Ideally, a home should never be sold under duress. It’s far better to have plenty of time to plan things out than to feel under pressure to sell as quickly as possible. Even if the pressure is off, however, sellers can expect to encounter challenges throughout the process.

The Challenges of Selling a Home

Some of the most common challenges that people encounter when selling their homes include:

  • Finding an Agent: The agent that’s hired to assist with the home-selling process can make things a lot easier or be of no help at all. Therefore, it’s critical to take plenty of time to find an experienced, reputable agent.
  • Dealing with a Saturated Market: In a perfect world, people would only sell their homes during sellers’ markets. That’s not always how things work out, though. When the market is choked with available inventory, sellers face a lot more competition and may receive very few viable offers. Prices are often driven down as well.
  • Setting an Asking Price: If the asking price of real estate for sale is set too low, prospective buyers will assume something is wrong with the property. If it’s set too high, they’ll pass right over it
  • Completing Maintenance and Repairs: Important maintenance and repairs should be done before a home is listed for sale. The home should be as close to move-in condition as possible to attract the best buyers and offers
  • Selling at a Loss: No one wants to sell their home for a loss. The plus side is that tax deductions are often available for doing so.

What to Expect when Selling a Home

Although the process of selling a home varies, home sellers can expect the process to unfold in approximately the following way:

  • Receive Offer: After the house is ready and listed on the market, offers will come in. The seller can accept the offer, reject the offer or make a counter-offer
  • Escrow: If the offer is accepted, the buyer deposits his earnest money, and escrow is set up.
  • Documentation: The seller submits all documentation to the escrow holder, including tax receipts and warranties.
  • Inspection: The buyer chooses an inspector, and the seller pays for the inspection. It’s also the seller’s responsibility to get the necessary clearances and to complete repairs as required by the purchase agreement.
  • Closing: As long as the terms of the escrow and purchase agreement are met and the buyer obtains the necessary financing, closing is scheduled and completed.

Copyright 2016

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.