Here’s a checklist for selling a house in Atlanta.
How to sell a house in Atlanta
Knowing how to sell a house and the steps you need to take can be tricky. There are various ways to go about it. What you’ll need to do and the documents you’ll have to prepare will change depending on how you decide to sell your house. There are three main ways to sell your house.
1. Hire a real estate agent.
2. Sell it yourself, known as For Sale By Owner (FSBO).
3. Sell to a cash home buyer.
Let’s look at the steps you’ll need to take when selling on the traditional market.
Checklist for selling a house with a real estate agent
Here are some actions you can take to prepare for the sale.
General steps to consider:
- Research real estate agents—look for one with a good reputation that you feel comfortable with.
- Consider renting a dumpster if you have a lot of clutter and old furniture that you want to clear out of the house before showings.
- Look into services you may need such as lawn care, repair companies—for small updates, repairs, or cosmetic improvements like painting, carpet cleaners, etc.
- Think about getting a home inspection to get ahead of any issues or repairs that may be needed.
- Consider cleaning services if you’re pressed for time. You’d still need to declutter the house and possibly rent a storage unit for unwanted bulky furniture items and boxes of personal items.
- Research real estate attorneys. Not all states require a lawyer, but in Georgia, courts determined that a licensed attorney must oversee real estate closings and be in charge of the entire closing process from start to finish. Look into the requirements for your area to see if an attorney is needed.
- Determine if there’s anything you would need to disclose about the house like foundation issues or a leaky roof.
- In Georgia you’re not required by law to fill out a disclosure form, but sellers must tell potential buyers about any know defects or issues in the home. In other words, if a buyer would hesitate to purchase the house knowing about the issue, they need to be informed of it. Also in Georgia, a seller must answer all questions honestly to potential buyers from what updates or repairs have been made in the past to how your interactions with neighbors have been.
While working with your real estate agent:
- Make sure you understand the duration of the listing and the commission fee amounts before you sign a listing agreement.
- Go through a list of comparable sales in the area and determine a listing price.
- Provide a property survey to your agent.
- Have the house photographed or take pictures yourself.
- Gather documents like warranties for appliances and manuals.
- List the property on MLS and social media.
- Do showings and keep the house clean and picked up.
- Talk through potential offers with your agent, negotiate offers, and if an agreement is reached, sign the purchase agreement.
Before the sale, most agents advise that you get the house “show ready,” meaning you do as much as you can to make the house attractive to potential buyers. Here are some things you can do to make your house shine.
- Repaint rooms with neutral or light colors.
- Pack up and put away most, if not all, personal items—trinkets, souvenirs, photos, and knick-knacks.
- Organize boxes and storage containers neatly in the garage.
- Replace broken blinds.
- Remove dated window valances and frayed curtains to allow more natural light into the rooms.
- Remove bulky furniture items and declutter all the necessary areas to create clear space on the floor. Minimal amounts of furniture are best.
- Wash the windows. Hire professionals if necessary or if the house has two or more stories.
- Thoroughly clean the entire house, including ceiling fans, AC vents, and the corners of each room from floor to ceiling. Professionals can help if needed.
- Deep clean the carpets. You can rent a machine and do it yourself or hire help.
- Come up with a process for quickly hiding personal items or pet items when last-minute showings are scheduled.
- Lock up expensive things, irreplaceable items, and valuables for showings—or store them off-site.
- Ensure that the house smells new and fresh. Deodorize areas if necessary, especially if you have pets.
- Landscape the yard—trim back bushes so they don’t cover windows, cut tree branches to make sure the house isn’t blocked from the street, and power wash the house when possible.
Selling For Sale By Owner
If you decide to sell your house yourself, you’re taking the route typically called For Sale By Owner. Many of the steps already discussed are still applicable, especially all the tips for getting the house show ready, but you’ll also have to do additional items to take care of that a real estate agent would normally do for you.
Additional tasks you’ll have to take on if you’re selling FSBO:
- Research house sales in your area and try to find homes that are as similar to yours as possible. Use those sales figures to determine a listing price that you’re comfortable with.
- After you make your house “show ready,” take pictures or hire a professional photographer.
- Find ways to list your house online and through social media.
- Put a For Sale sign out front that is easy to see by passersby.
- Gather documents for buyers such as the property survey, warranties for appliances, and manuals.
- Schedule showing with interested buyers.
- Keep the house in pristine condition for last-minute showings.
- Negotiate offers with potential buyers and try to reach an agreement.
- Consult an attorney to help with the closing process.
Selling to a cash home buyer
It’s not easy to understand how to sell a house. If you’re looking to skip a lot of the steps it takes to sell a house, you could sell to a cash home buyer. Not all cash home buyers work the same way, so it’s important to do your research just like you would for a real estate agent. Some online buyers will give you an offer without ever seeing your house, then charge hidden fees at the last minute. Inexperienced buyers can also slow down the sales process.
With HomeVestors® you can trust that the selling process will be fast and easy. We buy houses “as is.” That means you can skip all the steps you’d traditionally take to stage your house for showings. You don’t need to repair, renovate, declutter, or even clean for us to buy your house. Plus, we don’t charge commissions or hidden fees, and we pay typical closing costs, saving you money. With over 140,000, we understand the closing process and have built long-lasting relationships with lenders, making financing easy.
When you book a no-obligation consultation with us, we’ll come to your house and talk about how best we can help you and your unique situation. Sometimes we make a fair cash offer on the same day. We can close quickly, sometimes in as little as three weeks, or later if that’s more convenient for you. Call 866-200-6475 or fill out our online form today!
Learn more about selling your house to HomeVestors in Atlanta, Georgia.