If you are thinking about selling your home, the first consideration is whether you want to hire an experienced agent or sell your home yourself. The major benefit of selling your own home is that you are able to retain more of the closing price because you will not have to pay any commission. However, this strategy also means that you are responsible for knowing and following all of the steps and requirements involved in selling a property.

Ultimately, there is a lot to think about when selling a home. You want to be sure that you are taking all the necessary steps in order to have a smooth home selling process.

Deciding when to sell, how to prepare your home, and how to market it to the right buyers are crucial steps in this process. If you are getting ready to sell your home in Central Ohio, but do not know where to start, be sure to check out these recommendations.

  1. Choose a Local Ohio Listing Agent
  2. Home prices are increasing all across the country; however, growth is not the same across Ohio. Powell values went up over 4.6% last year, close to the state average, but Dublin and Westerville saw much less growth and are expecting values to maintain an increase of only around 2% in the coming year.

    The factors that influence local markets are plentiful and fluctuate with the seasons. Working with a local agent allows you to get the most up-to-date market information of Central Ohio and they will know how to time the market for your listing. An agent will also be able to handle everything that comes after listing and marketing your property. From negotiations to the final closing process, an agent will ensure you get the highest price for your home.

  3. Pricing Your Property Competitively
  4. It is important to work with an agent who considers recent market changes. Selling price is determined by the length of time your home spends on the market, so setting a competitive price will ensure it does not stay on the market long. Property values in Central Ohio have increased in the last 5 years, so it is essential to have a real estate agent provide you with a comparative market analysis. A comparative market analysis compares similar sold listings in the area and helps you determine the best listing price for your home.

    Also, remember that all homes have a range of value. While sellers try to sell at the higher end of the range, buyers try to buy at the lower end. By understanding the range of your home, you are able to better position yourself to make sure your home is selling at the top of the range.

  5. Time the Market for a Better Price
  6. An essential factor in getting the best price for your home is to time the market. Ohio’s real estate season is similar to the rest of the country, with the strongest selling season usually lasting from February through May and June, when the weather is best for buyers to be out touring homes.

    The average house sale takes three months from listing to close, so listing your home in the early spring will help you finalize your sale during the best time of the year for maximum profit.

    Several cities in Ohio, like Columbus, are undergoing citywide renovations and revitalization efforts. These efforts are an important factor for driving up selling price, and makes this a great time to sell a home in Central Ohio.

  7. Showcasing Your Home to Attract Offers from Buyers
  8. Before listing, it is essential that you make repairs on any property damages. Keep in mind though that renovations can influence both the type of buyers interested in your house and how quickly your house sells. For example, kitchen renovations will always drive up the value of any home, and the addition of a pool and new HVAC system could increase a buyer’s interest in a Midwestern state like Ohio.

    Once you have renovated your home, it is important to take photos and include them in your online listing. Having photos readily available for potential buyers could be the deciding factor on whether or not there is any interest in your home. Furthermore, the best way to get you listing out there and quickly seen is through your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This service, which most real estate agents have access to, is a huge database of home listings, nationally and locally, that comes in handy in today’s fast-paced housing market.

    In addition to online listings, a realtor’s website and social media pages are important to potential buyers. Real estate agents are able to reach a much wider audience through popular social sites like Facebook and Instagram, with friends of prospective buyers tagging them in listings they might not have otherwise seen. Having this “web appeal” will increase the chances of your home selling.

    Keep in mind that some cities in Ohio are more attractive for families. If your market is one that tends to appeal to families, be sure to market your home accordingly. Attractions and access to community facilities like pools and schools, especially for families, will really boost your listing in Ohio. Consider including these additional items in your description.

    In order to market your home effectively, a real estate agent should help you stage your home before you take any photos or host an open house. A well-staged house will boost the success of your listing photos and your open houses. Additionally, perfectly staged home in Ohio should include thinking about the curb appeal. Curb appeal refers to the attractiveness of a property and its surroundings when viewed from the street. The right curb appeal is sure to attract any Ohio buyer. Potential buyers are more attracted to homes that have gone the extra mile and added additional shrubs and hedges, updated the paint color of a home, and kept an impeccably trimmed lawn and bushes while the home has been on the market.

