In today’s housing market, the days of placing a “for sale” sign on your front lawn, waiting for multiple offers, and accepting the right offer within several weeks (or even days), are over.

To sell your home for top dollar, you need the right preparation, an effective strategy, and plenty of patience. Below is a handy 7-step guide that can help you sell your home successfully:

    Step 1: Preparation

    Selling a property requires preparation. You need to be familiar with the many different form agreements, seller disclosure statements, as well as environmental concerns for different areas.

    In addition, you need to take a look at the local real estate market and take note of the trends in your area. Use the Internet and view similar homes in your neighborhood to get an idea of the ideal price range for your property.

    Step 2: Look for a realtor

    An experienced realtor will help make the selling process quick, easy, and stress-free for you. Selling a home involves lots of paperwork, marketing, pricing, inspections, and negotiations, so you’ll want someone experienced in dealing with all of these to help you out.

    You also want to find a realtor who has completed many successful transactions in your area, as these are the ones who are best-equipped to sell your home for top dollar.

    Step 3: Price your home

    Different factors such as interest rates and market conditions are just some of several factors that will determine your home’s price. Pricing is a crucial step in the selling process – overpricing your home will only make it stagnate in the market, possibly lowering its value over time.

    Work with your realtor in order to determine an ideal price point for your home.

    Step 4: Create a solid marketing plan

    Although your realtor is in charge of creating a marketing plan, you’ll be a great help if you’ve done your research about the home selling process. When you’re more familiar with the selling process, your realtor will be able to work closely with you in order to accomplish your goals.

    Step 5: Accept an offer and negotiate

    One of the most complex parts of the selling process is negotiating the sale. It’s important to keep in mind that not every offer you receive will be immediately acceptable. You need to work with your agent to carefully evaluate each offer, before you start to negotiate with the buyer and his or her agent.

    During this period, having a bit of patience is very important. Be prepared to go through a series of back-and-forth negotiations before you get the ideal price and terms for your home.

    Step 6: The settlement

    During the settlement period, it’s possible that some contract contingencies can affect you, especially if you’re still in the home. Generally, a home inspection is required, so you need to make sure your home is available for inspection. Should the inspector find anything that may violate the terms of your contract, you will need to re-open negotiations with the buyer once again.

    During the settlement period, you will also need to negotiate a settlement date that both you and the buyer agree with. In case you haven’t found a new home to move to, you can negotiate a “rent-back” arrangement with the buyer, which will allow you to remain in the home for a certain period after the settlement.

    Step 7: Make your move

    Although planning your move is the final step, you should begin your plans for relocation right after you’ve decided to sell your home. Whether you’re about to move to another country or just a few miles away, planning ahead will certainly make things easier. Start looking for a mover, stock up on boxes and packing materials, and make a handy checklist before you sell your home.