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What You Need To Know About Selling Your Home: The Home Stretch

Curbed University delivers insider tips and non-boring advice on how to buy, sell, or rent a home or apartment. Additional questions welcomed to our inbox.

Your home looks great and is priced reasonably. Maybe someone (or if you're really lucky, multiple people are) interested in making an offer.


If your buyer is financing any part of the purchase, expect someone to come by and decide how much your property is worth. Basically, they are verifying the amount of risk the bank is willing to take. An experienced realtor should be able to determine if your listing price will align with an appraisal, and that's key to your pricing strategy- if your property is over-priced, your buyer may not be able to get a mortgage.

What's all this going to cost? As part of the worst-case scenario, figure out what all this will cost, and whether your finances are liquid enough. You may look at selling your property as a way to access equity, but there will be costs involved in that. There will be closing costs in addition to the expenses above, moving costs, but one of the biggest chunk will go to pay the transfer tax, a percentage of the sale price, for which the seller is responsible. It's $7,500 per million dollars of sale price, and goes down from there.

OMG, an offer! You can tell your agent you'll only look at offers from buyers who are pre-approved for financing. Here, your goals should align- you and your agent want to chose the deal that has the most chance of successfully closing escrow. It may not be worth a few thousand dollars to have the property go "pending" and then reappear "BOM" short for back on the market.

You've gone throughout the offer, the appraisal, the inspections, and cleared the contingencies. You've moved out and the final buyer's walk-through takes place. Escrow closes. Fees, transfer taxes, and liens, if any, have been distributed. Hand over the keys, take Grandma's chandelier, and don't look back. Congratulations on selling your home.
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