    After your home is renovated, staged and your listing is live, you can then have an open house and participate in showings. A real estate agent will assist you in getting your house prepared and will take over hosting responsibilities when it comes to an open house. These responsibilities include cleaning, providing refreshments, and giving tours to potential buyers. Private showings, however, are one of the most important events when it comes to selling your home. During private showings, a real estate agent will be able to manage scheduling multiple showings, meet buyers quicker, and is able to give showing while you are away.

  9. Offers and Purchase Contracts
  10. Due to the fast-paced housing market, some sellers may wait to see if another buyer outbids the original offer. This allows the seller the ability to request more time to review and accept an offer. However, for homes on the market for more than 60 days, it is wise for the seller to consider taking the first good offer that comes in.

    Ohio allows buyers the right to rescind the purchase contract, if made before the closing of business day, within 30 days of signing the purchase contract and within three days of receiving a disclosure form. The time frame for offer acceptance by a home seller can depend on the offer and the corresponding language in the purchase contracts. Be aware that most contracts set a time limit and some states even have prescribed limits. Generally, you should only accept an offer from a buyer who is able to give a deposit with their offer.

    After an offer is accepted, it is now up to the buyer to negotiate additional fees; such as closing costs, transfer taxes, inspection fees, and other costs associated with the sell. A buyer is also able to negotiate other important items, like time frames for appraisals, approvals, inspections, and the initial deposit amount. It is the seller’s responsibility to make sure buyers are paying transfer taxes, any remaining property taxes, and any of the legal costs associated with selling a home.

    In Ohio, it can take a while to finalize the sale and purchase contracts. Therefore, working with an experienced real estate agent will make this stressful process go smoothly.

  11. Appraisals and Home Inspections
  12. Before finalizing on a house, it is required that a licensed Ohio appraiser completes both a home inspection and an appraisal.

    It is the job of the buyer to pay for and arrange for a home inspection to take place. If an inspection reveals that further repairs are needed, as the seller, you will need to decide if you want to make the repairs or negotiate the cost of these repairs by lowering the final selling price. Some of the most common repairs that occur following an inspection include structural defects, building code violations, and safety concerns.

    Note that an appraisal is different from a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA uses other properties and sale prices in the area to help sellers understand how best to price their homes. An appraisal, on the other hand, calculates a property’s value, regardless of the competition. Typically, a seller negotiates with the buyer to have them pay the appraisal fees.

  13. Disclosures Required By the State of Ohio
  14. All sellers in the state of Ohio are required to provide buyers with a disclosure statement before any paperwork or contracts are signed. Disclosure documents share any known problems or potential hazards with your home and the property.

    Ohio disclosure law requires sellers to disclose only the items they actually know about. This means that you are not required to get an independent inspection to complete the form. You only have to list what you actually have learned and observed about the house through having lived there.

    Several defects are important and need to be included upfront in the disclosure agreement. These defects includes termite damage, water damage, damaged plumbing and electrical systems, any foundation problems, ceiling or flooring issues, and unpaid debts on the home from a contractor. Any hazards such as methane gas, lead-based paint, asbestos, radon, or other toxic materials are also required to be included in the disclosure statement.

    Each state has their own laws in regards to pool and soil disclosures. Seeking advice from a real estate agent will ensure that you include all disclosure requirements mandated by the state of Ohio and that you avoid any legal ramifications or possible lawsuits. Also, be sure to work with an agent to make sure that there is no unnecessary information disclosed that could potentially hurt the listing.

  15. The Art of Closing
  16. When the sale is being finalized, it is the responsibility of your real estate agent to make sure everything is covered. In Ohio, the closing process can sometimes take a week or two. This is due to the fact that not all parties are required by Ohio law to be in the same room to finalize a house sale.

    If a lender is being used, the buyer’s lender will send the seller final loan documents before the close date is scheduled. In Ohio, the seller will normally sign their documents first then the buyer will sign all necessary documents, including the final loan paperwork.

    Before the sale is final, the buyer pays the seller any remaining down payments and closing costs owned. Afterwards, the buyer receives the keys and your home is officially sold.