Seller's Guide

A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent  and this easy to follow  guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps  will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for  the best price possible.​​​​​​​

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Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better craft your offer. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your goal is to make a certain profit margin. Make sure you convey these needs to your realtor once you choose one so he or she can adjust your selling price accordingly.

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Step 2: Determine Selling Price

Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process. When you set a fair price in the beginning, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest, and underpricing leads to receiving less than what your home is worth. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to determine the right selling price for your home. An agent with experience can determine what other comparable homes are selling for, evaluate the current market, and may even suggest a home appraisal.

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Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, making any small repairs, and doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition.

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Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.

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Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is prequalified or pre-approved by a mortgage lender and that their offer is acceptable to you. If the offer is too low, you can make a counter-offer or offer other ways to bridge the gap, such as covering some or all of the closing costs, making repairs, adjusting the move-in date, or leaving some appliances or fixtures for the new buyer.

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Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once we deem the offer is acceptable, we will review the proposed contract to make sure it’s all in order and includes the necessary components such as deposit amount, down payment, financing, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, settlement date, and a list of fees and who will pay them. When both parties have agreed to the term, a final contract will be prepared by your agent.

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Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer and are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, you and the buyer must make a list of what needs to be done before closing. In some cases, your home may need to be formally inspected, surveyed, and appraised. In other cases, major or minor repairs will need to be made before the house can close. I will head up efforts to develop and execute this list, get each action item paid for by the correct party, and make sure everything is in order by the closing date. A few days before the closing date, we will call the company closing the transaction to make sure everything is ready to go. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to make arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession.

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Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. We will meet with the company closing the transaction to sign the final paperwork and go over any issues that have not yet been taken care of. During this time, you can also make plans with your realtor to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining and ensuring the new owner has instructions for all appliances that will remain in the home.

Congratulations!

Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.

Testimonials

See why our clients love working with us.

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Holly F.

Joelle and Pete are not just fantastic Realtors® but phenomenal people. We were introduced to them when my family and I moved from Bucks County about a year ago and were looking for a home. We knew very little about the area an...
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Len P

After just renovating our basement and spending $120,000, our family made the decision to relocate for a job opportunity. Needless to say, we were anxious about the sale of our home. We wanted someone who would actually care ab...
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Keeley T.

Joelle and Peter are an amazing real estate team. My husband and I turned to their expertise after a colleague's recommendation, and we were overjoyed to have them on our side throughout the home purchasing process. As first-ti...
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Margie W.

While I am not yet in the market to buy a home, I was referred to Joelle by my sister-in-law to help me find just the right rental property. Joelle was such a wonderful help to me. She was so patient, thorough, and responsive. ...
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Happy Seller

First, Joelle helped me to find the perfect home to purchase for our plans to downsize from a very large house. Then she listed my home of 18 years. Joelle was very helpful to us as we initially prepared our house for Market. S...
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Happy Seller

Joelle was both extremely helpful, but also knowledgeable in her area of expertise. Her network of communications and marketing experts helped to take this to another level. The detail and cleanliness of both her communications...
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Happy Seller

The Waterkotte Team was genuine and approachable and they invest in their clients on a personal level. They provided direct information on what needed to be done to sell. They were happy to help lend a hand to get it done. They...
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Randal E.

Joelle and her team provided great guidance to us as we were looking to list our home from staging to pricing to closing the deal. The idea of staging and listing our house seemed daunting but working with Joelle and her team g...
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Andrew M.

Joelle and Pete helped my wife and me have the best first-time home buying experience possible! Being involved in the real estate world myself, their professionalism exceeded my expectations. Their knowledge and experience not ...
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Mark S.

Listening skills. They are far too often lacking yet are incredibly important in business. Especially if your business is helping people buy and sell homes. Joelle excels, and I mean excels, in being able to understand what her...
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Melinda D.

Joelle and her team went above and beyond to sell our home. We were fortunate to sell our good friends, and Joelle acted as a dual agent. She helped us come to an agreement that made all parties happy, and we're happy to report...
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Jody G.

Joelle, and Peter, Waterkotte is hands-down the most amazing Realtors®! They made the process extremely simple and were always available to answer our questions and concerns. They know what they are doing, know who to-go-to to ...
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Jodi B.

Pete and Joelle help us both sell and buy! When we decided to transition to fun town living in Kennett Square, the Waterkotte Team helped us each step of the way: staging, selling, buying, packing, and moving! Not only are they...
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Happy Seller

Excellent and expert help in selling my home! Beautiful job with setting up an open house and great follow-thru. My home sold quickly! Joelle handled many details long-distance for me which was helpful and included representing...
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Elaine O.

Joelle and Pete are not only great agents but friends as well. It was a smooth ride with them at the wheel. Always looking out for what was best for us. Joelle staged the house beautifully and Pete was her favorite painter. We ...
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Anthony O.

Joelle and Pete are a dynamic team: Joelle is on top of every detail to ensure a smooth sale or transition to your new home. Pete provides a sense of calm and humor and a helping hand regardless of the task.
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Charles G.

Joelle made the home selling process a breeze! Joelle, and her team, helped us with staging, pricing, and all the challenges and successes that are all part of the home selling process.
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John B.

They went above and beyond for us. Peter set a new benchmark for customer service! Their knowledge and diligence saved us thousands. We highly recommend Pete and Joelle!
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Happy Seller

Joelle was very knowledgeable and friendly. She was always available and on top of any issue. I very much appreciated all that she did to give me a smooth sale.
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Keeley & Patrick L.

As people, they are warm and compassionate. As Realtors® they are incredibly knowledgeable. You couldn’t ask for a better combination.
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