8 Steps to Selling a House in Tennessee

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Clever Real Estate

Updated 

March 18th, 2020

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Getting ready to sell your house in Tennessee? 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 18, 2020

Now is a good time to be selling a house in Tennessee! According to Zillow Research, property values in the Volunteer State rose 5.04% in 2019, and are projected to rise a further 4.08% over the next year.

Of course, even the best Tennessee 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 Tennessee!

1. Finding a Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 $182,306 home — the median home value in Tennessee, according to Zillow — that’s a premium of $60,161. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.

2. Deciding when to sell

How long it takes to sell your property and how much it sells for depends on more than getting the listing and pricing right; the time of year you put your house on the market can also have a major effect.

Best time to sell a house across the U.S.

Best Time to Sell a House

Source: 2019 Redfin Data Center

Best time to sell a house in Tennessee

Best Month to Sell for Speed in Tennessee
July
55 days on market
8 days faster than average
Best Month to Sell for Price in Tennessee
July
$247,000 median sale price
5% more than average

In Tennessee, summer is generally the best time to list your property. Homes listed in July sold faster and for more money than homes listed the rest of the year. 

The average amount time homes listed in July spent on the market was 55 days — significantly quicker than the Tennessee average of 63 days on market. The median sale price of homes listed then was $247,000, which is over $11,000 more than average.

Learn More: The Best Time to Sell a Home in Tennessee

3. Pricing your home

To sell your home, you’ll need to set a competitive price based on current market conditions. You want a price that fits buyers' budgets but doesn't leave money on the table.

A comparative market analysis (CMA) is an important resource for figuring out how to price your home. It will tell you what other properties in your market are going for — and compare your home based on size, amenities, lot size, and more. A CMA should look at similar current, expired, and sold listings in your area, to help you price your home effectively.

Your real estate agent should help you with this process and provide you with a detailed and up-to-date CMA.

Quick Tip: How to get a comparative market analysis for free

If you'd like some professional guidance with no strings attached, Clever can help! Enter your basic info below to get matched with top real estate agents in your area. During your initial meeting with your agent, you’ll get a professionally prepared CMA, advice on how to price your home, and learn what matters most to buyers in your area.

Note: This service is 100% free and there’s no obligation to sign — get started below!

4. Preparing, marketing, and showing your home

Before you list your home, there are some things you should do to make sure you get the best offer for your property. One important step is to declutter and ensure that every part of your property is as neat and tidy as possible.

There are also repairs and improvements to consider when putting your home on the market. Repainting the walls in bright, neutral colors and improving your landscaping help your curb appeal and add real value to your home.

Learn More: The Best Paint Colors For Selling A House

There are also some things every seller should do to ensure their house is marketed properly.

Staging your house will help potential buyers picture themselves in your house. Getting professional photos for your listing will make people much more likely to want to take a look in person. Writing a great listing description and maximizing visibility online are also important steps. These are all things a good realtor will help you with.

Learn More: 4 Cool Real Estate Technology Trends That Help Sell Homes

When you open your home to potential buyers, you’ll have some decisions to make. If you’re not living in your house, set up a lockbox with keys, so your realtor can show it to buyers on demand.

Also consider whether it makes the most sense to have private showings, perform open houses, or use some combination of both. While private showings are more personal and allow you to make a hard sell, open houses can help open up your home to several potential buyers at the same time.

Learn More: Real Estate Open Houses: Do They Sell Homes Faster?

5. Fielding offers and negotiations

With proper planning and a little luck, you should start getting offers once you start showing your home. The initial offer is often just a starting point for the negotiations that come next.

You may receive offers at, below, or above the listing price. Offers you receive can also include a number of contingencies and other buyer requests.

After you get an offer, you need to decide whether you want to accept, reject, or make a counteroffer. The offer will usually specify a timeframe in which you have to make your decision.

You may want to negotiate things like closing costs, real estate transfer taxes, escrow fees, title insurance, and earnest money deposit amount.

Once negotiations are finalized, you and the buyer will come to a purchase agreement, which will be signed and notarized at closing. It’s important for all parties to read and understand the purchase agreement before the closing date arrives.

Learn More: Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette

What's in a real estate purchase agreement?

6. Appraisal and inspections

Most purchase offers come with appraisal and inspection contingencies, though the exact parameters can vary.

Appraisals are a standard part of the selling process and required by many lenders. The appraisal is done to figure out the home’s actual value, so the lender can be sure it’s a sound investment.

Inspections are also required by many buyers and their lenders. The types of inspections required can vary, but generally, include pest and mold inspections and inspections for structural integrity.

Learn More: Can the Seller Back Out of Contract Before Closing?

7. Paperwork and required Tennessee disclosures

Tennessee law requires homeowners to give buyers a disclosure statement before the transfer is completed. The disclosure is meant to put the buyer on notice of any known material defects with the property.

Some disclosures required in Tennessee include environmental conditions, like the presence of any known exterior water wells, the results of any percolation tests or soil absorption rates, the existence of any sinkholes, and any known groundwater erosion. Things like homicides or suicides on the property and the medical conditions of previous residents, however, do not need to be disclosed.

When it comes to other paperwork, never sign anything without consulting your agent or attorney before signing or filing paperwork. A licensed professional should walk you through all the paperwork and ensure you have everything you need for your situation.

Forms and Documents for Selling a House in Tennessee

Required for All Real Estate Sales in Tennessee

  • 2 Forms of ID
  • Copy of Purchase Agreement and Any Addendums
  • Closing Statement
  • Signed Deed
  • Bill of Sale
  • Affidavit of Title

Possible Additional Documents

  • Loan Payoff Information
  • HOA Forms and Guidelines
  • Survey Results or Survey Affidavits
  • Home Inspection Results
  • Proof of Repairs or Renovations
  • Home Warranty Information
  • Copies of Relevant Wills, Trusts, or Power of Attorney Letters
  • Relevant Affidavits (Name Affidavits, Non-Foreign Affidavit Under IRC 1445, etc.)
  • Closing Disclosure (for certain seller concessions)
  • Correction Statement and Agreement

Tennessee Disclosure Forms

  • Residential Property Condition Disclosure
  • Flood Zone Statement
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
  • Waiver for Buyer to Forgo Their Right to Disclosures

Learn More: Disclosure Requirements in Tennessee

8. The closing process

Once the purchase agreement is signed and all of the appraisals and inspections have been completed, all that’s left to do is close the deal.

As a seller, at closing, you’ll have to sign the paperwork necessary to convey the title to the property’s new owner. This can take place at an attorney’s office, a real estate agent’s office, a neutral location, or the home itself. In parts of Tennessee, it’s common for the buyer and seller to get together for the closing, while in middle Tennessee this process is generally completed separately.

Learn More: How Much Are Closing Costs for the Seller?

Next steps: Sell your Tennessee home and save thousands

Whether you’re looking to list your Tennessee 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.

>> LEARN about Clever's free service and read reviews from real home sellers here!

Top ways to sell your home in Tennessee

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