10 Steps to a Sold Home

Thinking of selling your home in Raleigh? It's important to plan ahead. Follow our step-by-step home selling guide so that when you're ready to list your home, you'll be able to breathe easier.


A woman dressed in jeans and a denim shirt and looking at something on her cell phone.

Step 1: Find an Experienced Raleigh Realtor®

A Realtor® does much more than just list your home on the MLS. A great Realtor® will listen to your needs, create a marketing plan tailored to your property, respond quickly to your questions, and handle all of the details of your transaction. It goes without saying that your Realtor® will do everything they can to get your Raleigh property sold quickly and for top dollar.

A large open kitchen with granite counters on the cooking island, hardwood floors, and new appliances.

Step 2: Consider Home Improvements

You don't have to shell out thousands of dollars for a total home makeover — in some cases, you could lose money doing it right before you list your property. Your real estate agent should know exactly what buyers want from a home like yours, so ask your Realtor® which home improvements are worth the investment. While you're considering these upgrades, take care of known maintenance issues, declutter your home, and make it look and feel like new.

Aerial view of an open family room with hardwood floors, clean spaces, and a large TV.

Step 3: Set the Price Right

Is your neighborhood on buyers' wish lists? Have you finished any home improvement projects recently? Your Raleigh home might be worth more than you think. The best way to find out the market value of your property (in other words, how much buyers are willing to pay) is to ask for a comparative market analysis. This report looks at recently sold properties, current listings, and your neighborhood's popularity to determine how much your home is worth.

A brightly lit dining room with hardwood floors, a wooden table, white chairs, and silver and white decorations.

Step 4: Make Your Home Sparkle

When it comes to preparing your home for the market, decluttering is one of the most important steps in the process. The earlier you can sort through furniture and other items in your attic, closets, and garage, the better. Not only will decluttering save you time when packing for your move, it will also help you show off all of your home's space in professional listing photos. If you've already started decluttering and packing, great! If you haven't, we have a few tips that can save you time and headaches.

A professional camera with a wide lens.

Step 5: Let Your Home Show Off

The first four steps were all about preparing your home. Once you're ready to list your Raleigh home, it's time to show it off to potential buyers. This is where working with an experienced Realtor® comes in handy. Your agent will work with you to showcase your home's best features, take professional photos, list your property on the MLS (where buyers can find your home), and market it to as many interested buyers as possible.

A two-story brick single-family home with a large yard and a For Sale sign out front.

Step 6: Let Buyers Take a Peek

Your Realtor® will coordinate showings and/or open houses to give buyers a chance to see your home up close and personal. While your home is on the market, keep each room neat, clean, organized, and staged. In addition, be ready to clear out of the house just in case of a last-minute showing. Your hard work will soon pay off in the form of an offer!

Two men shaking hands.

Step 7: Negotiate and Accept an Offer

You've just received an offer — congratulations! All of your hard work to prepare your property, market it effectively, and keep it ready for showings has paid off. As an experienced negotiator, your Realtor® will work with you to set the best terms, including how much the buyer will pay for your property, when they want to close and move in, and any other contingencies.

A piece of paper with a signature at the bottom and a fountain pen resting on top.

Step 8: Sign the Paperwork

Once you and the buyer have agreed to the terms, you will both sign a legal contract called a Purchase and Sale Agreement. This outlines the specific terms, conditions, and contingencies of the home sale. After you sign the paperwork, your Realtor® will help you handle the details up to closing, including coordinating a home inspection.

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Step 9: Enter Escrow

Next, you will enter escrow. During this time, you and your agent will work with an escrow company to complete paperwork and ensure that all parts of the contract are complete. All that's left is closing — you're almost there!

Two people kicking back in front of a sunset.

Step 10: Sign, Pay, and Close

On closing day, you and the buyer will sit down with your agents to sign all the paperwork and pay all your fees. You will hand over the keys and the property title and will receive a check, which is the remaining balance after the rest of your mortgage has been paid off. You have now successfully sold your Raleigh home!


Take the First Step to "Sold"

Choosing the right Realtor® is the first step to achieving your home selling goals. Whether you want to sell in record time or want to sell for as much money as possible, Allen Smith can make those real estate dreams a reality. Let's talk about your plans.