A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent and this easy to follow guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for the best price possible.​​​​​​​


Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better craft your offer. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your goal is to make a certain profit margin. Make sure you convey these needs to your REALTOR® once you choose one so he or she can adjust your selling price accordingly.


Step 2: Determine Selling Price

Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process. When you set a fair price in the beginning, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest, and underpricing leads to receiving less than what your home is worth. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to determine the right selling price for your home. An agent with experience can determine what other comparable homes are selling for, evaluate the current market, and may even suggest a home appraisal.


Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, making any small repairs, and doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition.


Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.


Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. I will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is prequalified or pre-approved by a mortgage lender and that their offer is acceptable to you. If the offer is too low, you can make a counter-offer or offer other ways to bridge the gap, such as covering some or all of the closing costs, making repairs, adjusting the move-in date, or leaving some appliances or fixtures for the new buyer.


Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once I deem the offer is acceptable, I will review the proposed contract to make sure it’s all in order and includes the necessary components such as deposit amount, down payment, financing, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, settlement date, and a list of fees and who will pay them. When both parties have agreed to the term, a final contract will be prepared by your agent.


Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer and are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, you and the buyer must make a list of what needs to be done before closing. In some cases, your home may need to be formally inspected, surveyed, and appraised. In other cases, major or minor repairs will need to be made before the house can close. I will head up efforts to develop and execute this list, get each action item paid for by the correct party, and make sure everything is in order by the closing date. A few days before the closing date, we will call the company closing the transaction to make sure everything is ready to go. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to make arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession.


Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. I will meet with the company closing the transaction to sign the final paperwork and go over any issues that have not yet been taken care of. During this time, you can also make plans with your REALTOR® to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining and ensuring the new owner has instructions for all appliances that will remain in the home.


Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.

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Got what we were looking for. Vanessa was extremely responsive and always flexible to our schedules. Would recommend her to anybody with no hesitation.

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Vanessa was helpful in our moving process. Worked with our work hours and responded very quickly to any questions we had. Would recommend it to family and friends in the future!

— Sheena P.

Need options for your specific needs? He helped me on short notice and I am very satisfied with the one I chose especially under my circumstances. He helped me based on my location, amenities, and specific apartment build needs.

— Buyer

Mark Anthony is very positive and always willing to help you throughout the home-buying process. I appreciated him checking in all the time and keeping me relaxed. His professional nature and outgoing personality made it very easy for me to work with him and made the entire process very easy. Would very much recommend him.

— Ricardo B.

Mark Anthony Ball was such a joy. As a Sales Consultant for Castlerock Communities, we meet a lot of realtors. But not many are like Mark Anthony. He is an outstanding Realtor who listened to the best interest of his buyer. The buyer was very happy to see this gem Mark Anthony had found for him. His follow-up was excellent. His client was very pleased with the purchase of this new home. I look forward to...

— Janet F.

If you want a great realtor to find the home of your dreams, Mark Ball is your man! He listened to what we were looking for, immediately started giving us listings, and showed us what we wanted to see. There is a lot of competition for houses right now but he helped us find our home and stayed with us every step of the way through all the paperwork including the day we closed which was only 20 days from ...

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My wife and I were very fortunate to have found Vanessa Montez on Realtor.com. Vanessa has not only treated us with the utmost professionalism and courtesy but she's also treated us as friends not just as clients. She will always go above and beyond our expectations for great service. She worked around our schedule with 100% flexibility and she patiently walked us through the home-buying process. My wife...

— Oscar

Mark Anthony Ball was a great realtor for us when we chose to purchase our home in the San Antonio area. He ensured that all our buying needs are met and he is very flexible with working with his clients. Being in the military and my busy schedule, he stayed on top and made sure that I meet my timelines and works efficiently through the process. He had clear and consistent communication, well-organized b...

— Blake U.

I had the pleasure of working with Mark Anthony and his team on my recent home purchase, and it was truly a gift. I've worked with several realtors in the past, but none were able to get the job done like Mark Anthony. He made the process so easy and stress-free, and his team was always available to answer any questions we had. What impressed me the most was that Mark Anthony took the time to listen to w...

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— Buyer

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