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Steps and Timeline to Selling a Home in Syracuse

Planning to sell your home in Syracuse or the surrounding area?

Selling your home is a multi-month event that involves many team members and a lot of steps. Here’s what’s going to happen and what part you’ll need to play in the process.


2+ Months Out:

Find an Experienced Syracuse Agent

Enlisting the help of an experienced agent will get your house sold faster, for more money, and with fewer headaches for you and your family. A good agent has the personal connections to contractors and other professionals to make sure your house shows beautifully and doesn’t miss a potential buyer. He or she will also handle setting the best price for your home so it has the best chance of selling quickly for the most money, saving you ongoing costs and stress.

Find out more about our qualifications and experience!


6-8 Weeks Out:

Start Decluttering and Make Repairs and Improvements

Your real estate agent will do a thorough walkthrough of your home and will likely make recommendations on both minor and major repairs or improvements you should consider. Additionally, you should be proactive about any known maintenance issues to your home as these will surface during an inspection once you have an offer leading to a potentially deal breaking situation. A good strategy is getting a pre-listing home inspection so that neither you nor the buyer is surprised by an unexpected inspection item. You can opt to adjust the listing price, fix the item or give a credit, or just disclose. Whatever you choose, it will make the transaction smoother for all parties.  

Value-boosting home improvements can include projects such as painting your home (inside and/or outside), refinishing hardwood floors, fixing or replacing your roof or siding, installing a new garage door or front door, doing some landscaping, updating or repairing your HVAC system, performing minor kitchen and bathroom repairs, such as updating flooring, resurfacing cabinets, installing new hardware and fixtures, and replacing or resurfacing countertops.

Now is also the time to get rid of any items you don’t plan to move. Give away, sell, or dispose of excess items stashed away in attics, basements, and closets. Ebay, Re-Store, thrift stores, Craigslist Nextdoor, or Facebook Marketplace. The sooner you get large or valuable items listed the more space you’ll have to work with for staging your home for showings.


4-8 Weeks Out:

Set the Price Right

A crucial step in ensuring the highest return when you sell your home is finding a competitive price. You will want to consider the following: the price of nearby homes that have recently sold, the prices of nearby homes currently on the market, and the condition and location of your specific home. The current market conditions are also relevant. For example, what is the current housing inventory in your neighborhood? How are you positioned compared with other houses on the market? Request a neighborhood sold report and work with your real estate agent to find the right listing price.


1-4 Week(s) Out:

Prep Your Home

At this point you will have already started decluttering some of the bigger collections of unused furniture and other items stored in your attic, basement, and closets. Continue to work through your home, removing clutter, junk, and even personal decor. Don’t forget the garage! If you need to rent a storage unit, do so. We can refer you to some local providers. It’s money well invested in a better offer. Start deep cleaning your home, really targeting the nooks and crannies. Hire a professional if you need to get everything like new. [link to prepping your home for sale page]

Then, work with your agent to stage your home so that it is neat, welcoming, and depersonalized (allowing your buyers to picture their own personal touches in their potential new home). A consultation with a professional stager is money well-spent. We have arranged a 50% discount with a local stager who will walk through your house room-by-room and give you a list of recommendations and “to-do’s.”

Your agent will take professional grade photographs that best showcase your home’s features.

It’s time to Sell that Home!

All right! You've done all the prep work, and now for the actual process of showing and selling your home. Here's what to expect once your home actually hits the market, and that For Sale sign appears in the front yard.


Market Your Home:

The key to selling a home is in finding the right buyers, and that requires a lot of marketing and advertising. This is where working with a skilled agent can really pay off. Skilled listing agents are skilled marketers. They know where to find the best buyers for your home, and they have access to a wealth of resources, including online listing services, print advertising distribution, large social media followings, and even local agent networks. Attractive pictures that accurately portray your house and appealing descriptions are important to keep the attention of the online buyer.


Show Your Home:

Your home can be shown at any time, so be prepared at all times. Keep it neat, clean, organized, and staged. Don't leave dirty dishes or laundry lying around, be sure to dust and vacuum regularly, and promptly address any potential clutter buildups. Don’t cook anything that may have a lingering odor — for example, fish. Additionally, you should be ready to clear out of the house during showings to avoid making buyers uncomfortable. Our goal is to let the buyers envision themselves making your house their home, and not feel they are a guest in your home (which they would if you were present.) It also allows the buyers to be able to speak freely with each other and their agent.


Negotiate and Accept:

If a buyer wants to buy your home, they will make you a written offer, which usually states how much they'll pay, their mortgage amount, closing and occupancy dates, and any contingencies. You can either accept the offer, reject, or negotiate for different terms.

Negotiations can include your own contingencies, such as a first right of refusal if your buyer's offer is contingent on selling their home, adding contingencies for closing and occupancy dates, or buyer financing.

You’ve got a buyer. Now it’s time to close!

You've negotiated with your buyer and accepted an offer. But it's not time to sit back and relax just yet -- there are still a few more steps to go through to ensure everything is in order before you get your check and hand over your keys.


Sign a Purchase Agreement:

Once you and the buyer have agreed upon an offer, you will both sign a legal contract called a Contract to Purchase. This outlines the specific terms, conditions, and contingencies of the home sale.


Cooperate with Inspections:

Next, the buyer will hire an inspector to ensure that no major repairs will be needed after they buy the house. The inspector will go through every inch of the house, paying particular attention to the roof, basement, heating and cooling systems, structure, plumbing, and electrical. If the inspector finds any needed repairs, the buyer can negotiate for the costs of the repairs. Typically, the buyer will attend the inspection without their agent, so that they can freely discuss the condition of the home. Sellers are also asked to vacate during the inspection. The inspection can take anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on the size of the house and the number of questions the buyer has of his/her inspector. A radon test, if part of the contract, typically takes 2 days. You want to make sure the inspector is “ELAP certified” by New York State if he/she is doing an electronic radon test. Please note that all windows and doors have to be closed for 12 hours prior to radon testing and for the duration of the time the radon monitor is in the house.


Closing Process: Sign, Pay, and Finalize!

Your attorney will schedule a closing date with the buyer and lender attorneys.In our area, sellers do not have to attend closing, and most opt to sign the closings papers ahead of time with their attorney. At closing, the buyer will sign all the loan and transfer documents. If you choose not to be at closing, be sure to drop off the keys to your attorney to be given to the buyer at closing. Once the deed and other paperwork are recorded at the County Office, you will receive the proceeds of the sale (after mortgage payoff and expenses).

Ready to Start Selling Your Home in Syracuse?

The first step is to contact us! From home staging and professional photographs to negotiations and closing paperwork, we're here to be your home selling guide, every step of the way! Call us today to learn more about how we can help you successfully list and sell your home in Syracuse!

Not quite ready to start selling? That's okay; we've got plenty of resources to help you learn more about selling a home!