Seller's Guide

Everything you need to know about putting your home on the market, accepting an offer, and closing on your home.

A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced team of real estate agents and this easy to follow guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for the best price possible.​​​​​​​

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Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better craft your offer. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your goal is to make a certain profit margin. Make sure you convey these needs to your team of real estate agents once you choose one so they can adjust your selling price accordingly.

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Step 2: Determine Selling Price

Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process. When you set a fair price in the beginning, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest, and underpricing leads to receiving less than what your home is worth. Working with a team of real estate agents is the best way to determine the right selling price for your home. A team of real estate agents with experience can determine what other comparable homes are selling for, evaluate the current market, and may even suggest a home appraisal.

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Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, making any small repairs, and doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition.

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Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

We will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. Our team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.

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Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is prequalified or pre-approved by a mortgage lender and that their offer is acceptable to you. If the offer is too low, you can make a counter-offer or offer other ways to bridge the gap, such as covering some or all of the closing costs, making repairs, adjusting the move-in date, or leaving some appliances or fixtures for the new buyer.

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Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once we deem the offer is acceptable, we will review the proposed contract to make sure it’s all in order and includes the necessary components such as deposit amount, down payment, financing, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, settlement date, and a list of fees and who will pay them. When both parties have agreed to the term, a final contract will be prepared by your team of real estate agents.

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Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer and are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, you and the buyer must make a list of what needs to be done before closing. In some cases, your home may need to be formally inspected, surveyed, and appraised. In other cases, major or minor repairs will need to be made before the house can close. We will head up efforts to develop and execute this list, get each action item paid for by the correct party, and make sure everything is in order by the closing date. A few days before the closing date, we will call the company closing the transaction to make sure everything is ready to go. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to make arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession.

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Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. We will meet with the company closing the transaction to sign the final paperwork and go over any issues that have not yet been taken care of. During this time, you can also make plans with your team of real estate agents to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining and ensuring the new owner has instructions for all appliances that will remain in the home.

Congratulations!

Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.

Our Testimonials

See why our clients love working with us.
Erin S.

Erin S.

Joe and Cara have been wonderful to work with. We moved here from out of state and they helped us find our new home and have been with us every step of the way. Cannot recommend them enough.
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Carla S.

Carla S.

I just wrapped up my 4th successful transaction with Cara and Joe by my side. I can't think of anyone else I'd want to rely on for my real estate needs. Cara, Joe, and their impressive team are true Rock Stars at what they do.
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Kathy & Dave H.

Kathy & Dave H.

We are always blown away by Joe and Cara and their team. They have served us with two other closings in the past and they continue to step up to the challenge. We love working with them and always feel that they have given us t...
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Alicia M.

Alicia M.

Cara and Joe Keenan are very knowledgeable and helped us find our wonderful home in Dripping Springs in late 2019. We love it. Great neighborhood and great neighbors. They grew up in this area themselves and are very familiar w...
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Andy G.

Andy G.

Joe and Cara Keenan with Realty Austin Compass helped us find the perfect home in the Northwest Hills area of Austin. We know that we would not have even seen or heard of the opportunity if it weren't for Joe and Cara's connect...
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Kimberly B.

Kimberly B.

We were so blessed to work with Cara and Joe Keenan and their team. My sister and I were selling my father's house after he passed. Not only was it emotional, but we didn't live in the same town, so it was hard for us to do thi...
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Catherine G.

Catherine G.

Our experience with Joe and Cara Keenan could not be any more positive. We felt so supported through the whole process. They were available every time we needed them, even working past midnight to secure our offer being accepte...
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Jerry P.

Jerry P.

My wife and I have been friends with Cara and Joe for many years. Cara helped me find and purchase a low-end Section 8 property in East Austin over 13 years ago. And she also sold it for me this last August for a lot more than ...
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Mitchell M.

Mitchell M.

Working with Realty Austin Compass - and more importantly, Joe and Cara Keenan with Keenan Group was the best decision we could have made when deciding to move to the Austin area. Joe was our main point of contact and we could ...
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Joey D.

Joey D.

The Keenan Group helped us buy that house in 2012 and nine years later they were pivotal in selling it. As we prepped for a cross-country move, we were scrambling just to make it to our new home in Vermont. In the process of mo...
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