Timeline for Selling a Home

in Clayton, NC

Thinking of selling your home in Clayton? It's important to understand that if you expect to make money on your home, you've got to give yourself plenty of time to prepare, and that can mean starting to plan months ahead of the date you'd actually like to move out.

Here's what to expect when you list your home in Clayton, Garner, or the Triangle.

Before Listing Your Home

To successfully sell a home, you can't just stick a For Sale sign in the front yard; you need to put in a little pre-work first! Here's what needs to happen before you even think about putting your home on the market.

2+ months out

Find an experienced Clayton real estate agent

This is a crucial first step! Enlisting the help of an experienced agent will save you both time and a lot of headache in the long run—and will of course get your home sold more quickly and for more money. A lot of sellers think listing without an agent (For Sale By Owner or "FSBO") will save them money, since they won't have to pay an agent's commission. And while this is true, what often ends up happening is that the home sells for significantly less when listed FSBO than it would have with an agent. Other times, FSBO sellers get frustrated and end up enlisting the help of an agent... after months without a buyer. If you're selling, do yourself a favor and find an agent first!

Looking for an experienced seller's agent in Clayton? Find out more about my qualifications and experience.

6 – 8 weeks out

Consider repairs and improvements

Once you've signed on with an agent, he or she will do a thorough walkthrough of your home to help you evaluate what areas might need some attention. Likely, your agent will find a few things that need either minor or major repairs, and will help you determine which improvements are cost-effective. A good agent should also be able to recommend local vendors to help you complete any repairs or updates.

These improvements might include painting, deep cleaning carpets, refinishing hardwood floors, replacing your garage or front door, resurfacing cabinets, and replacing hardware or fixtures in bathrooms and the kitchen.

4 – 8 weeks out

Set the price right

Another crucial step to ensuring the highest return on your valuable investment is finding a competitive price. This is where you agent will really come in handy; he or she will use their expertise to help you determine an accurate listing price based on the current market. You should consider the price of nearby homes that have recently sold, the price of homes currently on the market, and the condition and location of your specific home.

Ready to get started? Request your neighborhood sold report and work with your Realtor to find the right listing price.

1 – 4 weeks out

Prep your home

It’s time to get your home looking fantastic! Start by decluttering and cleaning your home from top to bottom, clearing out as much space as possible. Then, work with your agent to stage your home so that it is neat, welcoming, and depersonalized—allowing your buyers to picture their own personal touches in their potential new home.

Lastly, take professional photographs to highlight your home’s best features and give buyers a great impression of your home—right from their computer, tablet, or phone. (A good agent should be able to arrange this for you!)

Listing Your Home

You’ve done all the prep work, and now it’s time for the actual process of showing and selling your home. Here’s what to expect once your home actually hits the market.


Reach the greatest number of buyers

The key to selling your home for top dollar is finding the right buyers, and that involves a lot of skilled marketing and advertising. Another big advantage of working with a good real estate agent is that they handle this for you! Skilled listing agents are skilled marketers. They know where to find the best buyers for your home, and they have access to a wealth of resources, including online listing services, print advertising distribution, large social media followings, and even local agent networks.


Let buyers take a tour

Most buyers like to see homes in person before they make an offer, so expect that interested buyers will request individual showings of your home. You want to be as flexible as possible so that buyers can take their time exploring and enjoying your home. Unfortunately, that does mean you have to pretty much keep your home show-ready at all times.

Establishing a regular cleaning and organizing schedule can help keep your home clean and organized. Then, before showings, be sure to make the beds, take out the trash, and wash any dishes lingering in the sink. Additionally, you should be ready to clear out of the house during showings to avoid making buyers uncomfortable.

Dealing with offers

Negotiate and accept an offer

If a buyer wants to buy your home, they will make you a written offer. The offer typically includes quite a few details, in addition to their offer price. These details typically include the buyer's mortgage amount and type, closing and occupancy dates, and contingencies (the most common of which are the inspection and appraisal contingencies). After you receive an offer, you have three options: accept the offer as-is, reject the offer, or reply with a counter-offer.

Should you issue a counter-offer to the buyer, you are now involved in negotiations. During this time, your agents will communicate to find modified terms and conditions that work for both parties. That might involve changing the price, the dates, the contingencies, and more.

The Closing Process

You've negotiated with your buyer and accepted an offer. But it's not time to sit back and relax just yet—there are still a few more steps to go through to ensure everything is in order before you get your check and hand over your keys.

Due diligence

Cooperate with home inspections & appraisals

Once you and the buyer come to an agreement, you will both sign a Purchase and Sale Agreement, and you’re under contract! Next comes due diligence, a set period of time the buyer requests to do some “research” on your home to ensure they still want to buy it. During this time, the buyer will likely hire a home inspector and appraiser to take a look at your home to ensure there aren’t any maintenance, price, or title hangups.


Amend terms & conditions

Should any issues arise during the due diligence process, the buyer may want to renegotiate the terms of the contract. For example, they might request that you, the seller, fix a maintenance issue uncovered in the inspection. They may request a price reduction should your home appraise at a lower value than they’ve offered. It’s up to you and your agent to decide which requests are fair… and which you will refuse.

Finally... the close!

Sign, collect & hand over your keys

On a predetermined closing date, you and your buyer will sit down with your agents to sign all the paperwork and pay all your fees. You will relinquish your keys and your property title, and you will receive a check for the remaining balance after the rest of your mortgage is paid to your bank. Congrats—you have sold your home!

Ready to Sell Your Home in Clayton?

The first step is to contact me! From home staging and professional photographs to negotiations and closing paperwork, I’m here to be your home selling guide, every step of the way! Call me today to learn more about how I can help you successfully list and sell your home in Clayton, Garner, or the Triangle!