Dawn (253) 307-6438
Brandon (253) 732-0778

For Sellers

Step 1: Hire an Agent
Whether an Agent is new on the market or not, they are trained to know your area. Ask them questions, if they don’t know the answer, they will find out for you. Your Real Estate Agent is your new ally for your home. Ask them for their advice, what would they highlight/change about your home? Should I replace the roof or wait? Should I hire a contractor or can I do the repairs myself?

Ask for a new comparable sales of your neighborhood (often called “comps). Now, because many markets are changing, you want neighborhood comps that are no more than two to three months old, but you also want to see what the market looked like 6 months ago to see what the ‘trend” is.

Step 2: Order a Title Report
A Title report ensures there are no liens placed against the prior owners or any documents that will restrict your use of the property. A preliminary title report provides you with an opportunity to review any impediment that would prevent clear title from passing to you.

Step 3: Set the Price
Let your Realtor know what your goal is. Think about what is left on your mortgage, the cost of improvements and closing costs. If your house is paid for, then set your price somewhere between the asking prices of the other houses in your area and your appraised value.

Set a price but don’t be greedy. If your price is too high potential, buyers may not even look at it. And they may very well see a negative message in such a high price. Set a realistic figure.

Pricing is strategy, listen to your Real Estate Agent, they know the area and can help you. And much of it comes down to just how motivated you are to sell — or how quickly you have to leave. Also Consider Modern technology: there is a strategy to consider, for example; If you want to sell yours for around $400,000, consider listing it at $399,999, rather than $400,500. That way, a computer search of anything between $350,000 and $400,000 will include your listing.

Step 4: Staging and Marketing
The clutter in your home may have sentimental value to you, but it gets in the way of selling your home. Before selling your home, you will need to remove the clutter. What if you don’t’ know what may be of clutter? Let your Real Estate Agent help you! They know what buyers are looking for. Do not try to hide clutter in the garage, attic or basement as people will be looking at the whole house before they buy it. If you don’t’ want to get rid of some of your belongings, think about renting a storage unit for a while. Only keep what is absolutely necessary around, sometimes the need of a professional stager is in order, keep an open mind, your goal is to sell the house and what you may think looks very artistic, others may think not. Buyers look for space and light. To show off your home, you need to be able to tour a group comfortably through the house, as well as actually walk into those “walk-in” closets.

Devise a marketing plan with your Realtor. Shape up before marketing. A buyer’s market means you’ve got more competition. You don’t need to renovate, but make sure everything looks great and works well. There are some things you can do to make your home stand out for less:

  •  New paint. Paint the whole house, if it needs it, or just the trim, shutters and door to freshen up.
  • A clean entry way. Sweep or pressure-wash the front walk and porch. Polish the outdoor metalwork, clean the windows and glass and replace any burnt-out bulbs in outdoor lighting. And, if you can, add planters with flowers.
  • Lush landscaping. Think new mulch, sharp edging, a healthy lawn and beds of flowers.

Step 5: Open House/Broker’s Open
There are 2 other options of marketing that your Real Estate Agent can help sell your home:
Open House: Is a good way to listen to the people that come to your home and try to make the changes that the majority of people are suggesting.
Broker’s Open: Is for Real Estate and Lenders only! This is a good way for other Realtors to see your home and give their opinion on looks, price, etc.. also if they have an interested buyer looking for the specifics of your home, it would be on their priority list to show to their clients. If you decide to do one or both, be sure to clean the house and maintain the yard before each open house. Also baking cookies and leaving them out for people to snack on in the house is an advantage for them to like your home more, they will remember that good smell.

Step 6: Understand your price and watch the market
Know that every market is different. Your Real Estate Agent will stay on top of the market, they will know firsthand of what is happening with mortgages and finance rates, keep looking at comps.

Understand your price. While you don’t want to undervalue your house, many sellers today won’t make as much as neighbors who sold last year. If you have your heart set on a certain amount, and find out that houses aren’t selling for that, your home may not sell that fast. Listen to your Realtor and find out what changes can be done.

Step 7: Find a Buyer Escrow Begins
Escrow begins when the Buyer and Seller get a signed around contract, officially known as Mutual Acceptance. Typically the buyer has the right to specify which escrow company they wish to use in the Purchase and Sale contract. Escrow will provide you with a guarantee that no funds or property will change hands until all terms of the contract have been satisfied.
What your Escrow Officer does for you:

  • Receives and holds all funds for disbursement upon closing.
  • Manages the funds and or documents in accordance with instructions
  • Pays all bills as authorized and disburses funds as authorized such as recording fees, payoffs, seller proceeds, etc.
  • Responds to requests from the principals and communicates to all parties
  • Closes the escrow only when all terms and conditions have been met

Step 8: Inspection
Before remodeling or fixing anything in your home, Get A Home Inspection. The home inspection report will tell you what you need to do to make sure the house will pass a bank home inspection, and it will also make recommendations on the steps you can take to improve the value of your home. Most basic inspections range from $200 and $400.

Step 9: Appraisal
A home appraisal will take the work you have had done into account and give you an estimated value of the home. This information will become valuable when you set the selling price of your home.

Step 10: Paperwork
Before you start showing the house make sure you have all of the paperwork in order. Your real Estate Agent will tend to the paperwork details when the home is ready to sell. Make sure all paperwork required is filled out and signed in timely manner to make sure the selling of the home is a smooth transaction.

Step 11: Repairs & Remodeling

For the remodeling work that will require certification by city or town officials such as electrical or plumbing work, you will want to hire a professional. You can save yourself money on your other remodeling projects by doing the work yourself. Consult your Real Estate Agent if you should do the work yourself, some buyers will want to see receipts from a professional company or at least inspected by it.

The major remodeling is the work that the inspection said needed to be done to pass the bank’s inspection prior to approving a mortgage. A coat of paint and new carpet or flooring will help add value to your home as well. Do the touch-up work to get a higher asking price.

Step 12: Relocation Services & Closing
Are you moving to take a new job or position? If so, the company might offer a Relocation Company which will make moving a bit easier. If you’re selling in a tight market, every little bit helps. Best source: call your human resources department.


Serving Pierce, King and Thurston County

John L. Scott Orting
104 S. Washington Ave.
Orting, WA 98360
Office:(360) 893-3380
Fax:(360) 893-5590

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