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Lawrence Yerkes - Realtor, e-PRO - RE/MAX Preferred - We Get Results! - Welcome!

The Process Of Selling A Home
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Copyright Lawrence Yerkes. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing. All rights reserved.

[Harper Sold] + [RE/MAX = Sold] = Delaware Valley synergy -- Article: The Process of Selling A Home -  If You Put It Up For Sale, Will They Buy It?If you place it up for sale, will buyers come?

Selling your home can be a positive and rewarding event (not just in terms of getting a good return on your investment equity, but also in the relationships and new experiences you will encounter, and with the possible new skills you may acquire) -- provided you use the right real estate professional and you understand the process of selling a home.

There are 10 major steps or phases that we have identified in the real estate home sales transaction process.  All real estate home sales involve these steps, often varying in the details, but you can not have a successful home sale without properly executing these steps. 

ARTICLE OBJECTIVE: To give you a basic understanding of the Home Selling Process and to minimize your risks and maximize your results by identifying and using the right real estate professional to guide and assist you in the process.

Because we believe that... "An Educated Home Owner...Becomes a Satisfied Home Seller"

1. Analyze and determine your needs -- both short term and long term.

Seller Resources

Seller Center
Real Estate Library: Residential
How Much Is Your Property Worth? (Request free CMA)
Neighborhoods - Information,  Analysis, Statistics, Reports
SELL - List Your Property
Referral Services
Service Support Center
More LOCAL Resources
Investment Resources
Commercial Resources
1031 Exchange Resources
Renowned/Luxury Property Programs
Feng Shui Services
Moving Resources
Distinctive Properties and Estates
Real Estate Glossary

Recommended Books

Seniors Advantage Services
Effective Selling of Your Property

      Note: The above step requires action by the seller to make a decision to sell the house.


2. Identify an agent with whom you are comfortable and has the proper credentials and experience for your situation.

    If you are contemplating not using an agent, i.e., For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO):

Realtors that are licensed in New Jersey have to be formally trained, pass a state test and licensing procedure, be finger-printed, go through a state police and FBI background check, have to be accepted by a state regulated real estate office which makes sure they are properly insured and is responsible for making sure that they are professional, ethical and legal in their actions and effectively represent you.

      Are you prepared to...

  • Incur the advertising costs and support expenses that usually the agent (and agent's office) is spending thousands of dollars monthly to market your property, to identify and qualify your buyers and provide support services?
    (You've essentially decided to fire your potential advertising, marketing and sales staff of thousands, as will as your experienced administrative, operations, customer service and support personnel and do it all yourself.)    
    A Realtor's Costs : Your Costs]

  • Incur additional time for making the sale, because you are reaching a few possible qualified buyers, instead of thousands of already qualified buyers?

  • Spend adequate time to manage showings, screening of buyers, working with buyer's agents, inspectors, negotiations? What is your stress threshold?

  • Properly vet buyers who say they are qualified and have the experience to determine if they are pre-qualified, pre-approved, are working with a mortgage banker or broker, have prior experience to know how the loan company performed in the past? 

  • Have ongoing and potential future interactions with loan and service companies and thus have the leverage to demand quick responses in a crisis situation?

  • Expose yourself to unnecessary security risks in dealing directly with the public and not having an agent to screen them?   (Also, if they are calling your phone number, does that provide a way for them to know when you are/are not home?)

  • Sell for less than market value?   You may save on not paying a commission - but the average FSBO home sold for 16% less than a comparable Realtor-sold home, nationwide.

  • Pay a buyer's agent commission, as frequently it is a licensed real estate agent that brings the qualified, ready, willing and able buyer to your door?

  • Compete in the current market.  You may have a better chance in a strong seller's market, but in the current more balanced market, where there is more inventory available (more home on the market), what will allow you to stand out from the other properties in the area (your competition) that are being heavily advertised and promoted?

  • Negotiate with buyers, the buyer's representations, family and friends, even though it may become heated and be able to avoid it becoming personal?

  • Avoid the post-contract pitfalls that surround every transaction [Click here for list]?  

  • Additional comments for your consideration.

If you have honestly answered "yes" to all the above items and are still determined to sell it yourself, then click here


Notes: Step #2 requires action by the seller to select a Realtor that is a best fit for seller's situation and needs.

We have earned NAR's GREEN designation, confirming that we have a comprehensive understanding of what it means to go green and the concerns of those seeking green knowledge about real estate - and what a growing number of green-focused buyers are looking for in properties and how best to reach and present properties to that market segment. 
(Click here for our GREEN Resources page.)

Consumer Notice: One of the first items of business every Realtor is required to do by state regulation is presenting an information notice prepared by the state Real Estate Board for you to review and sign (this is not a contract, just a proof for agent that it was shown to you) so that you understand the different forms of real estate agency.

In New Jersey, it's called the Consumer Information Statement (C.I.S.)
In Pennsylvania, it's called the "Consumer Notice"

The following steps (3 through 10) are carried out by the seller with the aid / guidance / support of the Realtor or by the Realtor on behalf of the seller.  The timings for each step will vary, many times overlapping, but no step can be skipped.

