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.​​​​​​​


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. 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.


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.


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. 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.


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.

Rick D.
Mark W.
Blake B.
Peter S.
Richard W.
Ruth Y.
Wilson R.
Peter B.
Dustin S.
Sue & Tom
Cindy A.
Carol Louise K.
Mike M.
Ann & Nick M.
Chuck F.

We didn't even know where to begin, Julie helped us with paperwork, communicating with the seller, suggested lenders, inspectors, etc, and asked the questions we didn't know to ask!

— Rick D.


Julie is a true professional with deep expertise in the local real estate market. She's a hard worker who did her best to help us successfully find a home. I highly recommend working with her!

— Mark W.


Julie is a truly amazing relator who treated us like family. She helped us through every step of the home buying process with patience. Julie will go out of her way to ensure you get the best service possible.

— Blake B.


Julie works tirelessly to make sure that she does her very best for her clients. She also is very friendly and nice to work with. I would definitely recommend. She is a true professional and is a couple notches above what you would expect in such a small town real estate market.

— Peter S.


Since moving to Buena Vista, CO in August, 2020, Julie has helped us purchase two additional times, so we've done three transactions with her since meeting her. My wife and I both agree that she has served us with great skill and local knowledge, so I can only give her five stars and highly recommend her.

— Richard W.


Buying a house can certainly be stressful, but not with Julie on your side. She brings local knowledge, vendor connections, everything needed to make the sale you want. She is very professional and will make sure you get the property for the right fair price. She was a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend her.

— Ruth Y.


Julie always responded to us in a timely, professional manner. She moved the transaction forward to the satisfaction of both buyer and seller to the closing date. We listed the house in February and closed 8weeks later. Her friendly and integrous manner put both buyer and seller at ease. We would highly recommend her.

— Wilson R.


I worked with Julie to locate and purchase a lot in downtown Buena Vista. From the first moment we connected to closing on the property Julie was helpful, supportive of my needs and quick to get back to me with my emails and calls. In todays World I often find that is generally not always the case with many people you are working with to get something done.

— Peter B.


We were looking for land by ourselves for a while in CO trying to narrow down where exactly we wanted to end up. I first spoke with Julie once we landed on Buena Vista and she helped make the process easier. She knew of a lot that wasn't listed yet that allowed us to get a better lot for a better deal than what we would've found otherwise. We are happy with the experience overall.

— Dustin S.


Our sale involved real estate and a business. It was a complicated sale involving real estate, equipment, goodwill and stock. Julie was knowledgeable, professional and ultra-timely with responses. Her knowledge and experience are invaluable. We then dealt with Julie for a few purchases with a 1031 exchange. Again, her connections and knowledge were most appreciated. She is a class act and we would highly...

— Sue & Tom


We have used Julie and her office for several real estate transactions, including the recent sale of our house, all have been smooth and professionally executed. Julie and her team were great about taking the time to understand our priorities during the negotiation period. While there are plenty of real estate agent options in the area, few have the combination of business acumen and integrity that Julie...

— Cindy A.


Julie helped me through an extremely stressful personal period in my life, which included selling my home of 20+ years and finding a new place where I could start over. She was knowledgeable, professional, super responsive, and walked me through this first time seller/buyer experience with expertise but and, more importantly, compassion and kindness. She looked out for my best interests on all levels! I ...

— Carol Louise K.


Julie has great knowledge of the local real estate market. She and her staff are always responsive. They return phone calls timely. She is good to work with and makes the process easy. Julie is from the area and that is helpful in providing insight into local real estate conditions. For example, she was very accurate in assessing the market value of our home. The home sold within 2 weeks of the listing d...

— Mike M.


We enlisted Julie Kersting’s help after several phone conversations confident that she was a seasoned, full time real estate agent. As out of state buyers we were more than pleased to find Julie to be a true professional who went beyond the expected. She didn’t blink at showing us close to 30 homes [some more than once] during our 3 day stay in Buena Vista. And she closed our deal after we left with an e...

— Ann & Nick M.


I have been trying to buy the perfect property and home in Twin Lakes for years. I was usually too late or had other issues which caused the deals to fall through. Someone forwarded Julie's contact details to me in 2017. She found a number of properties, did the leg work, vetted the details, and provided prompt feedback. She was always fair and honest when communicating her findings even if it meant she ...

— Chuck F.

Work With Julie

Ready to take the plunge into a mountain property? Maybe a house right in town is up your alley? Contact Julie today, she is passionate about making sure you find just the home of your dreams.