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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.​​​​​​​


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.


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.


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.


Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a specialized marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves creating buzz around your home before going live on the market by utilizing multiple digital platforms, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, and SEO advertising to specifically target your buyer avatars. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing right out of the gate, giving your home the best chance of receiving multiple offers in the first week.


Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. I 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.


Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once I deem the offer is acceptable, I 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.


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.


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. I 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.


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.

Nancy Partipilo
Andra Miller
Linda K.
William M.
Archi K.
L. Jameson
Cardens W.
Sergio S.

Been working with Jessica for many years. Always a smooth experience. I highly recommend her services.

— Nancy Partipilo


Jessica is a class act! She is an incredibly hard worker. She is willing to do whatever is needed to get the job done. She has a positive attitude. She’s cool under stress. She is kind and smart and has a fun personality tied up with a ribbon of professionalism!! She’s the whole package and we highly recommend her as she made our experience buying and selling amazing!

— Andra Miller


If you want an agent that will work for you 24/7 and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty cleaning out a house that had been lived in for 67 years; if you want an agent that will keep the process on track and you informed; if you want an agent who will continue to offer support long, long after the deal has closed--then Jessica Gannon should be your choice!

— Linda K.


A true professional. I highly recommend Jessica. She was always available and solved numerous issues.

— William M.


Working with Jessica definitely made a difference in selling our house in Laguna Beach. Besides her professionalism and expertise in real estate, her love for architecture and design definitely sets her aside from other agents I know. Her warm yet professional personality definitely makes her one of a kind. She is socially very active, self motivated, and passionate in what she does. I highly recommend w...

— Archi K.


Jessica is honest, caring, and knowledgeable, and goes above and beyond for her clients. I was a first time homebuyer working with her and felt completely at ease in her hands. She was so on top of everything and always looking ahead at the next steps. She’s very responsive and thoughtful. Best of all, she’s down to earth and fun to be around. She makes the experience enjoyable. Can’t recommend her enough!

— L. Jameson


Jessica is extremely skilled, kind, sweet, patient, knowledgeable, and overall a great agent. I have known her for years, and when we decided to buy our first house we knew she is the right person to help us find our perfect home. This girl knows her inventory, she is very professional, organized, prompt, and pleasant to work with. I recommend her to anyone who is looking to buy or sell a place.

— Cardens W.


The best angel I ever knew. Just light and happiness in her soul.

— Sergio S.

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