Through this guide, I hope to help you all by sharing what my years of experience as a real estate agent has taught me. Here I have simplified the process into 10 steps which can be classified by three phases: Pre-listing, Listing, and Wrapping Up. I hope this guide helps you sell your house smoothly and promptly.


Step 1: Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Choosing the right realtor will ensure the selling process goes smoothly for both parties.

In this step, the realtor will meet with you to discuss your specific needs and goals. To be honest, everyone wants to sell their home at the highest price point possible right? The higher the better. In this case, investments made in remodeling, staging and internet marketing (social network marketing) are sure to pay off.

You probably also want to read: Your Listing Agent Wants to Represent the Buyer. How Does that Affect You, as the Seller?

By the way, I’m a realtor. Talking to me is free.

Step 2: Make Your House a Blank Canvas

In general, personal items should be emptied out as soon as possible. This not only allows for the property to be prepared for inspection, decoration, photography, etc., but also leaves room for potential buyers to truly visualize themselves in the home. The goal is to create an atmosphere in which the buyer feels like they’re at home.

In some specific cases, this step may be limited by tenant availability depending on the duration of their lease. In those cases, you can minimize the effects of having a tenant by having a clean space clear of clutter. However, in general, the best situation would be to sell at a time that does not coincide with a lease contract.

Step 3: House Inspection and Renovation

The house inspection consists of many different components: property inspection, termite inspection, as well as roof inspections (highly recommended for single family homes.)

Housing inspections have many purposes. One is to let the seller knows what needs to be fixed so that action could be taken in advance. The second is to reassure potential buyers of the current situation of the house when these reports are attached in the disclosure package – You don’t want buyers to ask for discount by accusing that you don’t disclosure defects.

Regardless of the initial conditions of the property, there is nothing that can’t be fixed with a fresh coat of paint and some new renovations. These repairs really work to highlight the charms of the home to potential buyers. Your investment is sure to pay off and will be directly reflected in the final selling price of your home. Most folks just want to buy a house that does not need additional repairs. So if you help potential buyers save the trouble, it’s a win win situation.

In addition to renovations, if there is extra room in your budget to decorate, it is definitely worth it. We may not all live in a Frank Lloyd Wright creation, but who doesn’t want a charming home?

You probably also want to read: So You Want To Renovate Before Selling? Better Ask Your Realtor First.

Step 4: Decorations and Photography

What are the benefits of staging? Through my experience, the selling price of staged homes are significantly higher than those not staged.

In fact, a statistic from the American Association of Realtors show that staged houses sell for 6% more than houses that are unstaged. Buyers are more than willing to pay this premium!

The reason is that the real estate industry is a very competitive market. People who visit open houses will inevitably compare the houses they visited and this comparison, unstaged houses are less put together. Decorative pillows and fresh flowers may make a bigger difference than you might think!

The above is the just front-end work.

You might also want to read: 4 Tips a Staging Professional Will Walk You Through: Sell Fast and For Higher Dollar.

Listing Your Home

Step 5: Establishing (or Adjusting the asking Price)

Successful front-end work may be completed in as short as a month. But sometimes life happens – leases take time to expire, extra renovations might be necessary, these factors will affect the time it takes to complete the above steps.

In those situation, the asking price your realtor tells you at the first place (possibly in STEP 1) may not work anymore since the market is constantly fluctuating.

Thus, After all the new work on your home, your real estate agent will revisit your asking price and goals with you to make any changes you deem necessary.

Please DO remember that, the asking price is just a strategy to affect the buyer’s decision. I’ll explain that to you in person.

Step 6: Advertising and Marketing

Now that your home is ready to be shown to the world, this next step is one of the most important steps. It allows potential buyers to know that your amazingly charming home is hot on the market! It most commonly means putting the house on the MLS and informing the entire real estate agent community of your presence. Traditionally, we also queue this house on our list of tours to recommend to potential clients.

