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.​​​​​​​

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Congratulations!

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.

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As a fellow real estate agent, I have been referring my clients to Phi-Van Cherry. She has been great to work with and very responsive. All my clients have been super happy when I have referred her way!

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Phi Van helped us find a wonderful home. She is patient, and always had time to answer any questions we had. We are so grateful to know such a great agent, and person.

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First-class service; HIGHLY recommend! 🌟

— OLio | Asheville, NC 2021

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Phi-Van spent months helping us find the perfect house. Even when covid started she was there for us and made house hunting safe and as easy as possible. She was always at reach immediately and went above and beyond! I can't recommend her enough if you want to find your dream home!

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Phi-Van Cherry has been an exceptional referral partner. Professional, responsive, knowledgeable, and caring. I can go on and on. She always amazes me with her thoughtfulness and attention to detail, and she is a phenomenal resource for all things Asheville. I highly recommend working with her!

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Phi-Van is amazing! Not only she sold us a beautiful home but here we are 4 months later she is still here for us! Today she spend most part of her day at our home letting in the pest service man since we are in Florida! She could have said no but thats the person she is. We just absolutely love her!

— Mary V. | Mill Spring, NC 2020

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Phi-Van is amazing! She found us a home that had everything we were looking for. She held our hands through every step of the buying process, was always available and enthusiastic to answer my one million questions, was very timely in response, and always made sure to look out for our best interests! I highly recommend her to anyone looking to buy a home.

— Kyla M. | Etowah, NC 2022

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Phi-Van helped us find a home through a cross-country move from Los Angeles. She understood the nature of my family and always recommended a home that would fully address our needs and kept a watch out for potential issues in homes and locations. She made sure the home would not be near a main road because our kids may run into the street or the distance from nearby stores. She looked out for us from the...

— Cuong V. | Rutherfordton, NC 2021

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Phi-Van was absolutely wonderful to work with! She went above and beyond in everything throughout our time working with her. As a first-time home buyer, she helped my husband and me find the perfect place that fit exactly what we were looking for. We literally searched for 5 months and visited over 100 houses. I have never seen real estate agents devote that much time and effort to putting a client in a ...

— Caroline F. | Fletcher, NC 2020

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I highly recommend Phi-Van Cherry whom I met when I joined the Hendersonville Woman’s Club (HWC) a few years ago. In that time I have developed a tremendous admiration for this woman. She has a tremendous drive to create success not just for herself but those around her. When she sets out to do something you’d best get on it with her or get out of the way. Now she is President of the HWC and sees everyth...

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What a blessing it was to work with Phi! From the moment we met her, my husband and I knew this was not only the right choice but best one! Phi was professional and always available to answer a question. After struggling to sell our home for a year, she stepped in and sold it in two days! Highly recommend Phi-Van Cherry to make your dreams a reality!

— C Gowing | Barnardsville, NC 2023

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Phi-Van was wonderful to work with. She works tirelessly to find you the perfect home and is extremely knowledgeable about the housing market. She has an eye for detail and will go out of her way to ensure you have a wonderful experience during your home-buying process.

— JW | Simpsonville, SC 2023

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Phi was amazing to work with! She always responds the right way and is communicative about what’s on the market. She looks out for the best interest of your families’ situation and needs and is very patient and caring. She is very knowledgeable about the market. She always made herself available to my schedule being a mom herself.

— So appreciative | Hendersonville, NC 2023

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Couldn’t have asked for a more professional, more personable realtor than Phi-Van. She was helpful from beginning to end, listened to our desires and preferences, and help us secure a home that fit us well. I can’t recommend her highly enough!

— Jack | Asheville, NC 2023

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My husband and I had nothing short of an incredible experience working with Phi! We were first-time home buyers and Phi really helped to navigate us through the process. She is extremely responsive, patient, and has a great sense of humor. Don’t look any further than Phi-Van Cherry for your real estate needs!

— Jenna | Asheville, NC 2022

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We bought AND sold our first home with Phi-Van and it was a pleasure to work with her. She has an amazing work ethic. She commits her time and effort into each client. Her services truly surpasses expectation. She is on top of every issue and task that arises. Her communication/follow up is 10 out of 10. I wish I could’ve taken her with me to help buy our new home where we relocated. Highly recommend!

— Ann | Rutherfordton, NC 2021

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I have known Phi-Van since 2020 as she was the realtor for the land my fiancé and I purchased. And now, she was the realtor that helped us sell the home we built on that land. Buying, building, selling is one of the most stressful events I think someone can go through and Phi-Van has a way of making the process seamless and less stressful. Not only does she have extensive real estate knowledge she also k...

— Erin | Lake Lure, NC 2022

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Phi-Van was a referral from another realtor. We are out of state buyers and had no contacts in the area. The whole process is as about as smooth as you could hope for. We had an initial video meeting to talk about what we wanted and shortly thereafter had a full inbox of potential sites. We worked through those, refined things and settled on a list of roughly 15 sites. Phi-Van gave us a full Friday /Satu...

— Tom | Hendersonville, NC 2022

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Phi-Van is an incredibly hard worker and helped make it possible to get our house on the market right away. Her advice helped us get under contract with the best offer and we were able to sell our home in less than a month! We used Phi-van to buy this home as a first time buyer two years ago and we are so happy to have her help us as first time seller.

