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The Process of Selling a House

home selling process

Selling your home doesn’t have to be tedious and time-consuming. When you have a professional involved to help outline the process of selling a house and to bring in reliable contractors that will deliver cost-effective services, the sale and the move become much more manageable. Take a look at our breakdown of the home marketing process and give us a call when you are ready to make your next move.


stults-remax-logo-dark-small1) Choose a Realtor

    • Ask for referrals from friends and Family, and search online for Realtors with specific knowledge of and experience in your area


    • Meet with several Realtors. Ask them their approach to marketing your home, what extra services they include, what extra fees there will be.


    • Choose the one Realtor that you feel you would be most comfortable working with, and ask that one Realtor to return with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for your home.


    • You and the Realtor that you choose to represent you will decide together on a list price for the home, based in part on the information in the CMA that Realtor provides.



2) Preparing Your Home for the Market

    • As a part of our CMA, we provide a recommended list of repairs and improvements that we feel will maximize your return on the home, and minimize the time on the market. Together, we can prioritize those items and decide which ones to move forward on.


    • For any repair items that require contractors, we can suggest contractors or even bring in several contractors to give you bids on the work to be done.


    • For older homes and homes with significant deferred maintenance, we can recommend a home inspector to contractoridentify areas or systems in need of attention. This can be valuable in enabling you to address repairs, in advance, of items that might scare off a Buyer later in the process. It also allows you to approach the repairs in the most economical manner rather than having a Buyer determine the fix.


    • Some common preparation items are decluttering, interior painting, carpet cleaning (or replacement), landscape maintenance, wood floor refinishing, window cleaning, removing family and personal photos.


    • Once the home is ready, we will have a professional appraiser come in to measure for a floor plan that we can use in our marketing, and we will expertly photograph the interior and exterior.



3) On the Market

    • We will provide a dedicated custom website for your home, eg. “”, with photos, floor plan, description, map, neighborhood and school information, and much more.


    • Your home will be ‘Active’ on MLS, where roughly 8,000 Triangle-area Realtors will be able to access the info.


    • The information and photos will be ‘syndicated’ to dozens of additional websites, including;; Zillow; Trulia, and many others.


    • Your home will be a ‘Featured Listing’ on our StultsAdvantage website, and the information will be forwarded to the hundreds of active subscribers to our website.


    • Your home will be included in our neighborhood mailings.


    • We will contact clients and agents that have inquired about listings that match the criteria of your home.



4) Getting an Offer

    • We will negotiate, on your behalf and with your full participation, for the best possible terms. The items we negotiate include: Price, Due Diligence Fee, Due Diligence process of selling a housePeriod, Earnest Money, Closing Date, Personal Property included in the sale, Home Warranty


    • During the ‘Due Diligence Period’, the Buyer will perform an examination of the home and secure their loan. Due Diligence items include (but are not limited to): Home Inspection; Radon Inspection; Termite Inspection; Survey; Insurance availability and cost; School assignments; Well & Septic; HOA restrictions and covenants, appraisal, loan status.


    • By the end of the Due Diligence Period, the Buyer will present a Repair Request to you, listing the items that they would like corrected. You may agree to all, some, or none. We will give you input on what is reasonable, and can manage getting estimates and directing the repairs. The Buyer has the option to terminate the contract until the end of the Due Diligence Period.



5) Between Contract and Closing

    • Once the Repair Request is agreed to, you have until Closing to complete the repairs. We can help, and we will manage the repairs as a part of our service.


    • Remember to notify utility providers of the end date of your service.


    • Arrange movers


    • We provide a final cleaning of the house after your move-out.



6) Closing

    • Just before closing, the Buyers will do a final walk-through of the house to make sure everything is ship-shape and the repairs have been completed.


    • The closing itself will take about an hour and a half. In almost all cases, the Seller does not need to attend.



Seller’s Definitions

You will hear several terms discussed repeatedly during the sale process. Here are some of the most common ones:


1) Due Diligence Fee

    • Is the amount paid to the Seller when the Offer to Purchase is accepted and becomes a Contract.


    • The amount is negotiable, and varies between 0 and thousands of dollars. The amount depends on the price of the house and the length of the Due Diligence Period. An average Due Diligence Fee for a $300,000 house for four weeks of Due Diligence might be $400-$500.


    • It is not refundable, and is a credit towards the price of the house.


2) Due Diligence Period

    • Is the length of time that the Buyer has to conduct their property investigations and pursue their financing. Until five pm on the last day of Due Diligence, the Buyer can terminate the contract for any reason or for no reason.


3) Earnest Money

    • Is the money paid into an Escrow Account by the Buyer to show their seriousness and financial wherewithal to move forward to closing. The Earnest Money is a credit towards the purchase price if the contract proceeds to closing.


    • It is refundable to the Buyer if the contract is terminated during the Due Diligence Period. After the Due Diligence Period, it is usually not refundable.


    • “Initial Earnest Money” is paid into the Escrow Account within five days of the contract being signed.


    • “(Additional) Earnest Money” is paid into the Escrow Account at some later date.


    • A rule of thumb for amount of Earnest Money is approx. 1% of the purchase price, but it is negotiable and does vary.


4) Other Negotiable Terms of the Offer

        • Settlement Date – When will the Buyer close on the property?


        • Home Warranty. A Seller can offer a home warranty, or a Buyer can ask the Seller to pay for a year warranty at closing


        • Seller Paid Closing Costs. A Buyer can ask the Seller to pay some of the Buyer’s closing costs. Examples of closing costs are – appraisal fees, inspection fees, attorney fees, loan application fee. This is a direct cost to the Seller at closing, so, for example, an offer of $225,000 with no closing costs paid would net the same to the Seller as an offer of $230,000 with $5,000 closing costs paid.

The process of selling a house can be complicated and challenging.  Contact us today and let us help make the process easy while also saving you money.

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    Rhonda Stults
    RE/MAX United
    1526 E. Franklin St., Ste.101
    Chapel Hill NC 27514


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