Are you ready to sell your house? California real estate house market is competitive. But how can you make sure as a seller you get satisfying value for your home? Places in this state get sold out quickly; read on how to prepare to sell a house in California.

Things to know before selling a house

You need to know legal requirements when selling a house in California. Following the correct procedures will ease selling your home and avoid attracting any legal liability to your potential buyer.

Home condition

You should disclose the house’s condition to the buyers as a seller. All the details that could change the buyer’s desire to purchase the property should be disclosed. These crucial facts about the property are called “material” facts, and you can face severe penalties if you fail to disclose them to the buyer. Check California Legislative Information Article 1.5 [1102-1102.19]

Material facts are disclosed in California by filling in a form known as Transfer Disclosure Statement. All the information about the house’s condition is disclosed in this form. The data could be about the property windows, ceiling, wall, floor, electrical systems, foundation, plumbing systems, floors and other structural components.

Use Title Company

The Title search company searches and develop a Preliminary Title Report (PTR). The insurance company will proceed to give the title insurance to the buyer. You and the buyer will agree on the title and insurance companies.

The buyer will need this insurance to give to the lender funding the loan. You can negotiate with your buyer about the payment of title insurance: sometimes the buyer pays, other times the seller pays, or the cost is split between you and the buyer.

Escrow agent

You can agree with the buyer on who performs the escrow services and the payment. In South California, independent escrow companies perform the escrow functions, while in North California, the escrow agent is the title company.

Giving conditions to your buyer to use a particular escrow holder for the transaction is prohibited by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

Pros and Cons of a house sold by owner in California


  • Save the money you would have paid to the real estate agent
  • You have control over the whole process
  • You have sufficient time to dedicate to the process, unlike agents who have many clients to attend to


  • Lack professional help
  • Lack of established network to market your property.

Steps to selling your house in California

If you are getting ready to sell a house in California, there are some practical steps you need to be aware of to help you sell your property successfully. Worry not; here are some steps to help you in your selling process.

Step 1: Get a California based Realtor.

Selling a home is challenging. You need to invest a lot of time in the process. It would be best if you had expert advice, support and guidance found a realtor to walk with you in the whole process to help you get good outcomes. A good realtor knows the current housing market and what buyers are looking for.

Step 2: Timing

Timing is essential when selling a house. In California, selling a home at a specific time of the year could add more cash to your pocket. If you want your house to sell first, consider doing it in these months:

  • April
  • May
  • June

The houses take approximately 28 days on the market, seven days faster than the average number of days on other months. Note that the number of days on the market does not include how long it takes to close.

On the other hand, the best time to sell your house for the price is in May or June. During these months, homes sold had a median of $601,000 and 600,000; this is 5% more than average.

Step 3: Price

Your real estate agent will assist you in selling your property at a reasonable price. Your Realtor will provide you with a CMA consisting of recent sales in your area. It has details of the home, the final price and the number of days on the market.

You can check the value of your home online on known websites. Be flexible in lowering your price if your price is higher. Consider seasons as well; there are times in California that are known as best to sell a home.

Step 4: Prepare and Market your house

Stage your house

Staging your house is considered a marketing technique. It is important because it prepares your home for sale. Remove all unnecessary things such as picture frames, stained carpets, unwanted rooms etc. Staging can be done by:

  • Cleaning, make sure your home has that shine
  • Make sure there is enough light in the house, whether natural or artificial, lighting brings life to a space
  • Arrange the furniture in the home properly; place them away from the walls.
  • Paint the walls
  • Do the minor repairs required


Your Realtor will take care of marketing, but still, you need to jump in as well. You can share with your network to connect you to a potential buyer. Let your family and friends know you are selling your house.


It is essential to let your agent handle the showing of the house, and an agent will spot a serious buyer and answer them accordingly. You might not be the best person to convince a potential buyer to make an offer.

Step 5: Check offers and negotiate


Once there is an offer on your house, make a counter offers by either sticking to your original price or lowering but still higher than the buyer’s offer.

Create a bidding room

Allow potential buyers to compete, and this may work to your advantage as others list higher prices. Once you have various offers, please go through them and negotiate. Once all details are straightened out, you and the buyer can sign a selling agreement.

Step 6: Inspections and Appraisals

Lenders need an appraisal before they give out the loan to make sure that the property is worth the applied mortgage. After the assessment, the buyer will hire an inspector to find out any issues in the house. If there are significant issues, you can look forward to more negotiations.

Step 7: Paperwork and Disclosure

It s essential to be aware of the documents you need to close your home. If you are dealing with a licensed professional, they will inform you of everything you need and educate you on the paperwork. Always consult your lawyer or agent before filling or signing in any paperwork.

How long does it take to sell a house in California?

On average, it might take about 50 days and 35 more days to the closing for an offer to be accepted. Selling a house in California takes approximately 85 days from the listing day to the closing date, which amounts to 85 days for a home to sell in California.

Still, some factors affect how long it will take for a house to sell in California. These factors are:

  • The house condition
  • Current housing market condition
  • The listing price
  • Your agent level of experience

Cost of selling a house in California

Selling your house in California will cost you an average of4.8-11.0% f the last sale price. You will pay for:

  • Realtor commission
  • Closing costs
  • Title search cost
  • Home repairs cost
  • Updates
  • Staging

The average house seller in California pays about $28k-65k.


Can you sell your own house in California?

Yes, but if you find the process exhausting and need expert advice, you should contact a realtor.