How Selling a Home Works

Great room and kitchen with white cabinets

Transitioning from first-time buyer to first-time seller? Check out the following roadmap for an overview of the process and tips to help you successfully sell your home!

Make home improvements

You don’t want to sink unnecessary money into your current home (better to save it for the next one!), but there are a few prudent touch-ups that could possibly help to decrease your home’s time on the market and even net you a better asking price! For specific suggestions, check out What to Update When Selling Your Home.

Find a real estate agent

A good selling agent brings valuable experience and expertise, able to assist with important tasks like marketing your home, setting a reasonable asking price, vetting buyer offers, and guiding you through contracting and closing. Need help finding an agent? Check out Choosing an Agent to Sell Your Home.

Inspect your home (and avoid surprises)

The last thing you want is a potential buyer to discover a deal-breaking problem with your home—especially if you’re trying to sell on a tight timeline. Enlist a professional to check out your house and compile a list of any necessary repairs.

Tidy up

Toy-strewn floors and your cat’s litter box won’t make for good listing photographs or entice potential buyers. Stock up on cleaning supplies and get ready to purge and declutter. Extra reading: Strategies to Keep Your House Clean When Selling

Stage your home

This is where all those years of watching HGTV comes in handy. You want to take all the visual elements of your home—color, furniture, art, rugs, etc.—and arrange them in such a way that, instead of seeing your home, potential buyers see their dream home. That means an aesthetic that’s tasteful and eye-catching, yet neutral enough that the appeal isn’t too narrow. For inspiration, check out Home Staging Tips: How the 5 Senses Help You Sell.

Photograph your home

Your real estate agent will typically hire and schedule a professional photographer, so all you’ll need to do is make sure your home is camera ready for their visit. Pictures of your home will make a first and powerful impression for many buyers, so it’s important to leave this task to the pros.


Your selling agent will help put together a listing to effectively market your home to potential buyers. Your listing will likely be disseminated through a mix of print (e.g. newspapers, flyers) and online (e.g. listing websites, email, social media) advertising. And you can even get in on the action by sharing your listing on your personal social channels! For more, check out these tips on crafting a listing.

Schedule viewings

Work with your agent to schedule viewing times for interested buyers. The more visitors you’re able to make time for, the better your odds of selling on a faster timeline. You’ll also want to make sure you maintain your beautiful staging job so that your home is equally as inviting in person as it is in pictures.

Accept the best offer

Your agent will work closely with you to review offers and help narrow down the list to the most qualified buyers. Once you’re certain you’ve found the right buyer at the right price, your agent will help walk you through the contracting process and to the closing table. Happy selling!

Keep following our blog for additional tips on selling your home, as well as for tips on buying your next home!