— Emi S | Asheville, NC 2022

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Phi-Van was amazing from our first point of contact until the end. My husband and I were more than pleased with all of her hard work and dedication in not only finding us the perfect home for our needs, but also in ensuring that we got more bang for our buck. If you want a realtor who will literally give her all, look no further. She is AMAZING!

— Angie Mason | Arden, NC 2021

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I'd give more than 5 stars if I could! Phi-Van was an exceptional agent to work with. She was focused on my interests in the contract process and very responsive. She went above and beyond to get me into my home. Would absolutely recommend her to anyone wanting to buy or sell.

— Amber C | Columbus, NC 2021

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Phi-Van went way above and beyond for us buying our house. We were buying while living in another state and Phi-Van did video showings for us and gave us plenty of information so we could make an informed decision. We very much appreciated her diligence in helping us get a home in this very competitive market!

— Kathy S | Granite Falls, NC 2021

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Phi-Van was extraordinarily accommodating in every phase of our home search, purchase and move. She went far beyond the call of duty, making certain our needs and wishes were met. We so enjoy our new home and exploring the Asheville area. Phi-Van gave us many recommendations for shopping, sightseeing, and home improvement ideas. She is an absolute top-notch professional and I heartily recommend her to an...

— Shipwreck John | Candler, NC 2020

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An amazing realtor, kept me in the loop each step of the way, assisted me in dealing with an incredibly icy buyers realtor as well as an amazingly inept buyers attorney. I'd recommend Phi-van to anyone who needs a great realtor with unbelievable marketing skills!

— Janet | Hendersonville, NC 2021

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5 stars for Phi Van Cherry as our real estate agent. I reached out to her in August 2020 from out of state and by October 2020 we were closing on our beautiful new home in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Phi Van was efficient and professional in sending us homes to look at online before we came to town and then once in town she showed us homes for 3 straight days. Phi Van also made an inspection on our n...

— Kalee | Hendersonville, NC 2020

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Phi-Van spent months helping us find the perfect house. Even when covid started she was there for us and made house hunting safe and as easy as possible. She was always at reach immediately and went above and beyond! I can't recommend her enough if you want to find your dream home!

— Heather Weinstein | Rutherfordton, NC 2020

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Phi-Van is great! Our realtor in Florida recommended her and she was perfect. We flew in for a weekend and saw every house we could. Phi-Van made sure we saw those plus others. She pointed out all the good, questionable and worthy parts of the home and area. She went out of her way to "show" us a house after we were back home. We put in a bid and from then on, she made sure we were covered in every way p...

— Sandy | Candler, NC 2020

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Phi-Van was absolutely wonderful to work with! She went above and beyond in everything throughout our time working with her. As a first-time home buyers, she helped my husband and me find the perfect place that fit exactly what we were looking for. We literally searched for 5 months and visited over 100 houses--I have never seen real estate agents devote that much time and effort to put a client in a hou...

— Caroline Elliott | Fletcher, NC 2020

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We moved up here for a job and did not have any idea of where we wanted to live and no market expertise. Phi was always available (day and late nights) to assist us with finding the right home. She was always prompt, professional, courteous and remains a friend long after closing on our home.

— jmb236 | Asheville, NC 2019

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Normally purchasing property can be so stressful but Phi-Van made this process seem so smooth and exciting for my fiance and I. We were property shopping out of town and were there for only 1 day and our previous realtor was a no show and Phi-Van was contacted by a friend and immediately came to our rescue...on a weekend! She was there every step of way giving us no time to feel any pressure or stress. W...

— Erin | Lake Lure, NC 2019

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We are very lucky to have met Phi-Van early on in August 2018 when we were just starting to look into moving in the area! Not only was she super patient with us being first home buyers, but she went above and beyond to make sure that we would find the best starter home. Her expertise in buying (and selling) helped us make our decisions when it came to putting in our offers. We recommend working with Phi-...

— Joe R. | Asheville, NC 2019

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Phi-Van is amazing! She found us a home that had everything we were looking for. She held our hands through every step of the buying process, was always available and enthusiastic to answer my one million questions, very timely in response and always made sure to look out for our best interests! I highly recommend her to anyone looking to buy a home.

— Kayla B | Leicester, NC 2018

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I am very pleased with the service and professionalism that Phi-Van provided for us in our home buy. She constantly looked out for our best interest during our search, from find prospective homes to providing assessments to which homes would suit our needs. She helped with all aspects of the final purchase and we are very pleased with our new home.

— David V | Rutherfordton, NC 2017

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Phi-Van was an excellent realtor. She took the time to show us several properties and was very patient with us when we were indecisive. She then did the research to find us a very good deal on a builders interest rate to allow us to buy a luxury home we would not of otherwise been able to afford. She even got the price of the home down for us on a technicality. Would highly recommend to anyone buying or ...

— Tyler Owen | Fountain Inn, SC 2023

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We were impressed from start to finish with Phi-Van and are grateful for her help in purchasing a home in the Asheville area. She was always cordial and very responsive to our needs and requests. She is very knowledgeable and professional and helped us get an offer in quickly which was important in this environment. She went above and beyond and took a personal interest in helping us find the right home....

— Jack Piquette | Asheville, NC 2023

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