In addition, realtors also hold open houses on the weekends, post your house on newspaper or TV. However, don’t give to much hope on those marketing tools (Seriously, who’s now using newspaper or TV to find a property?). The key for marketing is the internet and social media – most, I would say over 99%, of the current buyers rely on the internet for information. Therefore, mastering the power of online marketing is the most effective medium to garner interest about your property.

You probably also want to read: Out with The Old and In with the New: Use of the Internet Sells Your Home Faster

Step 7: Review the Bid and Accepting a Contract

After all these advertising and marketing efforts, you should get some interest. People may start to make offers to your house. In this step, you and your agent will receive the bid. Together you will discuss and compare the conditions of the bid.

There are multiple factors to consider in this situation – not just the highest bid, but also the source of funding, various conditional terms, the buyers/buyer agent reputation, etc. Once we decide on one of the contracts, we will enter an Escrow agreement.

Wrapping Up

Step 8 + 9 + 10 : Enter the ESCROW period + Adhere to the Terms of Contract + Complete the Transfer

during an escrow period, a third party, which is called escrow/title company, obtains the purchase agreement from either the listing agent or buyer agent. The buyer must also transfer the initial down payment to escrow/title company first. And then, escrow/title company will check whether all other conditions agreed upon were met by both parties. If all conditions listed in the contract are met by both parties, escrow/title company will proceed with the transfer – they’re starting to close the deal: directly the fund to seller and record the property under buyer’s title.

Congratulations on reading all 10 steps. Hopefully this guide was useful in helping you understand the process behind selling a house more. It can definitely initially seem like a daunting task, but is hopefully more approachable after being broken down into individual steps. If you are interested in selling, please consider contacting me!

(image from pixabay)



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What’s this Blog for?

Before I started my career as a real estate agent, I found it quite difficult to find informative articles or websites that provided accurate information catered towards selling and buying houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. Yes, there are some out there, but those are not catered specifically towards the Bay Area. Sometimes, even tips and facts regarded as common knowledge aren’t applicable and outdated from a Bay Area perspective. My original intention of starting this blog, was to help shed some light on the seemingly inscrutable real estate market. As a real estate agent who has been practicing for several years, I wanted to provide accurate and relevant information to those who might be interested in buying or selling a home.

If you’re curious and want to learn more about buying and selling in the San Francisco Bay Area, then this website might be a good starting point to gain some insight.

Who Am I?

My name is Chiuho Lin. I first found my calling for real estate in 2016, while I was looking for a new home in the San Francisco Bay Area. I found myself inexplicably drawn to this profession and after meeting over one hundred real estate professionals, I made the decision to become a real estate agent myself. To me, being a real estate agent is rewarding not only because I love meeting new people, but also because I have the privilege of helping them start their new chapter and make their vision a reality.

What Is My Promise?

If you are interested in selling, then the process would start from an initial consultation, to price assessments, market analysis, repair advice, time-to-market recommendations, staging assessment, style selection, housing listings, posters, social media promotion, marketing media selection, follow-up on house delivery. I will be active and present in the entire process to make sure everything goes smoothly.

If you are interested in buying a house, again as an agent I can promise you that I will be present in all stages of the buying process. This includes everything from consultations to address all your concerns, investigating real estate to find a home that suits all your needs, visiting the houses, providing insights on the neighborhood, assessing the current conditions of the homes that may require additional attention, read various reports filled with technical jargon, to helping you understand contracts. I ensure quality care and commitment in the entire process from start to finish.

As a professional, I take pride in my work ethic and ensure the utmost care and consideration while working with all my clients. I’d like to consider myself a trusted advisor to ensure a phenomenal experience throughout your buying/selling process. With that being said, if you ever need a professional consultation or assistance with anything – for example, gardening/landscaping, property manager property lawyer, paint master, decorator, roof repair master, loan broker, registration accountant – feel free to reach out. I am genuinely passionate about what I do and hope that I can help share my knowledge with you all.

Chiuho Lin DRE#02007082
Keller Williams Thrive DRE#02177478

Hi, I’m Chiuho


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