A Step-by-Step First Time Home Seller's Guide

Putting your Florida Keys 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 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.


Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We 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 we deem the offer is acceptable, we 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. We 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.

Jim and Carol
Carol V.
Richard F.
Desiree F.
Ocean Sothebys International is superior to all of the other luxury companies in the Florida Keys. Gloria Walters is an outstanding agent! I have gotten to know her over the past few years and I would highly recommend her for her honesty, professionalism, and knowledge of the Florida Keys Real Estate market

— Isabella

Our first trip coming to the Florida keys to look for a home was thought to be a nervous adventure not knowing anyone. Then we found Gloria Walters from Ocean Sotheby's International Realty... what a relief. Gloria Walters is such a wonderful person and a professional at her job as a real estate agent. Gloria has made Carol and myself feel so welcomed to the Florida Keys. With taking her time and listeni...

— Jim and Carol

We used Gloria for both buying a new house and selling our old one. No one is more knowledgeable about the Upper Keys housing market. She is honest and ethical, and when things get stressful she is always calm and encouraging. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell here.

— Carol V.

The Walters were great to work with and extremely valuable to us as we were coming from a remote location and looking to buy our dream house in the Florida Keys. They are great people to work with and I would highly recommend them.

— Matt

We have had the pleasure of working with Gloria Walters on the purchase of our home in Islamorada in 2021. She has always been extremely kind and very patient. She showed us many homes and we were never rushed to make a decision. We loved working with her so much that we have recently listed another property with her.

— Rosann

Michaela was our Realtor® for our first home purchase and far exceeded our expectations. On top of being incredibly proactive about the home-buying process for us first-time homebuyers, Michaela proved to have an incredible knowledge of the areas we were searching for. She was also very ambitious and proactive, helping us get answers to questions we would have during the home buying process, and lining u...

— Richard F.

After 40 years of Keys life in Islamorada, our decision to sell our second home was hard. We loved it but the time had come. The decision of who the selling agent should be was easy. We interviewed 3 local agents before deciding Gloria Walters was our choice. She had the best experience, sales skills, energy and personality. She helped us understand the value of our property and how to prepare and pres...

— Courtney

Gloria was our agent when buying our home in Marathon. She was very responsive to our every request and went out of her way to ensure that the whole process went smoothly. She helped us find a good inspector, recommended a seawall expert, followed up with the title and the seller's agent, and was always on time and well-prepared. I would definitely recommend Gloria to anyone looking to buy or sell in the...

— Buyer

Michaela was fantastic during every step of our home buying journey! She provided sound counsel and even helped us navigate application processes for projects we'd need to work on after closing. She definitely went above and beyond. We are thankful for all of her help and would recommend her to anyone!

— Desiree F.

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The Walters Luxury Group in Florida shares the dedication and commitment required to deliver exceptional service with the world's most discerning sellers and buyers. Their local expertise, combined with Sotheby's one-of-a-kind relationships in most influential media outlets worldwide, artfully connects people with extraordinary homes for sale in the Florida Keys and beyond.