1. Define your needs
Write down the reasons and goals for selling your home.
- You may need more or less space, a certain school district, or proximity to work.
- You may need to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin.
I will work with you to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.
2. Determine your price
- Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers.
- You will need to take into account the condition of your home, pricing of comparable homes in your neighborhood, and the overall state of the market in your area.
- Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent above their market value take longer to sell. Often, when a home sits on the market for too long, buyers become afraid that there is something wrong with the property, and the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
While it is often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, I will provide you with all the information and guidance you need to come to a price that makes sense.
3. Prepare your home
- Most of us don’t keep our homes in “showroom” condition because well, life happens.
- The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer.
- A home with too much “personality” is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized decor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs.
- Clutter also prevents potential buyers from really seeing the home. Make sure you remove knick-knacks from your shelves, clear bathroom and kitchen counters, and store excess furniture to make every area seem as spacious as possible.
- Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin a buyer’s first impression.
First impressions are the most important. I can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest easy ways to make it more appealing to buyers.
4. Get the word out
- There are many ways to promote your property.
- The internet, yard signs, open houses, media advertising, agent-to-agent referrals, and direct mail marketing campaigns are all useful tools.
In addition to listing your home on the MLS, I will employ a personalized marketing strategy which combines these tactics, to bring the most qualified buyers to your home.
5. Receive an offer
- I will first find out if the prospective buyer is at all prequalified or preapproved to buy your home.
- The contract should include, at minimum, the following:
- Offer price, down payment, financing arrangements, deposit amount, inspection timeframe , title company to handle the closing, anything that will stay with the home, closing date, any contingencies.
- You then have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it.
- Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with me right away.
We will review each proposed contract together. I will explain what is required of both parties to execute the transactions, and help you decide which offer to accept.
6. Prepare to close
- Once you accept an offer to sell your house there is still work to be done.
- During the inspection period, you will need to allow access to the buyer’s home inspector, and potentially other trades, for follow-up inspections. An appraiser will also need access to evaluate the property.
- If the inspection 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.
- You will need to maintain the property’s condition as it was when you and the buyer entered into the contract.
- Important reminder: A week or more before the closing, you will want to contact the entity that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date. You should also schedule utilities/services to be taken out of your name on your close date.
I will spearhead the effort during the inspection period and remaining escrow period, and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers.
7. Close the deal
- ”Closing” refers to the meeting where all docs are signed in order to transfer ownership of the property.
- Once necessary documents are received and recorded by the county assessors office transfer of legal ownership is complete.
- On or just after the closing, it is appreciated if you prepare a “how-to” letter for the new owners explaining anything about the property that isn’t immediately apparent such as what day the garbage is collected, how systems in the home operate and provide any available owner’s manuals and warranty info for all conveying appliances.
I will be present during the closing to guide you through the process, making sure everything goes as planned, and can assist with any last-minute issues or questions that may arise.