Welcome to the Home Selling Basics section of FindLaw's Real Center, with general information about choosing a real estate agent, sales tax exemptions, and other basics of selling a home. A real estate agent can help you compare your home to similar units in order to get a rough estimate of its market value, prepare your home for sale (including repairs and upgrades), advertise your home, help you fill out paperwork, and evaluate offers. Some states require the use of an agent to help with the closing documents, but it's often a good idea to do so anyway. If you are considering selling your home, the articles and resources in this section will help you get started.
Selling Your Home in Nine Steps
Selling one's home is no doubt a highly complex and time-consuming undertaking, particularly if you decide to sell on your own (without an agent). While there isn't one exact way to sell your home, there is a general order of operations. The steps include the following:
Deciding Whether to Use a Real Estate Agent
You are free to sell your home any way you like in most states, as long as it's legal; but it's often a good idea to hire a real agent. You may be able to recoup more money from the sale if you do it yourself, but there is quite a steep learning curve to selling a home and you may not have the available time required. Also, an agent's experience may help you negotiate a better price anyway.
If you sell your home without an agent -- "for sale by owner" -- be prepared to spend a great deal of time and energy on the process, including research into real estate laws and procedures. In a buyer's market, where there is a glut of homes on the market but few buyers, you may want to consider hiring a real estate agent.
Click on one of the links below to learn more about the basics of selling a home.