Seller's Guide

Everything you need to know about putting your home on the market, accepting an offer, and closing on your home.

A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent  and this easy to follow  guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps  will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for  the best price possible.​​​​​​​

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Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better craft your offer. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your goal is to make a certain profit margin. Make sure you convey these needs to your realtor once you choose one so he or she can adjust your selling price accordingly.

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Step 2: Determine Selling Price

Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process. When you set a fair price in the beginning, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest, and underpricing leads to receiving less than what your home is worth. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to determine the right selling price for your home. An agent with experience can determine what other comparable homes are selling for, evaluate the current market, and may even suggest a home appraisal.

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Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, making any small repairs, and doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition.

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Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.

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Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is prequalified or pre-approved by a mortgage lender and that their offer is acceptable to you. If the offer is too low, you can make a counter-offer or offer other ways to bridge the gap, such as covering some or all of the closing costs, making repairs, adjusting the move-in date, or leaving some appliances or fixtures for the new buyer.

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Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once we deem the offer is acceptable, we will review the proposed contract to make sure it’s all in order and includes the necessary components such as deposit amount, down payment, financing, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, settlement date, and a list of fees and who will pay them. When both parties have agreed to the term, a final contract will be prepared by your agent.

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Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer and are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, you and the buyer must make a list of what needs to be done before closing. In some cases, your home may need to be formally inspected, surveyed, and appraised. In other cases, major or minor repairs will need to be made before the house can close. I will head up efforts to develop and execute this list, get each action item paid for by the correct party, and make sure everything is in order by the closing date. A few days before the closing date, we will call the company closing the transaction to make sure everything is ready to go. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to make arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession.

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Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. We will meet with the company closing the transaction to sign the final paperwork and go over any issues that have not yet been taken care of. During this time, you can also make plans with your realtor to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining and ensuring the new owner has instructions for all appliances that will remain in the home.

Congratulations!

Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.

Testimonials

See why our clients love working with us.

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Cathie H.

Kirsten had a great reputation in our Cambrian neighborhood as a very knowledgeable and successful Realtor®. We often saw houses that were sitting on the market get sold quickly once they switched over to having Kirsten represe...
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Jan C.

There certainly isn’t a shortage of Realtors®, but I think it is safe to say that not all Realtors® provide the top-notch service that Kirsten Reilly does! Kirsten smoothly facilitated my buying a home in Morgan Hill in August ...
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James

We were lucky to meet Kirsten because she reached out to us with an interested buyer. Immediately upon meeting her we knew she was someone we could trust in the way she worked with and respected us, our home, and her client. Wh...
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Glen K.

We planned to sell our property with Kirsten at the start of the season. She came prepared at our first meeting with knowledge of the area and our property, with a solid plan to market to the right buyers. She had a staging tea...
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Ann B.

Are you looking for an agent who is completely customer service-oriented? Who knows the real estate market and understands the subtle nuances of varying neighborhoods and potential buyers? An agent who will go the extra mile to...
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Mary

My husband and I just had the pleasure of working with Kirsten Reilly to sell our home for 23 years. Kirsten caught our attention as the "one to go to" for help selling a home in Cambrian Park. I started noticing Kirsten when e...
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Doug S.

Having Kirsten Reilly as our real estate agent was the best choice we made when we were ready to sell our home! She truly is a Cambrian specialist as she helped us navigate the local market and make smart choices to prepare our...
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Sarah O.

Mrs. Reilly helped me sell my niece's home in Fremont, CA. The 60-year-old home was in very poor condition and needed a lot of work, in and out, before it could be put on the market. Kirsten stepped in, lined up all the contrac...
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Jordan R.

Kirsten is an absolute dream to work with from start to finish. I first got to know her when purchasing my home in Blossom Valley, and she went FAR beyond the call of duty - even Facetiming me while she walked through houses wh...
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Terry S.

We just sold our home in Cambrian Park and had a great experience with Kirsten. We chose her because she lives in our neighborhood and we received her marketing brochures and felt she was professional and knowledgeable. She mad...
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Vanessa

I am so glad we met Kirsten! She was helpful, knowledgable, friendly, patient, and she was great at explaining things we did not understand about the home buying process. From the time we saw the house, we knew we wanted to put...
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Ann N.

Kirsten was an amazing asset to my family and I buy a home while we were based out of state. Her help navigating through what can ordinarily be such a stressful time was so invaluable. She was incredibly responsive to our needs...
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Michelle H.

Kirsten is a true professional who is highly experienced in residential real estate in Santa Clara County. She is focused on quality representation, service, and accuracy through her transactions. She helps set clear expectatio...
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Christine K.

Kirsten recently helped my client sell her mother's house after her mother had passed away. My client did not live locally, and she appreciated Kirsten's dedicated assistance with preparing the house for sale, supervising worke...
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Blake

We feel so lucky to have had Kirsten as our Realtor® for our recent home purchase. When you are purchasing luxury real estate, you want to feel confident you have the right people on your team. Kirsten not only networked to fin...
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Edmund C.

Trying to find a house in Silicon Valley can be exasperating to say the least, so we are grateful to Kirsten for handling our house search with limitless enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. She is a natural at intuiting what kinds o...
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Jim C.

I’ve worked with Kirsten Reilly for about 3 years now. I meet a lot of Realtors® in my business, and Kirsten is one of the best. She is the definition of a pro! If you are looking for an agent who puts the client's interest fir...
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James T.

Kirsten is just an amazing agent. She is an absolute hyper-local expert, with extensive knowledge and experience in the home buying process. When my clients want to relocate to the San Jose or Silicon Valley areas, Kirsten Reil...
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Sai A.

Kirsten was absolutely fantastic as she helped us navigate the process of purchasing our first home. She was responsive, professional, gave us actionable insight, and was instrumental in helping us seal the deal. We highly reco...
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Lj H.

Kirsten went above and beyond in our recent purchase of a home. We had some very unusual circumstances, and we could always count on Kirsten to be professional, understanding, and flexible. The entire process went smoothly, and...
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Kirsten Reilly

Kirsten Reilly Real Estate Services
Silicon Valley, CA

Kirsten Reilly
kirsten.reilly@compass.com
M: (408) 835-2962

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