1 – NEEDS ANALYSIS: Why Are You Selling?
It’s important to determine in writing exactly what you wish to achieve by selling your home. This is a three-step, written procedure. To start this process ask yourself the following questions:
- Why are you interested in selling your home?
- What is your time frame for selling your home?
- What would be the ideal situation for you once your present property is sold?
After completing your list, you can save money and time by working with a real estate professional who can help focus and refine your needs analysis.
2 – PRICING STRATEGY: Fair Market Value
Be reasonable in setting the price for your home. This will help create a positive environment for a quick and successful sale. In determining the fair market value for you home a trained real estate professional can be an invaluable asset. Your agent will:
- Provide information on how to set a fair market price for your home
- Create a comparative market analysis to determine the selling prices of homes similar to yours
- Help arrange an objective appraisal of your home
- Help you sell your home within your desired time frame
3 – Property Preparation: The Attraction of Your Home
You have the power to get the most for your home. That power lies in your ability to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers. A trained agent will be able to suggest improvements that will make your property a hot ticket. Some of the areas to be considered include:
- Property upgrades
- Painting – inside and outside
- Repairs to the home
- Property, home, and room accessibility
- Highlighting space in a positive manner
- Organization of closets and rooms
- Upgrades in appliances and fixtures
Just as a home inspector investigates and reports on a home’s structural and mechanical fitness, a home stager will evaluate a home’s “curb appeal and saleability”. Unlike interior decorating which concentrates on making the owners feel more at home in their interior space, the objective of staging is to make the home more marketable inside and outside. Usually this involves “depersonalizing” a home. An accredited home stager will follow a set of standards and professional guidelines to prepare a home for sale.”
4 – MARKETING STRATEGY: Finding the Right Buyer
It’s essential that you get information regarding your home to the right people- qualified potential buyers. There are various approaches you can implement, including “for sale” signs, newspaper listings, and flyers. These methods, without any type of plan, are hit and miss at best. An experienced agent who understands how your property fits into current market conditions can help you sell your property at the best price and in the optimum amount of time. An agent will:
- Design a marketing plan
- Contact qualified potential buyers and their agents
- Create professional marketing materials
- Provide information to the local community regarding your desire to sell
5 – RECEIVING AN OFFER: When to Accept
You’ve received a written offer – when should you accept? The answer is simple– when you are satisfied with every aspect of that offer. Getting to the point of acceptance can be an arduous task. The offer is a contract and, thus, a legal document. At this point a good agent is essential. An agent will determine if the offer is presented by a qualified buyer, thus saving you time by eliminating unqualified buyers. Your agent will also review the offer to insure it is written properly, covering all necessary areas including:
- A legal description of the property
- Offering price
- Amount of the down payment
- Financing arrangements
- A list of fees and who will pay them
- Amount of the deposit
- Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
- The method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing
- A list of appliances and furnishings which will stay with the home
- The settlement date
- Any relevant contingencies
6 – NEGOTIATING TO SELL: Making this a Win/Win Agreement
Most home purchase offers involve some level of negotiation. In dealing with this aspect of the real estate process it is essential that you retain an agent with experience in negotiating. A qualified agent focused on protecting your interests will save you time and money. Services provided include:
- Representing you through the offer, negotiation, and acceptance process.
- Reviewing the written offer with you to make sure that you thoroughly understand what the buyer is offering and what he/she is asking in return.
- Helping you understand the issues contained in the offer and how they will effect you.
- Protecting your best interest throughout negotiations.
Points of negotiation may include:
- Closing costs
- Necessary repairs
- Appliances and fixtures
- Closing and occupancy time frame
7 – Sell
8 – PRE-CLOSING PREPARATION: Closing in on the Closing
For the average buyer as the closing date approaches nerves can become frayed. At this time a veteran, professional real estate agent can help assure you of a quick and easy closing by:
- Coordinating the necessary documentation with your closing officer
- Communicating with the escrow company or closing attorney
- Staying in touch with your lender
- Assuring that you are ready for the closing by confirming the proper form of payment made out to the correct party
9 – CLOSING: Ready to Sell
It is during closing that the property is transferred from one person to another. If everything has been attended to prior to this day, the closing should go smoothly. Your agent can provide you with the necessary support essential during this final phase. Services include:
- Explaining the process to you
- Explaining the closing documents to you
- Being present at closing to make sure all goes as planned
- Being present at closing to mediate any last minute issues
- POST-CLOSING: You’re not Finished Yet!
Congratulations on selling your home! You now have a specific time period during which you will move out of your former home. Your agent can help you:
- Make a checklist of utility companies who you’ll need to contact to change the name on the account or to shut off service
- Make a checklist of what you must do to the property prior to turning it over.
10 – PRE-CLOSING PREPARATION: Ready for the Big Day?
A few days prior to closing you will want to contact your lawyer to make sure all paper work is in order. Additionally, you’ll want to have made arrangements for your move. (If you need to do this, please check out our Relocation Center.) An agent can be a big help during this time. Some areas in which they can assist you include:
- Insuring all proper documentation is prepared
- Check that all parties are properly prepared for closing
- Double check on closing time and location
- Aid in contacting relocation services
SOLD: Now What?
You’ve sold your house but you are in no way finished. You now possess a list of things that must be accomplished prior to closing. Your agent can coordinate everything that needs to be done to insure the sale. Ways in which an agent can help you include:
- Creating a time frame for repairs and improvements
- Coordinating any actions needed to finalize the sale
- Monitoring work so it is accomplished in a timely fashion
The contract will stipulate specific actions that must be accomplished prior to closing. Some of these may include:
- Home Inspection
- Property appraisal
- Home repair
- Appliance and/or fixture replacement