You’re selling by owner. You’ve advertised your home and yay! you have an offer. Now what?! Here are some tips to help you take that next step with confidence and minimal stress!

1)  Prior to or upon putting your home out to prospective buyers, hire an attorney (make sure it’s a real estate attorney and not your Uncle Joe who handles divorces). Though many states don’t require you to have an attorney for closing, if you are not confident in your ability to negotiate your contract or prefer to not be involved in the day to day stresses of getting your sale to closing, the cost of an attorney may be well worth it to your peace of mind.

2)  If you prefer to not hire an attorney, but do want to prepare yourself for next steps, shop around for the title company you plan to use for your closing and ask them, “If we commit to use you for our closing, will you assist us with our contract and hold our earnest money in your escrow account?”  If they say no, keep shopping title companies. Many will agree since that makes the closing process that much easier for them.

3)  Be earnest yourself regarding getting required inspections scheduled and completed so you can move smoothly to closing. Don’t be afraid to be pro-active if things are being slowed down by inspectors not calling for an appointment or not showing up.

4)  If your buyer has an agent, don’t be afraid to stay in touch with them if the buyer is not meeting their obligations regarding financing commitments or other items included in your contract. If you have hired an attorney, they will take care of this.

5)  If you have hired an attorney, don’t be afraid to keep them focused and on point to getting you to closing smoothly and on time.

6)  Once you are confident that your deal is going to close, get your movers in line (to meet any contract requirements of when you are to vacate your home) and pack. Can deals still fall apart? Sure, so keep that in mind as you’re packing leaving the items you need on a daily basis to be the last items packed. Being prepared for the worst case scenario is a positive not tempting fate.

Very importantly, prepare yourself for the day you have to leave. For some people, moving is just something they do every few years and no big deal. But for others, leaving the home where you raised your children and/or built your family and celebrated life’s moments can be an emotional upheaval.  Have a last family gathering….a blow out party….or take time to simply relax, walk through your home room by room and enjoy your memories there as you get ready to move into the next phase of your life journey!