The 11 Stages in the Home Selling Process

How do you take on the huge task of selling your home?

It is like laying bricks: you do it one brick at a time.

The Howell Group walks our clients, like this Home for Heroes participant, through the process of selling their home and helps them overcome the struggles that may crop up along the way. Here are some of the services both Dianna and I offer to help prepare our clients to sell their home. These are our 11 stages in the home selling process.

1. The Consultation.

We will meet with the sellers at their home and outline the process. We will walk through the house and give an honest assessment of the value and advise of any necessary repairs before putting the house on the market.

2. The Steps of Selling.

In this stage, Dianna and I work with the home seller to create the list price. We sign a contract and create a to-do list of recommended improvements. We do this in such a way that it is not overwhelming to the seller.

3. The Clean.

This stage is often underestimated, but very important. To create a home that is market-ready, the sellers must free the home of clutter and as many personal items as possible. Open space allows the buyers to visualize themselves in the home. This might also mean a deep purge or boxing items away.

4. The Repairs.  

Updates and repairs will speed up the selling process and help the seller get the desired price with minimum investment. This can be the most time-consuming and labor-intensive stage, but it is also the stage that will make the most impact!

5. The Staging.

Dianna will come in after the home has been cleaned and repaired to set the stage for potential home buyers. She will literally stage your home with fresh decor and furnishings. Staging varies at each house. This is a service that we do for all of our sellers. (Blog post coming soon about specifics on home staging.)

6. The Listing.

When the house is ready to list on the market, our professional photographer will take pictures of the home, and we create the description of the home listing.

7. The MLS.

When the home is listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), buyers and real estate agents will have online access to photos and detailed information about the house.

8. The Show.

This can best be described as the “clean and wait” stage. We call it “showing”. It really is like putting on a show. Buyers will notice your home on the market via driving by or seeing it online. Buyers will call wanting to see the home. Sellers must then be prepared at all times for their home to be shown. This means they have their home constantly ready for a home showing and be able to leave the premisses with families and pets when needed. One way we help our sellers is by creating a showing calendar. This part of the process is much easier when the house has been cleared of clutter. Dianna and I will then plan an Open House on a Sunday for both buyers and real estate agents.

9. The Offers.

In this stage, buyers make offers based on what they are willing to pay for your house. The goal is to get several offers and negotiate the best offer for the seller. This is where The Howell Group intercedes for our clients with counter offers and negotiations to help our sellers get top dollar for their home.

10. The Contract.

When the seller receives an acceptable offer, a contract is signed by both seller and buyer. However, there are usually contingencies and inspections in the contract, so this is not a done-deal by any means. During the contract stage, the buyers will have an inspector thoroughly inspect the house for damages and necessary repairs. The buyers can choose to buy the house as is, ask for repairs to be made by the seller, ask for reduced purchase price equivalent to the repair amount, or walk away from the contract. We keep in close contact with our clients to assist in contract navigations.

11. The Closing.

At last, all the steps have been taken to get to the end of the journey. At closing, all parties sit down with their real estate agents and a closing attorney to sign all the papers and begin the process of turning their house over to the new homeowners.

If you are thinking about selling your home, please give us a call. We would love to sit down with your for an initial consultation to see if we can help you. Also, our business is supported from client referrals, friends and family. Please, give our number to your friends and families who want to sell their home.

We want to hear from you!

What tips/resources have you found helpful, such as movers, painters, etc., when selling your home?

-Paul Howell

If you have any questions about selling a home in the Birmingham, Alabama area, we would love to help you! Please contact Dianna Howell with The Howell Group at 205-568-5435 or email her at

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