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Timeline for Selling a Home

in Central Ohio

Selling a home—it's one of life's biggest milestones, and many would-be sellers think of the process as a long, stressful experience. However, working with a real estate agent can ensure a smooth sale from start to finish! Follow our timeline for selling your Columbus area home, and you'll be starting your next chapter in no time at all. Questions? Just give us a call for all the answers you need!

Before Listing Your Home

Selling a home involves a lot more than just sticking a "For Sale" sign in your front yard. Here's a little prep work that will pay off in the long run.

2+ Months Out:

Find an Experienced Columbus Agent

Choosing the right real estate agent has the potential to make or break your entire transaction. Be sure to interview a few candidates before making a decision. The right agent should have experience in your area or neighborhood, as well as comprehensive marketing and pricing strategies. You should also get along on a more personal level, too.

Not sure where to start? Find out more about our qualifications and experience!

6 – 8 Weeks Out:

Consider repairs and improvements

Before your home officially hits the market, your agent will perform a walkthrough and recommend any repairs or enhancements that could increase your profits. A little sweat equity goes a long way, and you don't have to undertake a complete renovation to see an impressive return on investment.

Common fixes include painting, refinishing floors, doing some landscaping, or making any necessary repairs you've been putting off for a while. You can even have a pre-listing home inspection to avoid any surprises down the line.

4 – 8 Weeks Out:

Set the Price Right

While it might be tempting to use an automatic online estimator to calculate a potential list price, these numbers just aren't that accurate. Instead, ask your agent to do the heavy lifting for you. Request a neighborhood sold report and work with your real estate agent to find the right listing price that will maximize your equity.

1 – 4 Weeks Out:

Stage and Declutter

Before you take your official listing photos, spend some time decluttering and staging your home to get it ready for its big close-up! Ideally, you've already started getting rid of things you don't need. Work room by room, sorting your belongings into keep, donate, and throw away piles to keep everything organized. If you have any large furniture, consider putting it in storage. You should also try to depersonalize your decor and keep everything as neutral as possible.

Putting Your Home on the Market

Now that you've done all the prep work, it's time for the actual process of showing and selling your home. Here's what to expect once buyers start showing up at your door.

Market Your Home:

The key to selling a home is in finding the right buyers, and that requires a lot of marketing and advertising. Luckily, you won't have to do any of this work yourself—it's all up to your agent. Real estate agents are skilled marketers, and they have the resources you need to secure the right buyer at the right price. A well-connected agent should use a multi-faceted approach, which includes the MLS, social media, virtual tours, print marketing, and word of mouth.

Show Your Home:

In addition to scheduled open houses, your home can be shown at any time—that means you need to be prepared to leave for extended periods of time. Keep your space neat, clean, organized, and staged. Don't leave dirty dishes or laundry lying around, be sure to dust and vacuum regularly, and promptly address any potential clutter buildups.

Negotiate and Accept:

If a buyer wants to purchase your home, they will make you a written offer, which usually states how much they'll pay, their mortgage amount, closing and occupancy dates, and any contingencies. From there, you can accept the offer or negotiate for different terms.

It's normal to go back and forth with a potential buyer as you negotiate contingencies, price, and other important factors. Your agent will handle all communication, and they'll be there to answer any tough questions.

Navigating the Closing

You're almost at the finish line! Take a look at some of the final steps that go into selling your Central Ohio home.

Due Diligence:

Most buyers will request a home inspection after you're under contract. During this process, a home inspector will go through every inch of your house, paying particular attention to the roof, basement, heating and cooling systems, structure, plumbing, and electrical. If the inspector finds any needed repairs, the buyer can negotiate even further.

If your buyer is taking out a mortgage, you may also need an appraisal. An appraiser will assess your home to ensure it's worth the amount the buyer is paying.

Enter Escrow:

Next, you'll enter escrow. During this time, you and your agent will work with an escrow company to sign paperwork and ensure that all parts of the contract are complete. The buyer will complete the title check and do their final walkthrough.

Sign, Pay, and Close:

The big day is finally here! On a pre-determined date, you'll sit down with your agent to sign any remaining paperwork, pay any fees, and relinquish your keys and title. If you have an existing mortgage, you'll use the funds from your sale to pay it off. Congrats—you've sold your home!

Ready to Sell a Home in Columbus?

If you're ready to start the selling process, calling us is the first step! Get in touch with the Yoder Barnhart Team to get your home on the market and sold for top dollar in no time at all. We'd love to help you achieve your real estate goals.

Not quite ready to sell? That's okay—we have plenty of tools and resources to help you learn more about selling a home.