8 Steps to sell a house in Washington

Helpful tips to know when selling a house in Washington state.

12/9/20233 min read

8 Steps to sell a house in Washington
8 Steps to sell a house in Washington

8 Steps to Sell a House in Washington

STEP 1: Prepare to Sell Your Home

Small upgrades and repairs can make a big difference when your home is being shown to potential buyers. The key is knowing where to spend your money for the best ROI (return on investment) when upgrading or repairing your home.

Some of the best upgrades and repairs when selling a home in Washington include:

  • Removing carpets and replacing them with laminate flooring.

  • Installing energy-efficient roofs, siding, and windows.

  • Updating heating systems and installing air conditioning systems.

STEP 2: Find a Real Estate Photographer in Washington

Professional photographs of your property can easily get you more money on your final real estate sale price. High-quality Real Estate photography attracts a larger pool of buyers, particularly serious ones who won’t be shy to shell out more cash. The majority of buyers will only schedule a visit to the property if they first like the photos of the home. Without high quality photography, most prospective buyers won’t even bother to click on a real estate listing! Give yourself a chance to compete with other sellers and help your property stand out!

If you are searching for a Real Estate Photographer in the Snohomish, Skagit or King County areas, Aspect Photography & Media LLC is there to help your next listing shine to its fullest potential!

STEP 3: Home Staging

Professional staging can cost up to $3,000, but a well-staged home will often sell faster and for more money. Start by decluttering, deep cleaning, and tidying up your home's curb appeal. When it comes to home staging, the golden rule is to make your space look bigger to potential buyers. Staging helps buyers imagine themselves living in the home. Un-staged or "Empty" homes may attract lower offers because buyers might be distracted by stains on the walls and other imperfections.

STEP 4: Set a Listing Price

Pricing strategy can make or break a sale. List your home for less than market value and you leave money on the table. Price it too high, and the listing goes stale, forcing a price drop that could make buyers suspicious wary. To get an accurate idea of what your house is worth, a real estate agent will look at comparable listings online in your area. Some sellers choose to get a pre-sale appraisal for an estimate of their home's fair market value. In Washington, appraisals average $400 to $600.

STEP 5: List Your House for Sale on the NWMLS

Once you've decided on a price, your real estate agent will work with you to write a listing description that speaks to local buyers. Understanding their priorities will help you identify what features of your property to highlight in your listing. Some of the top buyer priorities in Washington include homes with maximized living and storage space, central air conditioning and finding move in ready homes for sale. In Washington the best place to market your house for sale is on the Northwest MLS, with a reputable agent.

STEP 6: Show the Home

Organization is key when showing your home to multiple buyers. Your real estate agent will need to coordinate with you if the home is not vacant and a good scheduling system with proper showing follow up is imperative. At times you may need to be flexible to show your house at the buyers’ convenience, especially if you anticipate receiving an offer! Be prepared by keeping the home clean and decluttered at all times. You don't want to panic when a buyer calls for a last-minute showing.

STEP 7: Negotiate for The Best Possible Price

Negotiations are not just about the final sale price. Your real estate agent or buyer's agent will have also likely included contract contingencies, agreements about how closing costs are divided, the timeline to close, and more. Knowing what's important to buyers in your area will help you strengthen your counteroffer if needed. For instance, home buyers may need 1% to 2.5% of closing costs to be covered, and some sellers might need a rent back agreement. A real estate agent can help here.

STEP 8: Closing the Sale

Closing is the final step in a real estate transaction. The title of the property is officially transferred from the seller to the buyer, and both parties pay their closing costs. A seller's portion of closing costs include title and escrow fees, which should be around $2,500 for the average home. As a seller, you are also responsible for Washington's Real Estate Excise Tax (REET), which is graduated and ranges from 1.1% on homes less than $525,000 up to 3% on homes more than $3 million.