What did you think of Part 1? Comment below! Now, on to the rest of our First-Time Guide for Home Sellers:

What to Expect When on the Market

This will vary depending on market conditions, but generally you can expect the following:

  • Most showing requests will be for evenings and weekends. If there’s more than one buyer (couples or families), at least one person will generally be working weekdays.
  • The bulk of the request will come during the first two weeks on the market. After that, things tend to slow down.
  • Homes at the more average/lower end of the market will be much busier since there are usually more buyers at that price point. Selling a high-end luxury home? There will be fewer buyers in that market. Expect fewer showing requests for a $2M waterfront home than for a $600,000 rambler.

Buyers do generally understand the concept of packing and moving. It is fine to keep some boxes neatly stacked in the garage.

If you’re still living in the home, do your best to keep it clean and tidy. Every evening–and before showings–take a minute to wipe down the kitchen counters, tidy the bathroom, and generally make the home look like you would for important guests.

Choosing the Best Offer

The best offer for you may not be the same as your friend or neighbor. Keep in mind there’s more than just the price. Other terms to negotiate include closing time (30 days, or would 15 be better?), cash or financed, down payment amount, and earnest money deposit.

The size of the down payment and earnest money won’t impact your bottom line as the seller, but those two factors do indicate a buyer’s financial strength. If the buyer can’t close and you have to go back on the market, that WILL impact your bottom line.

On to Closing Time

When selling a home, there’s a flurry of activity before the listing goes live, and another flurry during the first two weeks. Then you land an offer and negotiate, settling on a deal that works for everyone. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to get moving.

You’ll have anywhere from about 15 to 30 days (or more) to get packed and moved out. If you need to schedule a moving truck, make sure to allow a few extra days before closing. The closing date can and does often shift by a day or two due to various reasons. It’s also nice to have a few extra days to clean and be fully out at a more relaxed pace. Unless you like pulling all-nighter cleaning sessions.

Yeah, me neither.

Closing Day

Yes! Now the deal is done. You probably signed your paperwork a few days before. The buyer signed a day or two prior to closing. Now all that’s left is for the buyer’s lender to settle up with escrow, escrow closes the applicable remaining utilities and taxes, and the docs are sent to the County for recording.

In King County, docs are sent to recording usually late morning, and recording numbers are released between 4 and 5 p.m. In Kitsap County, recording happens nearly instantly after docs are uploaded to the County.

Wherever you are (if you’re selling in Washington State, anyway), when your sale is recorded and the final numbers are in, it’s official.

Show Me the Money

The million-dollar question every seller asks is “When can I expect to see the money from the sale of my home?”

After your sale closes, escrow will wire the proceeds to the account you specify. You should see the money in your account in one to three business days.

A Note on Wire Fraud

Finally, this issue has typically been reported as a buyer’s issue, but if your home’s buyer is a victim of fraud, guess what? That’s a problem for you, too. Be aware of the scam (more here), and always verify wire instructions with your escrow contact directly.

Missed our other post about the home selling process?

Check out our First-Time Guide for Home Sellers: Part 1

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