Decision to Sell
The judgement to sell your home is a big decision. There is a lot to consider before placing a “For Sale” sign in front of your home. It may take weeks or months before our Select Realty Advantage (SRA) sign can be placed in your yard. These are questions you may want to consider:
- What is the reason to sell?
- What will the new home offer that my current home does not?
- Is there a “sell by” date that I must consider?
- What “House Work” needs to be considered before I sell?
- Do I have equity in my home? Do I need those funds for a new home purchase?
- How much profit do I need from my home?
- Do I understand the current housing market and know how seasonal trends can impact my goal?
Finding the Right Agent
Selling a home is not an easy task. Your home is most likely one of the bigger financial investments in your life. Finding the right Realtor can help make this a smooth transition and guide you wisely through the process. Talk to friends, family, neighbors, or other associated professionals related to the real estate industry. You may find a wonderful referral recommendation from someone you know and trust. Select several agents to interview and compare their services and marketing. The best agent is a professional who knows the market and local statistics. Communication is also another key component in real estate. Call the agent’s brokerage and test the level of communication. Lastly, trust your gut instinct. Who do you get a positive feeling from who you feel can negotiate best on your behalf?
Preparing the Home for Sale
Now that you have selected an agent, your new Realtor will give you a thoroughly laid out plan on how to sell your home; starting with advise of any work around the house that would help to expedite the sale. Think in terms of a home that is sparkling clean, uncluttered, and spacious.
Declutter the Home- When the home is clutter free, buyers can focus on the actual home and functionality of the rooms instead of your personal knick-knack items and/or overstuffed closets.
Give the Home a Deep Clean – First impressions are everything when selling a home. Don’t let dirty floor or foul smells turn off a buyer. Get your mop and dusting cloth out and give your home a deep clean. You may want to consider hiring a cleaning service.
Are you a Handyman? If not, call one – Everything should be in working order. Fix any leaking toilet, squeaky doors or hinges, loose hardware, cracks in the walls or ceilings, and be sure to fix that cracked window in the basement. If buyers see too many small items in need of repair, they may think the home was NOT taken care of and get turned off.
Painting for Dollars – Painting gives your home an instant update, and the biggest return on your money. Start by painting over those bright and green color walls and transform your home with neutral colors. Plan on sticking with light grays, light beiges or white tone color walls. The fresh paint will help to enhance the brightness, size and cover up any imperfection.
Staging your Home – This increases the likelihood of a quick sale. If you wish to sell your home at the best price, then your home needs to look the best. A staged homes sells for a higher price. De-personalizing the house allows the buyers to see themselves living in the home. The goal of staging is to make the home appear move-in ready and showcases the functionality of each room. You’re trying to create an ideal situation for the buyer, thus allowing the buyer to walk freely and purposely from room to room.
The time has arrived to finally put your home on the market. A well-priced listing is the most important factor in marketing the property for top price. Your agent would have prepared a professional Comparable Market Analysis (CMA), that shows similar homes to yours; homes that are currently on the market, pending, and that have sold over the last 6-12 months. These facts will help develop a marketing plan. A well-priced home sells faster and for more money over the first couple weeks. Realtors/brokerages get excited when a well-priced, well designed, and clean listing enters the market. Agents want to be the first one to show the property. This means you’ll start to get numerous showings. Remember to follow your Realtor’s guidelines for best showing practices. This helps to set the stage and make the best first impression on each prospective buyer.
You’ve hired a “PRO”, let them do their job. Be assured your agent is there to review all terms and conditions with you. Effective communication and negotiating are key reasons why you’ve hired this professional. Your Realtor will study these terms and conditions and convey your options. Generally, there are 3 options available to you: a) Accept the offer as presented; b) Make a counter proposal – that may include altering, i.e. price, dates, personal property, etc.; c) Reject the offer. Your Realtor, respectfully, will follow up with the buyer’s financing. The contract will often state the buyer has X number of days to secure financing. Your realtor will contact the loan institution to see if the buyer can secure the loan commitment. When the loan is approved, more legal work is necessary with a title company. Luckily, very little involvement is needed on your part at this time. Prior to closing, the buyer may have requested a physical inspection of your home. This engagement is most often done at the buyer’s expense. Keys will be delivered at closing or whenever possession of property has been agreed upon. At closing, all papers are finalized and signed by the parties involved. Funds are then collected, or proceeds distributed.
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’VE JUST SOLD YOUR HOME!