If you’re ready to sell your home (or even if you’re just thinking about it), make sure you do your homework before you get started—especially if this is the first home you’re selling. Moving from a buyer to a seller brings a new set of responsibilities and challenges. But if you’re prepared, you’ll know what to expect along the way, what to avoid, and some helpful tips to sell your home quickly.
With a home sale, the seller often has home equity and may be able to walk away with cash. You can estimate your home equity by subtracting the amount you still owe on your mortgage and other debts secured by your home from the current market value of your home. The difference will give you a good idea of how much equity you have to work with.
If you run into negative equity—meaning the home is worth less than the amount you owe on it—you may still be able to sell your home in a short sale to avoid foreclosure.
Selling your home requires a good amount of research and preparation. There may be home improvements to make, real estate agents to find, a move to plan, and many other steps in between.
A home sale usually includes these steps:
- Determine your equity and the financial costs and benefits of selling
- Find a local real estate listing agent
- List with your agent and follow any recommendations to get your home ready
- Work with your agent to market your home
- Negotiate offers and close
You can also explore other home listing options such as online marketplaces that may reduce your selling costs.
For additional information, we’ve broken the selling process into three sections:
If you're struggling to pay your mortgage and thinking about selling your home, review our Avoid Foreclosure section. You can learn more about options, such as a Sale with Equity, Short Sale or Mortgage Release (deed-in-lieu of foreclsoure), that may be available, as well as how to get help.