5 Steps to Selling Your Home in Huntsville, Alabama

Selling a home in the Huntsville, Alabama market can be a complex process, but there are a few steps that you can take to make it a smooth process for you. We’ll outline the five critical steps involved in selling a home, including setting a competitive price and responding to market trends. Additionally, we’ll provide advice on selecting the right real estate agent and present two exclusive programs to assist you in obtaining the best possible price for your home. By following these steps, you can ensure a successful home-selling experience.

Before taking any steps to sell your home, you're going to want to hire a local real estate agent. There are some tips at the end on how to hire a good local real estate agent that’s right for you.

1. Set a Competitive Price

Once you have a local real estate agent, the first step is setting a competitive list price. The reason you want to set a competitive list price is because home shopping is kind of like a parade. All of the buyers that are out there, they've seen all the inventory that's already out on the market so they're waiting for new listings to come available. The first week is really your golden opportunity to sell. That's why you have more showings typically that first week than you'd have in months, one, two, three, or four. You really want to maximize that first week by being priced right.

When you work with a good real estate agent, they’re going to give you two competitive market analyses (CMA). One is typically going to be a CMA based on your neighborhood or your subdivision. Another CMA is going to be based on your submarket. You want multiple CMA’s because some buyers are focused on just your neighborhood while other buyers are focused on maybe a school district or a price point.

The other thing that a good real estate agent is going to do for you is not just looking at the CMA on what the numbers showed previously, but they're also going to help educate you on whether you're in an appreciating or a declining market. You may have to price ahead of the market in a declining market, or you may price your home more expensive than the homes sold in the previous six months if you're in an appreciating market.

2. Prepare Your Home for Sale

Step number two is to prepare your home for sale. A good real estate agent can walk through your home and make recommendations to help get you top dollar for your home. Now, you might find yourself in a situation where you either don't want to make the repairs are you don't have the cash to make the repairs.

At Matt Curtis Real Estate, we have two different programs to help you out. If you find yourself in a situation where you do want top dollar, but you simply don't have the cash necessary to get your home ready, that's where our Fix To Sell program comes in. We'll provide up to $10,000 to make repairs for things such as carpet and fresh paint to help you get top dollar.

The second program is our Instant Offer Program. This is for somebody that may have repairs but doesn't want the hassle of doing them, they just don't want the hassle of showings, or they want the certainty of a sale right now and be able to time their selling date. We will actually come in and purchase your home from you at a discounted rate, typically between 85 to 93% of the value.

3. Market Your Home

The third step is where a good agent or a great agent really shines, and that's in marketing your home. A typical agent is going to sign listing paperwork with you, they're going to put the home in the MLS, and they’re going to put a sign up in your yard just hoping that your home sells. Whereas a good agent, they're going to have a plan. They're going to have a professional photographer come out and take pictures of your home. They may have a few buyers that they're going to put your home out to or maybe even do an advertisement on social media.

A great agent will leverage their extensive database of buyers to find the perfect match for your home. At Matt Curtis Real Estate, we've been marketing over $1,000,000 every year for several years now to create this database of buyers that are looking for homes similar to yours. We have literally hundreds and sometimes thousands of buyers looking for a home just like yours in a certain school district, in a certain price range, and so that gives us an immediate opportunity to market to people that are looking for a home like yours.

4. Respond to the Marketplace

Step number four is to respond to the marketplace. If you've priced your home right, it may sell quickly in that first couple of days or week timeframe. A lot of the hottest homes will do that. However, if your home hasn't sold within that timeframe, it might be time to make an adjustment based on what the market's telling you. The market may be declining a little bit and you may have to do a price adjustment.

For an average home with a median price and in a typical school district, the general rule of thumb is you should get about eight showings in an average market for every 30 days your home is on the market. For those eight showings, you should generate at least one offer. Now, if you're not generating that and there are other homes that are coming in and out of the marketplace, meaning they are coming on the market and selling and yours is not, then is probably time to make a price adjustment.

If you're way off and you're just simply not getting those showings or are anywhere close to those eight showings, then you may need to make a significant price adjustment. But if you're slightly off, if you're getting six or seven showings and maybe it takes you ten showings to get an offer, there may just be a slight price adjustment that does the trick to get your home sold. That's where a great real estate agent can navigate for you to help ensure that you get top dollar for your home.

5. Prepare Your Home for Closing

You set a competitive price, you've marketed your home, you've gotten the home ready, and now you've negotiated and gone under contract. The next steps are to prepare your home for closing. There are several steps to do that. Number one is you need to schedule the closing date. That's got to be mutually agreed upon by both the buyer and the seller.

After setting the closing date, then you'll want to prepare for home inspections. Typically, you're going to have a general home inspection. Termites are bad in our area so most lenders require a termite inspection. Radon can be bad in our area, so a lot of buyers will sometimes do radon inspections as well and there are a few other inspections just depending on what comes up. On your general home inspection report you might have an HVAC inspection and a structural inspection, but those are the type of inspections that you should expect.

Another thing that you should be prepared for is to give possession upon closing unless you pre-negotiate something else. You'll need to be moved out of your home once you go to the attorney's office to close so that you can give the keys over to that new buyer.

How to Choose a Real Estate Listing Agent

Don't make the mistake of hiring your cousin who just got into the real estate business or your coworker that sells real estate part-time. Nearly half of the local real estate agents only sell between 0 to 2 homes per year, which is simply not enough experience to help give you five-star service and also definitely not enough marketing budget to help get your home sold for top dollar. Here are a few tips for interviewing to find the right local real estate agent for you.

Question #1: How many homes have you sold in the last 12 months?

If you ask a Matt Curtis Real Estate Agent they're going to tell you is our average agent sells about 30 homes per year, but we have some agents who sell 50 to 80 homes per year. That's a lot more homes than the average agent selling 0 to 2 a year. We sell a home about every 12 hours as well so we have the expertise to help you get your home sold.

Question #2: How many buyers do you have in your database looking for a home like mine?

If you ask a Matt Curtis Real Estate Agent, we'll show you hundreds or maybe even thousands for a lot of the homes that are out there on the marketplace. Again, we have a database of over 100,000 potential buyers so let our database go to work for you.

Question #3: How many five-star reviews do you have?

That's something you won't want to just take their word for it, you can actually go on Google and check out their reviews. What you'll find at Matt Curtis Real Estate is we have ‘K’ by our number. We're the only real estate company in town that has thousands of five-star reviews.

Question #4: Who else is on your real estate team?

That's a big challenge for a lot of buyers and sellers that come up during the process because real estate agents juggle so many different balls. Ultimately those balls drop during the real estate process because they either get busy with other buyers or sellers, they go on vacation, or they get sick. They're human, they can't do all things.

Whereas at Matt Curtis Real Estate, we have a whole team to support you. We have a closing team, we have a marketing team, we have a listing team, we have a runner team, we have an agent team to ensure that you get five-star service. That’s why we have more five-star reviews than any other real estate company in the entire state of Alabama.

If you're selling your home, we'd love for you to interview us. Send us an email moving@mattcurtisrealestate.com or contact us here and we'll set up that interview process for you.

Posted by Matt Curtis on


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