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 real estate agent 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 real estate agent 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.

What My Clients Say
I can't say enough good things about my experience with Michael Rowland. When my wife and I decided it was time to sell our old house in order to get a little more space, we knew exactly who we would call. I had known Mike for years and his experience in the mortgage world as well as real estate made him an obvious choice. Mike and I went back and forth for 2 or 3 months just discussing what my wife and ...

— Lee B.

What My Clients Say
I bought my first home with Michael. Back in 2019, I had just moved to the area to check in with my new command. One of my work buddies recommended his agent, which ultimately led to me meeting and working with Michael. Considering I had no familiarity with the area or with buying a house, he made the entire experience about as smooth as could be. He set up multiple properties to view that lined up with ...

— Jeshua A.

What My Clients Say
Working with Michael Rowland continues to be what real estate dreams are made of. I sold a home with him over a year ago and the experience was top-notch. He went above and beyond any expectations I had for a REALTOR®. He arranged for beautifully flattering photos to be taken and my house was listed within a week. He did everything possible to make showings convenient for me, even offering to walk my Gol...

— Emmy G.

What My Clients Say
I’ve known Mike for years, we’ve worked on many projects together and he’s helped me countless times. When my wife and I decided to sell our house and jump on the market it was a simple decision on who we would trust. We decided to jump into the market at the last minute with no heads-up. Mike didn’t hesitate to pick the ball up and run with it. Like any real estate transaction, there were plenty of ups,...

— Seller

What My Clients Say
Michael is easily one of the most easy-going, down-to-earth people to ever work with. We fully put our trust in him to not find us a house but a home, our first home. He took everything we wanted and found it for us. He was very knowledgeable and walked us through this difficult and stressful process and made it a complete ease. Definitely a top-notch guy and would highly recommend him to anyone looking ...

— Darrin W.

What My Clients Say
Purchasing a home in 2020 saw a myriad of challenges. None of which could have been predicted, like the seller's market, due to historically low-interest rates. This led to several months of losing homes immediately after viewing them (my personal fault for refusing to enter a bidding war for the above asking). Michael was optimistic going forward each day looking at new listings and driving out immediat...

— James R.

What My Clients Say
Working with Mike is always the right decision. We weren’t even looking for a house but happened to see a listing we loved, called him right away and we were off and running. He was right there with us for every twist and turn in the home-buying process as if it was his own home on the line. His knowledge and experience in the business got us our dream house, with an offer contingent on ours, something t...

— Ashley B.

What My Clients Say
We bought our house in 2020 with the help of Michael! We were stationed in Virginia and Mike was a huge help in finding us a home we love. He would video chat with us while doing home walkthroughs since we could not be here all the time. He is very attentive and knowledgeable about the area. He made the home-buying process quick and smooth! And he still keeps in touch with us as well!

— Kelsey P.

What My Clients Say
Michael was very helpful in selling our old home and purchase of our new one. He was quick to return calls, texts, and emails. We could not have asked for a better agent in going through this very overwhelming process. Mike had all of the answers to our questions and was very patient as we changed our minds almost every day. Would recommend and use it again, every time!

— Christopher D.

What My Clients Say
Working with Michael made our home-buying experience so easy and painless. He’s a class act you can count on to go above and beyond for his clients.

— Justin S.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

What's Your Home Really Worth?

What's Your Home Really Worth?

Your Home Valuation

Thank You!
View Listings

Work With Michael

Michael prides himself in providing personalized solutions that bring his clients closer to their dream properties and enhance their long-term wealth. Contact him today to find out how he can be of assistance to you!