General Timeline

Holly, when we asked you if you could make a rapid “turn-key” sale for us, we were very serious, but we had no idea that you would be able to get more than 120 brokers into a showing and sell our home for over a million dollars cash – more than we were asking – all in just six days in the winter.

Galen and Barbara R.

Some people start planning for the sale of their home years in advance, while others call me up and want to know if they can go on the market that very day. Anything within that continuum is possible, but a typical timeline for selling a home usually goes something like this:

Week 1-2

  • We sit down together for a relaxed and detailed conversation about how the whole process works.
  • We walk around the whole property, inside and out, and talk about what improvements and repairs, if any, you may want to make.
  • We talk about landscaping and whether you want to make any changes to increase your “curb appeal.”
  • I take detailed notes about your property so that I can research how it compares to other recently sold properties in the neighborhood.
  • We fill out some preliminary paperwork that allows me to begin work as your agent.
  • We talk about your various inspection options, decide which inspections are appropriate, and schedule the appointments – generally the inspectors are available the following week.
  • We talk about any mandatory local requirements, such as Energy Conservation or Sewer Lateral ordinances, and order any relevant inspections and estimates.
  • We go through your house room by room and decide which furniture and artwork you may want to leave in the house for showing, and which things you may want to put into temporary storage. If staging is appropriate, we schedule an appointment with a stager.


Week 2-3

  • We meet to discuss the findings of my market research and decide on an approximate listing price. This price may be fine-tuned just prior to market if necessary.
  • I accompany the various inspectors and discuss their findings with you. If a further inspection is recommended, such an engineer or roofer, we schedule that appointment.
  • I counsel you on which of the inspectors’ findings you may choose to correct, such as active termites. If appropriate, we schedule the work.
  • We obtain estimates for satisfying local ordinances and schedule the work if needed.
  • We meet with the stager, obtain her written estimate, and decide how to proceed with staging.
  • We complete additional paperwork, including disclosure documents.
  • If part of the plan, you move any unneeded furniture and belongings into storage.
  • Repairs and improvements such as painting, landscaping and handywork are begun.


Week 3-4

  • Repairs and improvements are completed.
  • Pest control work, if any, is completed.
  • Mandatory requirements are completed.
  • House is clear of extraneous possessions and, if appropriate, staged.
  • Various inspection reports are in hand.
  • We complete yet more paperwork, including local, county, state, and federal requirements.
  • House should be thoroughly cleaned, including windows inside and out.
  • I photograph the interior and exterior of the home and begin to design my marketing materials.


Week 3-4

  • Market debut! Open Houses, Broker’s Tour, and private showings and intensive marketing of your home all commence. In general, my listings receive offers within the first 2 weeks of marketing.


Week 6-7

  • We receive offers. Once an offer is accepted and escrow is opened, you will not have to continue to show your home unless you choose to do so. However, you will have to grant your Buyer access to your home with reasonable notice.
  • We will complete more paperwork including a purchase contract and any necessary addenda.
  • A typical escrow lasts around 30 days, so if you are still living in the home you will need to start to plan your move.


Week 7-8

  • Buyers complete any of their own inspections.
  • Appraiser visits the property; loan process begins.
  • Preliminary title report is generated and delivered for Buyer’s approval.


Week 8-9

  • Buyers complete the inspection and loan process, approve all existing reports and disclosures, and commit to complete the purchase.
  • Stager is given permission to remove any staging from the property.
  • You make final moving plans.


Week 10-12

  • Time to move! House must be free of all personal possessions and “broom clean.”
  • We sign your final transfer documents at the escrow office.
  • Buyer’s loan is funded; Buyer signs closing documents.
  • On the day escrow closes, you receive your proceeds check and hand over all keys.

You’re done! All told, the process from preparing for market to receiving your proceeds check generally lasts about 3 months. However, keep in mind that the above process is infinitely adaptable and will be tailored to meet your specific needs. Please feel free to call me for a no-charge, no-obligation meeting to discuss your questions and concerns.

Preparing Your Home for Sale