Getting ready to sell your house in Maryland? Our in-depth guide breaks the entire process down into 8 simple steps. Learn how to find a great agent, price your home, negotiate with buyers, breeze through closing, and more!
Updated on March 17, 2020
Now is a good time to be selling a house in Maryland! According to Zillow Research, property values in the state rose 1.29% in 2019, and are projected to rise a further 5.08% over the next year.
Of course, even the best Maryland properties will struggle to sell if you don’t price the home properly, do a poor job of marketing it, or don’t know how to handle the negotiations.
Read on to learn the eight steps to successfully selling your home in Maryland!
JUMP TO SECTION
1. Finding a Maryland realtor
Selling a home isn’t easy. It’s a high-stakes, complex transaction and requires a considerable amount of time and expertise to get a good outcome. If you’re looking to sell your Maryland home for the best price — and minimize stress along the way — you need to find a top-rated real estate agent in your area.
The best Maryland listing agents know exactly what local buyers want and how to reach them. They’ll offer expert advice, guidance, and support every step of the way, from the initial listing all the way through closing.
In fact, sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more, on average, than those who list on their own. For a $308,563 home — the median home value in Maryland, according to Zillow — that’s a premium of $101,826. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.
2. Deciding when to sell
If you are looking to make a large profit on your home sale or sell your home quickly, it's important to understand how seasonal trends will impact your sale. Every market is different and if you don’t want to make the mistake of selling at the wrong time, consult your agent!
Your real estate agent will have expert knowledge of the local market and make it easy for you to sell at the right time.
Best time to sell a house across the U.S.
Source: 2019 Redfin Data Center
Best time to sell a house in Maryland for speed
|Best Month to Sell for Speed in Maryland||June||21 days on market||13 days faster than average|
The summer months are generally the best time to sell your home fast in Maryland. On average, it takes 24 days to get an offer on a home that’s listed in the summer.
Specifically, homes listed in June have the fewest average days on market: just 21 days. Comparatively, homes listed in February spent an average of 51 days on the market.
Keep in mind that days on market (DOM) does not include how long it takes to close. In most cases, it takes another 30-40 days to close a sale.
Best time to sell a house in Maryland for price
|Best Month to Sell for Price in Maryland||June||$314,000 median sale price||6.5% more than average|
The summer months don’t just raise the temperature, they also raise the median sales price of Maryland. June, July, and August had the highest median sale prices at $314,000, $313,000, and $311,000, respectively.
Learn More: The Best Time to Sell a Home in Maryland
3. Pricing your home
A comparative market analysis (CMA) is a great tool for sellers who want to price their homes competitively and get an accurate idea of what they can make on the open market. CMAs take data from the recent home sales in your market and evaluates how your home would do based on the previous metrics.
Agents then combine CMAs with their local experience to price homes according to the seller’s goals and priorities.
4. Preparing, marketing, and showing your home
The key to a successful home sale is a top-rate listing. A great listing provides ample details about the home and entices buyers to view the home in person.
Your listing is the first thing that potential buyers will see. If you get it right, you'll have a horde of prospective buyers at your door.
Here are some other things to look out for during this stage of the home sale.
Home Staging Works!
Staged homes spend 86% less time on the market and receive higher offers. If you’re still not sure about whether home staging is the right move for you, ask your agent.
They can even provide recommendations for top stagers (within your budget) and let you know what local buyers expect to see in a staged home.
Craft an Appealing (and Accurate) Listing Description
Your listing description shares details about your home's acreage, age, condition, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and more. Your agent can help you put together an outstanding listing description that draws buyers in.
Giving buyers a lot of information about your home will allow them to make a decision about whether the home fits their needs early on. This can help you avoid buyers who aren’t interested in the home or who have unrealistic expectations of the home. Interested buyers lead to more offers.
Marketing Your Home
If your home has been appropriately marketed on multiple different platforms you will likely see tons of interested buyers. Agents will be a huge driving force behind your home’s marketing.
Agents use different tools such as yard signs, professional networks, online advertising, social media, and more to ensure that your home reaches a large audience. They’ll also work to ensure that your listing is accurate on sites like Zillow and Trulia.
Showings and Open Houses
You and your agent will work together to schedule showings, but it’s important to be flexible. If you are very strict about when you show the house, you may lose out on potential offers simply because buyers can’t get in to see your home.
Scheduling a few open houses may be your best bet if your schedule doesn’t permit a ton of individual showings.
It’s important to ensure that your home is clean and prepped for visitors when you are showing it. Buyers want to focus on your home, not any smells or unsightly stains.
5. Fielding offers and negotiations
Once your home is listed, you’ll start receiving offers. There may be some back-and-forth during this stage if you present counteroffers.
Your agent will work to negotiate on your behalf to help you get the most out of your home sale. This is the time that both buyers and sellers will iron out the details of the purchase agreement and covers a wide range of important items including the move-out date and contingencies.
Once you’re both in agreement, you’ll sign a purchase agreement. A real estate purchase agreement states the terms and conditions of the sale and is a legally binding agreement. If one party violates the terms of the purchase agreement, the agreement will be null and the sale may fall through.
Learn More: Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette
6. Appraisal and inspections
Home appraisals and inspections are an important part of the home selling process as they provide both sellers and buyers with information about the home, its condition, and value.
Appraisals are required by most mortgage lenders. They determine what a home is worth and give banks confidence that they are not overlending. Home appraisals are done by licensed professionals who assess the home and determine its value based on objective metrics.
Home inspections assess a home’s condition and evaluate its major systems and structures. Home inspections are conducted by licensed individuals, as well. If a home inspection reveals necessary repairs or a home appraisal comes in low, negotiations may begin again.
7. Paperwork and required Maryland disclosures
Disclosure requirements during a real estate transaction are set in place to protect both buyers and sellers in the event that an unexpected problem arises after or during the sale. Sellers must tell buyers any pertinent information about the home including any known defects.
Maryland has a handy disclosure form that sellers can fill out with any known information about their homes.
It's best to talk with your real estate agent about disclosures to ensure that you are following the law.
Learn More: Disclosure Requirements in Maryland
8. The closing process
The closing process in Maryland is relatively simple. During this final stage of a home sale, the property’s ownership is transferred, sellers receive their money, and both parties pay their respective closing costs.
How much are closing costs for Maryland home sellers?
Typically, closing costs for sellers in Maryland are 1% to 3% of a home's final sale price. Using the median sales price of Maryland homes ($279,300 according to Zillow), many sellers can expect to pay $8,379 in closing costs.
Also, remember that sellers pay both the seller’s and the buyer’s agents’ commission at closing. While strictly speaking, these aren’t closing costs, they add an average of another 6% to your selling costs.
Learn More: How Much Are Closing Costs for the Seller?
Next steps: Sell your Maryland home and save thousands
Whether you’re looking to list your Maryland home immediately or 6-12 months from now, it’s never too early to start looking for an agent, getting advice, and making a plan.
Clever is here to help guide you through the home selling process — and save money along the way! In fact, homeowners who list with us save an average of $9,000 on home selling costs.
Top ways to sell your home in Maryland
- Discount real estate agents in Maryland
- We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Maryland
- Flat-fee MLS companies in Maryland