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Timeline for Selling a Home

in Harford County and Baltimore County

Selling your home in Harford or Baltimore County requires more than just sticking a "For Sale" sign in your yard and waiting for buyers. If you really want to get top dollar and sell fast, now is the time to start planning! Here's a complete timeline to help you navigate your sale from start to finish—and you can always contact us with any questions.

Before Listing Your Home

It's never too early to start prepping for your home sale! Let's take a look at what needs to happen before your house officially hits the market.

2+ months out

Find an experienced local real estate agent

Choosing the right agent will make your entire selling experience easy and hassle-free. That's why it's important to make your decision well in advance and interview a few candidates before settling on the right one.

Many sellers believe they can save money by going "for sale by owner" (or FSBO). Although you will avoid paying commission, you'll be left to do all the heavy lifting without the help of a professional. The right agent can list, market, and sell your home for more money...all while saving you quite a few headaches.

Need help finding an agent in Harford County or Baltimore County? Come learn a little more about our qualifications!  

6 – 8 weeks out

Consider repairs and improvements

After you've chosen your agent, they'll likely do a walkthrough of your home and point out any necessary repairs or improvements you should make before you list. You agent should also be able to recommend some local vendors who can help you tackle any projects.

Believe it or not, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get your home looking its best for buyers. Sometimes, all you might need is a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, or some refinishing to completely refresh your space. When in doubt, just ask your agent for advice!

4 – 8 weeks out

Price it right

The secret to selling your home quickly is pricing it right from the start. In order to attract buyers, you want your price to be competitive—but you should't lose out on any of the equity you've built up over time.

While it may be tempting to use automatic online estimators to generate a price for your home, it's best to ask a local agent for their opinion. They'll compare your home to the latest sold data and current market conditions to come up with an accurate number. If you want to get a better idea of how much your home has increased in value, consider requesting one of our free neighborhood sold reports

1 – 4 weeks out

Start staging

Now it's time to get your home looking picture-perfect for buyers! If you want to make a great first impression, start on the outside. Handle any exterior maintenance tasks, mow your lawn, and trim back any overgrown landscaping. From there, you can start decluttering the inside of your home and give each room a thorough cleaning. You should also take steps to depersonalize your space so buyers can envision themselves living in your home. Do this by removing family photos, knick knacks, or any other personal touches.

Once you have everything looking spectacular, your agent will come in to take photos for your listing. We even offer 3D Matterport tours so buyers can explore your home virtually!

Listing Your Home

Now that your home is ready for buyers, it's time to make things official. Here's what to expect once your home is on the market. 

Marketing

Reach the greatest number of buyers

Even the most beautiful (and aptly priced) homes won't sell without some marketing. This is where your agent comes in! The right Realtor will be able to advertise your home on a variety of platforms, including the MLS, social media, and print ads. And when you work with us, we'll even consult our database of motivated buyers to see if we know anyone who's looking for a property like yours. 

Showing

Let buyers take a tour

Most buyers will want to see your home in person before making an offer. You should try to be as flexible as possible, even in the event of a last-minute showing.

By establishing a regular cleaning schedule, you can keep your space looking perfect at all times. And before a tour, make sure that all trash has been removed, every bed is made, and that there are no dishes in the sink. These tiny details can actually make a huge impression on potential buyers during a showing.

Dealing with offers

Negotiate and accept an offer

If a buyer is interested in your home, they'll send you and your agent a written offer. This document won't just contain their proposed price—they'll also mention any contingencies (like an inspection or appraisal), financing, and their desired closing date. From here, the ball is in your court. You can choose to accept the offer, decline it, or send it back with modified terms.

It's completely normal to negotiate with a potential buyer, so don't be afraid to send back a few counter offers until you reach a deal everyone can agree on.

The Closing Process

You've almost reached the finish line! The closing process involves quite a bit of paperwork, but with the right agent, everything should go off without a hitch.

Due diligence

Cooperate with home inspections & appraisals

Once you and your buyer are under contract, you'll enter the due diligence period. This allows the buyer to do a little more research on your home to ensure that they still want to go through with the purchase. Most of the time, this process involves a home inspection and an appraisal.  

Renegotiation

Amend terms & conditions

If the home inspection uncovers an issue or your property appraises below the agreed-upon price, the buyer may want to renegotiate your contract. They could ask you to make repairs before the closing or take money off the price. From there, you'll get to decide which requests are fair...and say no to the ones you disagree with.

Finally... the close!

Sign, collect & hand over your keys

On a predetermined closing date, you'll sit down with the buyer and your agents to sign the final paperwork and pay any last minute fees. Most closings typically take an hour, and this is when you'll transfer your title to the new owners. Once you relinquish your keys and pay off the remainder of your mortgage, you've officially sold your home. Congrats!

Home Selling Made Easy

When it comes to selling your home, never settle for second best. Contact the Lee Tessier Team today to streamline your sale—we have plenty of resources and programs to help you through every step of the process. We can even help you buy your next home, too!

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