is a pretty good chance the first qualified buyers will begin viewing your home.

Setting up home viewings and finding qualified buyers is an important stage, because it leads toward the main goal, which is receiving an offer. The internet has brought us more discriminating, educated buyers that have not only done their homework, but who also have a pretty good idea of what a home is worth. If the asking price is in line with similar homes that have recently sold, and presents well to buyers, most homes should have an offer on them within the first 30 days (in any market conditions). The amount of time a specific house remains on the market has become an ever-ticking clock. As a professional, I track buyer’s feedback from each and every showing. I monitor their feedback concerning the presentation of the home, the price, and any other critique that can be used to encourage a legitimate offer.


3. Negotiations & Offers
This is my favorite stage. As the seller’s agent, I am usually notified by the buyer’s agent of an offer that has been made. The reward for my efforts, as a realtor, is to see what the market/buyer is willing to pay; this offer gives reassurance on how the realtor prepared and priced the home and how they brought it to market.

A typical real estate contract can be anywhere from 15 – 20 pages long. The contract will explain the offer amount, the closing date, what is expected of the seller, and what is expected of the buyer for the next 30 – 45 days, until the sale is complete. It will be at that moment when the buyer receives the keys to their new home.

The sale agreement, alone, is 5 five pages long, with another dozen addenda clarifying each and every contingency tied to the sale. These include financing, inspections, title work, and even details such as whether a refrigerator is going to be included in the property. The details contained within a contract, and the subsequent ability of the parties involved to satisfy each and every detail, is one of the most exciting aspects of the sale of a home. It is very important for me to truly look out for my client’s best interests and it is a true privilege to do so.


4. Pending / Inspection Stage
At this stage, we now have a binding purchase and sale contract on the home, meaning the home is no longer considered “for sale”, but instead, is in a “pending” status. The buyer’s duties commence on the first day the binding agreement is in force, after it has been signed by all parties. Buyer’s obligations include: inspecting the home, continuing work with their lender, and delivering the necessary paperwork to complete their home loan. The seller’s duties sit fairly idle for the first 5-15 days while the buyer is making arrangements to conduct a home inspection of the property. A seller typically gets very anxious during this period,while waiting for results of the buyer’s home inspection. When the inspection results do arrive, I make arrangements to meet with the sellers to discuss the requests that the buyer has presented.

At the initial meeting with my sellers, I always let them know that once we receive an offer, it doesn’t mean we have officially sold the home – not just yet. The home inspection in itself is typically a pretty big hurdle to jump before I can tell my sellers to start packing their belongings. The inspection stage can be tedious and tempers can potentially begin to flare. Part of the conflict comes from the seller’s pride in their home, and the buyer’s realization of the stress and challenge that comes with a home inspection. My goal is to assist all parties with finding solutions to any problems that arise, as quickly as possible. For example, if a seller sees fit to make a repair or to offer an allowance to the home and the buyer agrees to it, then both parties now move a little further into the pending status. At this point, obtaining an appraisal of the property is one of the last hurdles before both parties can sit down at the closing table.


5. The Closing / Occupancy
By the time a sale gets to its scheduled closing, there has been plenty of paperwork, emails, phone calls, inspections and deadlines. Instructions have typically been made to wire the necessary down payments, and signing appointments are scheduled. Hopefully things have gone smoothly, and by this stage there will have been minimal stress for both parties. I am always pleased at this point when I feel that my professional skills and services have brought another home sale to closing.

There is still one last duty, however, and I have found out the hard way this is not to be overlooked: Occupancy! Without a doubt, this stage requires the most finesse and needs to be planned out carefully, right at the very beginning of the sale process. The most important questions to address on this topic are, “Who will need to move out and by what date?” and “When will the buyer actually have the keys?” If this part of the process is not carefully considered in advance, occupancy can very quickly become a nightmare. Without going into too much detail, a buyer usually has a crew of movers on hold, a moving truck, and/or they are on their last day of a lease, making the timeline fairly strict for the buyer. Patience has usually run thin by this point, and nerves are frayed. It’s my main priority that the process of selling a home, for my client, has been smooth from our initial meeting. They did, after all, hire me to sell their home.

These “5 stages” of a real estate sale have been the focus of my full-time work for the last 25 years. When I have several property sales happening at once, I need to use good time management skills, have a capable assistant, use strong organizational skills, and have lots of energy.
I don’t spend a lot of time pitching myself as an agent. I feel that it is the natural work of my sellers and buyers, in that if they had a good experience with me, they tell their friends and family and the referrals continue to stream in.
I pour all of my efforts into serving the needs of my clients when it comes to real estate sales. All I ask from satisfied customers is that they tell friends and family that they know a good realtor who will get the job done.


It’s a Great Life !







Categories: Blog

Leave a Reply

Thurston Co Real Est

2020 has been a year to remember. How is the Thurston Co real estate market holding up? Continue reading

Affordable, need a s

Covid-9 has disrupted our real estate market. This vacant home is ready to go. Continue reading

Well Loved Single St

Covid-19 has disrupted the planet and getting buyers into homes is our challenge with selling homes today. Continue reading

January 2020

2020 is out of the gate. Let's see how January looks compared to January 2019 Continue reading

2019 Thurston County

Wrapping up 2019. Another robust year for home sales in Thurston County Continue reading

No public Twitter messages.
    ©2012 Thurston Living. All Rights Reserved.