So you have decided to sell your property. Before anything else, it is a good idea to sit down and clarify your motivations and draw up a basic time frame for the selling process.
Why do you want to sell your property? Do you intend to simply find a larger property, or do you plan on moving to another neighborhood, school district, city or state? You might think your reasons are obvious, but it would do well to consider the implications of each option for your lifestyle, opportunities, and finances. Being clear about your intentions for selling will make it easier for us to determine the most appropriate option for your specified financial, lifestyle, and real estate goals.
WHEN SHOULD I SELL?
You should immediately establish your time frame for selling. If you need to sell quickly, we can speed up the process by giving you a complete market analysis and action plan to obtain all of your goals. If there is no pressing need to sell immediately, you can sit down with one of our expert real estate agents to thoroughly review the current market conditions and find the most favorable time to sell.
WHAT IS THE MARKET LIKE?
When you work with us, you can be sure that you will have our knowledge, expertise and negotiating skills at work for you to arrive at the best market prices and terms. We will keep you up-to-date on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties. With us, you will know exactly how to price and when to sell your property.
HOW DO I OPTIMIZE MY FINANCES?
Deciding to sell your property demands a serious consideration of your current financial situation and future possibilities. With the help of our qualified agents, you will be able to effectively assess the cumulative impact of these changes, estimate potential proceeds of selling your property, and plan effective tax savings and estate planning strategies. We will ensure that you not only take control of your finances, but use them to their fullest potential.
SELECT AN AGENT
CHOOSING YOUR LISTING AND REAL ESTATE AGENTS
Selecting a good listing agent will help you start off your selling process on the right foot. Make sure to look at their track record of original listing prices versus final sale numbers – not just highest original listing price and lowest commission. After choosing which listing agent will represent you, aim to meet with at least three real estate agents and select yours while taking their experience into mind.
PRICING YOUR HOME ACCORDINGLY
Don’t make the mistake of overpricing your home – find out how much it is truly worth. A Comparative Market Analysis report (CMA) is free and can provide you with your home’s value as related to like homes that have been sold. You may have seen one before from postcards or direct mail letters and can ask your agent about where to find your relative CMA. Keep in mind that your home is an investment, so analyze if your market is currently hot, cold, or neutral and price accordingly.
Clean, declutter, and improve curb appeal to get your property ready for sale. Hiring a professional stager or having your real estate agent do so will make your home much more attractive to buyers, and sometimes you will even be able to use your own furniture. Don’t neglect to make repairs and have your pets stay elsewhere during this time.
To increase buyer traffic into your home, an online presence is necessary. Professional well-lit photographs and descriptive, appealing descriptions will make a world of difference in outside perception. Prepare for an open house and decide if you want your agent to only do appointments or utilize a lockbox (which will allow for more showings). Ask for buyer feedback and change your pricing, condition, and marketing campaigns in response.
Prepare for multiple offers if your home is priced accordingly and ensure buyers use the correct form to write a purchase offer. Respond to each offer, even lowball ones, which you can negotiate with a higher counter offer. If your pricing is reasonable and competitive in the market, don’t be wary of making a full-price counter offer. You can contemplate making a counter offer that is conditional on buying a home, if market conditions allow for it.
Your transaction coordinator or agent will be the one to open escrow and order a title policy. Ask for the contact information for the closing agent for your own records. Take note of when your buyer’s mortgage loan will fund (dependent on all funding conditions being met and all loan documents being signed) and select a date following it accordingly. Agree upon an earnest money deposit (essentially a good faith deposit) and ask for a receipt. This is not the same as a down payment, but part of the down payment process.
Schedule an appraiser appointment and clean the house the day before he or she arrives. You can ask your agent about alternatives in the case of receiving an appraisal lower than anticipated. You are not entitled to collect a copy of the appraisal since you did not pay for it. In the circumstance of a buyer pitching a renegotiation or canceling a contract based on an appraisal, you can ask your lawyer or agent about your rights.
Prepare for the home inspector’s visit and ask your agent for a home inspection checklist to check exactly what the inspector will request to see, including the basement and the attic. Also, get ready for the final walk-through inspection to take place a couple days before or the morning of closing. Acquire seller-required inspections, such as roof, termite/pest, and sewer, and communicate seller disclosures, like lead-based paint disclosures and other material facts. Don’t shy away from negotiating the pricing and necessities of inspections and requests for repairs.
If you do not ask your buyer to release contingencies, he or she is not obligated to provide it and may have the right to cancel the contract. When signing the title and escrow documents, make sure to bring a valid photo identification. Upon closing escrow, your property deed, conveyance, and deed of trust will be documented in public records. Contingent on the contract’s specified buyer possession rights, you might have to move on the day the home closes or even the day before – so make sure you are ready for that.