3. Establish Pricing

Remember:  Sellers determine the price; Buyers determine the value.

4. Prepare Home to Increase Appeal, Value, Potential Price and minimize Length of Time To Sell.

Housekeeping Made Easy

HGTV Designed to Sell: Preparing Your Home For Sale and Showing

The Art of Home Staging

See additional selling articles from Realty Reality below

Click here for "Preparing and Staging a House for Sale"

5. Put Home Up For Sale and Aggressively Market.

6. Receive Offers and Negotiate Acceptable Price and Terms.

Note: This is an area where a good agent can greatly reduce your risks and maximize the price and terms on your behalf, plus shield you from the extra stress and confrontational situations often encountered during negotiations.

Once you've come to a "meeting of the minds" and you have a "ready, willing and able buyer", we can now generate a Contract For Sale reflecting those terms.


7. Sign Contract and Follow Through (Implement the terms).
Keep in mind that there is a "North Jersey Close" which is different from a "South Jersey Close" assumed in this article.
Click here for more details on our NJ Fast Facts page..

Note: Having an experienced professional agent can reduce the chance for unpleasant surprises, minimize stress and inconveniences, and can save time, effort and costs when problems arise that have to be quickly resolved and that may involve bringing in the right service providers to remedy situations on short notice (Realtors have extra leverage because of past and future dealings and relationships established with these providers).


8. Prepare for Closing.

9. Close the Sale  (Closing / Settlement).

Your Realtor is present and still representing you at closing in case anything unexpected should occur, frequently on the buyer's side.

The process from accepting an offer to Settlement should normally take about 4 or 5 weeks, this may be adjusted by contractual requirements or other circumstances upon mutual agreement.

Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or
you are
ready to sell your property.
Click here to e-mail a request

10. Complete Post Close Activities / Moving / Follow-up.



Listing - A piece of property placed by a listing agent on the market, including placing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for all real estate agents to see and access.
Listing Agreement - A written employment agreement between a property owner and the real estate broker (a listing agent, a licensed real estate agent who is a representative of the broker, usually writes and signs the agreement) authorizing the broker to place on the market and find a buyer (or tenant) for the specified property.

Real Estate Glossary :     Common Real Estate terms.
Real Estate Glossary - General :   Regularly used Real Estate terms. (Provided by the e-PRO organization.)
Real Estate Glossary - General #2 :   Definitions for common real estate and legal terms.
Real Estate Abbreviations :   Abbreviations appearing in real estate listings and what they mean.

See additional reference resources available at the: Real Estate Library Resource Center

Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or
you are
ready to sell your property.
Click here to e-mail a request

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More Articles Of Interest to Sellers:

Anatomy Of A House

Choosing The Right Paint Color for the Interior of Your Property
Energy Upgrades
Foggy Windows Can Be Repaired
Feng Shui - What It Is And How It Can Be Used In Real Estate
Home Inspection Basics

Homeowners Home Inspection Guide
Lead Paint

Leave Water Damage Remediation To The Pros

Mold Issues
Mortgage Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval Process

Moving Check List
Polybutylene Plumbing: Waiting to Burst

Pre-Qualifying vs. Pre-Approval

Real vs. Personal Property

Recommended Books
Septic Systems - Homeowner Maintenance

Seller Resource Articles from Realty Reality:

Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions


you are
ready to sell your property.

Click here to e-mail a request

Are Pets Reducing Your Chances of Selling Your Home?
Consumer Protection Information For Home Buyers and Sellers
Consumer's Inspection Kit From Freddie Mac
Factors You Must Consider to Successfully Sell a Home (Survey)
Getting Your Home Organized - Part 1 of 3 - Where To Begin
Home Buyers and Sellers Resource Page
How To Add Value To Your Home
How to Sell Your Home In The Shortest Possible Time
Finance Center - Seller's Guide from
Lead-Based Paint In The Home - Safety Issues from HUD
Maximize Your Home's Emotional Appeal
Minor Property Repairs Can Yield Top Dollar
NJ Fire Extinguisher Legislation Signed Into Law
Preparing and Staging a House for Sale
Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) of NJ  [2006/02]
Septic Systems - Owner Maintenance
Setting The Stage For A Successful Sale
Severe Weather Tips to Protect Property from Further Damage
Top Mistakes of Home Buyers and Sellers in 2005
Understanding Home Warranties
Virtual Home Inspection - AHSI
What's In, What's Out With Homebuyers In 2006  [2006/02]
What’s it Worth? - NAHB House Price Estimator
Winter Storm Home Damage Can Be Minimized With Well-Planned Preparations

Click here for additional articles of interest to Sellers via our Residential Homes Real Estate Category Index Page

See also Realty Reality Real Estate Market Trends Articles

Know How to Sell / TV    Click here to view the short NAR TV consumer awareness segment, Know How to Sell.   


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