The Steps to Sell a Home

This page entitled “The Steps to Sell a Home” gives a general overview of what may typically be involved when selling a home. Because every transaction is slightly different, one may encounter some additional steps when selling his or her property. The intention of this information is to give home sellers an overview into the process of selling a home.

At Neighborhood Realty Services, we would like to have the opportunity to personally assist you through the process of selling your home.


This is one of the most important aspects to selling your home. It is also the step that when completed can raise the value of your property. Often as homeowners, we take minor repairs and excess clutter in our homes for granted, while a prospective buyer sees it as an extra expenses in buying your home. A buyer will use the various repairs as negotiating items if he or she decides to purchase your home. However, sometimes because of these minor repairs, a buyer may choose not to pursue the opportunity to buy your property, or will not be able to thoroughly inspect your home for purchase because of all the stuff in your property. One should do the following steps listed below before offering his or her home for sale on the open market.

Exterior Checklist for Selling Your Home:

  • Make sure the lawn and the shrubs are in good condition.
  • Remove any debris lying around the yard.
  • Scrape and paint any exterior peeling paint on property.
  • Make sure all exterior lighting is operational.
  • Patch concrete and make sure stairs and handrail are secure.
  • Replace any cracked window panes.
  • Clean gutters and fasten downspouts.
  • Have roof checked and repaired as needed.

Interior Checklist for Selling Your Home:

  • Patch all cracks in ceiling and wall plaster.
  • Make sure all rooms are freshly painted in a neutral color.
  • Clean and organize all closets throughout the home.
  • Make sure all windows are freshly washed.
  • Position the furniture nicely throughout the home.
  • Remove all excess clutter throughout the home.
  • Have good lighting installed.
  • No burned out light bulbs.
  • Repair any plumbing leaks in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Remove all items from kitchen counter top.
  • Make sure carpet is clean and secure.
  • Replace shower curtains with a fresh curtain in each bathroom.
  • Clean out basement.
  • Clean out garage.
  • Organize the laundry area.
  • Thoroughly clean the home of all smells and odors.
  • What you think is a pleasant smell may turn off a buyer.

A little time, money, and elbow grease can yield you a quicker and more profitable sale.


Selecting a sales associate to work with while selling your home is another step in the selling process. Before you conduct any substantive discussions with a sales associate it is important to understand the various agency options available to you. The job of a sales associate is to walk you though the process of selling your home and to assist you in the various steps. Because you will spend a great amount of time discussing important issues with the sales associate, it is important to have a good, open relationship. It is a joint venture between the seller and the real estate agent to get your home sold.


Having a proper price on the home can make the difference as to how quickly the home will sell or if the home will sell. A proper list price is derived from the sale prices of other homes of similar size, style and condition within your specific neighborhood. While working with an agent of Neighborhood Realty Services, you will be supplied the information on comparable sales, so that you are better equipped to determine a realistic price for your home. Just as it is important to not under price your home, it is important to not over price your property either. Staying objective during this step is often difficult for most homeowners, but is important in achieving your goals of a realistic price on your property and being able to sell your property in a timely manner.


During this step you will be required to sign various documentation, in order to have your home placed on the open market for sale. Neighborhood Realty Services is a member of West Penn Multi-List which gives you the greatest exposure in the marketplace. You will be required to fill out property disclosure statements on the home. Make sure you list anything you are aware of concerning your property when filling out these disclosure papers. It is highly recommended that a For Sale sign be posted on your property, making potential buyers aware that your home is for sale.


It is recommended that you allow the showing of the home to be handled by a sales associate. Today most buyers are represented by buyer’s agents and you should allow your agent to represent you whenever possible. Remove all valuable items from the property to be on the safe side. It is encouraged that you not be present while an agent is showing your home to a prospective buyer. Your presence may cause a prospective buyer to get off track in conversations and miss amenities available with your home or make the prospective buyer uncomfortable in openly discussing your property with his or her agent. Inasmuch as having your home shown at different times of the day may be an inconvenience, no one can purchase your property if they can’t see it. It is imperative to make your home as accessible as possible.


You have reached the moment for which you have waited. This step will require you to make many decisions. As a seller, you must look at all the terms and conditions in the contract and not just the price. Try to stay objective. It would be nice to receive a full price, cash agreements; however, this is not typical. You will find that you may need to negotiate different aspects of the contract. Your sales associate will assist you in this stage. Make sure that you understand all of the terms of the contract that you accept.


Based upon the terms of your contract, you may have to allow the home to be accessible for various inspections. Remember to follow the terms that you have agreed upon in the Sales Agreement. This is a time when you will be preparing for your move. This will entail packing, changing your address, and preparing to close on the property.


At the closing, you will transfer the ownership of the property to the buyer. Any outstanding debts, including any mortgage you have on the property, will be paid off from the proceeds of the sale. You will be advised as to all steps that you will be required to take, in order to have a successful closing. Don’t forget to bring the buyer the keys to his or her new home.

At Neighborhood Realty Services, we would like to have the opportunity to personally assist you through the process of selling your home.

What has been outlined on this page is some general steps in the selling process and does not mean that you will not encounter variations in the sale of your home.