THE STEPS TO SELLING YOUR HOME
Define your needs.
Why do you want to sell and what do you expect to accomplish with the sale? Does your growing family prompt your need for a larger home? Is a job opportunity in another city requiring a move? You’ve got goals: is it more important to sell within a certain time frame, or to make a certain profit? We’ll work with you to map out the best plan to achieve your goals through a pricing and marketing strategy.
Determine your price.
The next job will be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. The correct list price will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers, and it should be determined from the very start.
We’ll need to consider the condition of your home, study comparable homes selling in your neighborhood, and the state of the overall market in your immediate neighborhood. It’s hard for a seller to be unbiased when pricing their home, so I promise my expertise is invaluable at this step.
I’ll show you what comparable homes are selling for, and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. For a few hundred dollars, you could have an appraisal done.
Pricing is crucial: you’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property, and when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
Prepare your home.
I know and understand that most homes aren’t kept in “show” condition until it’s time to sell, but now it’s time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in top shape. Need motivation? The price the buyer is willing to offer and how quickly it sells depends on the condition of your home. First impressions are the most important; I’ll help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers. On the flip side, a home with too much “personality” can make it as hard to sell as those that need minor repairs and replacements.
I’ll set up a marketing strategy designed specifically for your home and your goals. I use many ways to get the word out, including the internet, yard signs, open houses, media advertising, agent-to-agent referrals, and direct mail marketing campaigns to name a few methods. I’m out to bring in the most qualified buyers in the shortest time possible!
Receive an offer.
When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, I’ll start by verifying the buyer’s financial ability to buy your home. Then I’ll review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. We’ll discuss and negotiate the offer price, down payment, financing arrangements, closing fees and who will pay them, earnest money deposit, inspection rights and possible repair allowances, method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing, appliances and other items that will convey, the settlement date and any contingencies. At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, let’s be certain to address them right up front.
Negotiate to sell.
Many offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. I’m well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in our area, and are here to protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. We’ll also discuss what you’ll net from the sale and what portions of the offer are easiest to negotiate.
Prepare to close.
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, we’ll make a calendar and list of everything that needs to be done (by you and the buyer) before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. I’ll serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing. We’ll be watching the buyer’s lending process, and monitoring the title work process to make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date.
Close the deal.
“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. I’ll be there to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned and can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. Quite honestly, the transaction should have been overseen to a point where all goes smoothly, and both buyer and seller have fun at the closing table!