8 Steps to Selling Your Home | Rusty Dockery

8 Steps to Selling Your Home

Decide who is representing you. Piece of cake, call me at 205-535-0105. Seriously, do not go into this without professional help. Make sure your selection is a REALTOR, not just licensed by the State as a sales person, but also a member of the National Association of REALTORS and obligated to abide by their Code of Ethics . . . there is a difference.

Choose an experienced agent who practices the profession full-time. Ideally, your choice will be an agent recommended by someone who has actually been served by the agent, not just a friend of a friend or the boss's son or daughter. This decision is important.

In Alabama, a written agency agreement is required for a licensee to be your agent. The Real Estate Consumer Agency disclosure explains your options and must be presented to you at your first "significant" contact with a licensee whether you are selling or buying.

2. Determine the asking price for your home. As your agent, I can assist you with this important move. The price will be based on Comparative Market Information derived from data I will access through the Multiple Listing Service of Tuscaloosa and sales information from the courthouse. As a former Director of this organization, I’m familiar with the software and the data necessary to organize a meaningful tool for you. We’ll temper the price derived from the CMI with my knowledge of market conditions and your motivations to sell.

I’ll review with you with an Estimate of Settlement Proceeds that projects the amount you could receive from sale of your house based on the sale price we’ve determined and estimates of your loan payoff, costs of selling, and possible repair costs.

3. Stage your house. Get ready to be seen! Your house has to sell itself . . . we create the opportunities. Selling your house is "retailing" in the highest sense of the word. In order to get top dollar for your home, the most positive impression should be made for prospective buyers and their agents. My team will assist you with a list of staging items that will help you prepare to put your home’s "best foot forward".

4. Marketing your home, creating showings, is my biggest job. Our objective is to have as many qualified buyers as possible view your home. Much of my marketing effort is aimed at the agents representing those buyers. Since there are 400 of them and only one of me, chances are another agent will actually write the contract on your home.

While I market your home through 19 internet sites, a digital billboards in a high traffic loaction, VisualTours, audio fact sheets, direct mailing to consumers, and other venues, many sales are made through my extensive efforts to create a positive image of your home with buyer’s agents.

5. Showings are the means to connect your home's features to our prospective buyer’s needs. We can’t sell it if we don’t show it. Contrary to popular belief, most showings are on weekdays from about 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM . . . and you’ll get generally 24 hours notice. Of course, there are exceptions. The weekend, short notice showing does happen and can be a winner.

I’ll give you information to help with showings, but the basic rules are: Have all the lights on, leave, and have the pets under control.

6. One or more of our prospects will make an offer on your house. When we get a written offer, we’ll sit down together and evaluate the offer. My job here is to interpret the contract language and determine costs that you would incur if you accepted the offer. Then we’ll know the dollar amount you would receive at closing based on the offer price and terms requested.

Terms are important. Items like date of closing, closing costs, any requested repairs affect the value of your house.

7. Closing the transaction is a major task encompassing a myriad of details to coordinate. Recent regulations have made the jobs of the buyer's lender and the closing attorney more time consuming and difficult. I will stay in touch with the buyer's agent and the closing attorney to monitor loan progress. One of the first and most important functions is the inspection. Because I've recommended a pre-listing inspection, your home should be well prepared for the buyer's inspection should they choose to have one. After receiving any repair requests from the buyer we will negotiate those. 

There will also be a termite inspection and  appraisal to review. After these we’ll move on to the survey and title work. . When all conditions and terms have been met, we’ll meet at the closing attorney’s office for the closing. I prefer to use a closing agent that has an attorney present at the closing rather than a clerical person. Although the attorney may be there to represent the lender, they are available to explain questions you may have about the documents you are executing.

8. That's it! Depending on your situation, you may be packing, moving, and cleaning in the next 2-3 days. You may have moved some time ago. The closing attorney takes care of paying off your present loan but watch the mail for a copy of your satisfied mortgage and loan documents in the coming weeks.


Thanks for letting RustysTeam represent you in the sale of your home. Don't hesitate to call us if you have real estate questions in the future. And we'll appreciate your referring us to your friends and family.