Thinking about Selling? Here are some important questions you will need to answer when considering selling your home:
- Why are you wanting to move?
- How much do you owe?
- Is there a certain amount you must or expect to net from the sale?
- Do you have to sell right away?
- What repairs/improvements do you already know your home needs
Call in the Professional: A lot of people feel with the Internet and sites like Zillow and Trulia, they can sell their home own their own with no issues. We’re saying that can not be done but it’s definitely not likely. The #1 reason someone states they do not want to hire an Agent to list their home is because it’s too expensive… in 2016 For Sale by Owner properties (FSBOs) sold on average for $60,000 LESS than homes represented by an Agent, which more than makes up for what it costs for representation. Pricing a home is something that takes experience and there are three things that online listing sites can not account for if that’s where you’re going to compare sales; and that’s location, condition and upgrades. Zillow has no idea that you just spent $20k last year to upgrade your master bathroom in your deep-water access home, when it tells you to list your home for the same price as your neighbor’s water view home with the same general layout but hasn’t seen an update or a vacuum cleaner since 1980. It also on average takes longer to sell a home without an Agent. Most of the listings that buyers are seeing are coming from their Agent through the MLS system, so chances are if you’re property is not in that system, they’re not seeing it! If they do happen across your listing and you’re unwilling to work with their Agent as well you may cut out even more potential buyers.
When you contact us about selling your home we will ask for basic information as well as the answers to the important questions listed above. We will set up a time, convenient for you, for us to come and walkthrough your property, answer any questions and walk you through our marketing plan and process. Prior to our meeting we will do an INITIAL market analysis, once we have gone through your property and made notes regarding updates, condition, planned repairs etc. we will be able to go back and better fine tune the comps relative to the sale of your home.
Preparing to List: Now that you have done your homework and chosen us as your Agent it’s time to get to work. At our walk-through of your property we will have discussed the overall condition of the home, plans you have for repairs/upgrades as well as our recommendations. Having these items completed should be the first step when preparing your listing for the market. Once those are set up, you will need to move on to decluttering and overall cleaning of your home. Staging is always recommended but that is not always a feasible option, that’s okay; but it is extremely important to keep in mind that a buyer needs to be able to envision themselves in this home as theirs, not yours. If your home has chipping paint, broken windows, stained carpets etc.; chances are they will be more focused on what needs to be done to the property that what they like about the property and envisioning themselves there. It is also important to ensure the exterior is cleaned up and well-kept as this is the buyer’s initial impression as they pull up to the home. Ideally, we have time for these items to be addressed prior to going on the market but of course, that is not always the case.
Pricing: Pricing a home is something that takes experience… it’s not just bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage but upgrades, neighborhoods, county taxes, school zones etc. all come into play when it comes to properly pricing your home which again, are things online sites just can’t account for. We also must consider the current market, economic factors, proposed City changes/plans etc. We will go over everything and give you our professional opinion on the range of what the property should be listed within. The list price is ultimately up to you as the homeowner however it’s important to bear in mind that it could greatly affect the market time and the overall effectiveness of the marketing plan.
Showings: Your property is on the market and our sign is in the yard! If the property is priced effectively, we will hopefully begin receiving inquiries into the property within the first week. Other Agents will contact us to request showings of your home, which will be coordinated with you. It’s very important to keep your home in “show ready” condition as much as possible. Obviously if you are still living in the property it is unlikely that the property can be showed any day, at any time and that is okay, but you will need to try to remain as flexible as possible, as every buyer is a potential sale. It is also preferred that you not be present during to showings or that you step outside or keep to one area of the home as much as possible. Remember, the buyers are needing to envision themselves living there and they also need to feel free to make comments and discuss with their Agent. An Agent only lockbox will be placed at the property so that Agents may gain access without your having to be home. The lockbox is programmed to notify us what Agent is showing the property when and approximately for how long.
Waiting: There are a lot of aspects that can affect how long it takes to sell a home. If you’re not getting an offer or even inquiries right away, try not to panic, it does take time. Remember effective pricing plays a huge role in market time so if you are priced higher or at the top of the recommended price range, it will likely take longer to find the right buyer. It is also not uncommon for the price to need to be adjusted after a month or so on the market with no active interest. Use this time to finish up any smaller items at the property that may need to be completed; updating and maintaining the exterior and overall curb appeal is especially important as this is their first impression of the home.
Offers: WHEN an offer comes in, we will review and then forward straight to you. We will want to set up a time to meet or call to go over all the key points in the offer, what they mean and how they could affect you. We will also provide an estimated net sheet to give you an idea of the “bottom line”. If the offer is acceptable to you, we will have you sign and the contract will be ratified. If there are items you do not agree to, we will draft a counter offer to be presented to the buyer which may go back and forth until the offer is finally either accepted or rejected.
Inspections: It is common place for a buyer’s offer to come contingent on a home inspection and a termite/moisture inspection. Depending on the property and the buyer however other requested inspections can include well, septic, lead based paint, survey etc. For properties in an Association, the buyer also has a right to receive, review and sign off on those documents within an allotted time as well. During the inspection period, buyers may come back with items that they request for you to take care of prior to closing. We will give you our professional opinion but obviously any agreed upon repairs and requests are at your discretion and you do have the opportunity to “counter” back. We will however strongly encourage that any items that probably should have already been addressed or would need to be disclosed to potential buyers now that they are made known, should be taken care of, if financially possible.
Closing Costs: “Closing Costs” is a widely used term that encompasses a multitude of fees/charges. Here are a list of SOME (not all will apply to every sale):
- Seller Deed Prep
- Recording Fees
- Transaction/Admin Fee
- Grantees’ Tax
- IRS Filing Fee
- Home Warranty
- HOA/Condo Docs
Closing: It’s time to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Your closing office/attorney will reach out to you to coordinate when you will need to come in to sign the closing documents for your side of the transaction. Prior to this, we ask that you turn any additional keys, garage door remotes etc. over to us so they may be passed on to the buyer’s agent for them to receive at closing.