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Eight Steps to Selling Your Home

Define Your Needs

Write down all the reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. For your goals, write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. We will work with you to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.

Name Your Price

Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. 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, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area. It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so our expertise is invaluable at this step. We will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done, which costs about $500. Remember: You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property and if they write an offer, it will usually be a lower offer. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings. The best strategy is to price your home just a bit below “market value”, and let the buyers fight to offer the best price. Frank is an expert at pricing and he will guide you to the right price. We don’t list homes for sale that are overpriced because they usually don’t sell. When you list your home with Frank, the intention is to sell it, just just list it for sale! Rest assured that Frank knows when a home is priced right you will usually get the price you want and probably more. Some sellers are concerned about “giving their house away.” The surest way to give away your house is to price it too high! They think they want to leave room for negotiation. The way to negotiate is to price it lower and negotiate up. Always plan to negotiate up.

Prepare Your Home

Most of us don’t keep our homes in “showroom” condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. It’s time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tip-top shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important. We will help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers.

  • 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.
  • Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression.
  • Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed all knick-knacks from your shelves and cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.

Get The Word Out

Now that you’re ready to sell, we will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including:

  • The Internet
  • Yard signs
  • Open houses
  • Media advertising
  • Agent-to-agent referrals
  • Direct mail marketing campaigns, etc.

In addition to listing your home on the MLS, we will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. We will structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest. We will cast the widest marketing net possible to attract any and all buyers.

Recieve An Offer

When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, we will first find out whether or not the individual is pre-qualified or pre-approved to buy your home. If so, then we will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:

  • Legal description of the property
  • Offer price
  • Down payment
  • Financing arrangements
  • List of fees and who will pay them
  • Deposit amount
  • Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
  • Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing
  • Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home
  • Close of escrow date
  • Contingencies, etc.

When reviewing the buyer’s purchase offer, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (by writing a counteroffer), or simply reject it. We don’t recommend rejecting it unless the offer is just ridiculous, which sometimes happens. Remember: 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 us right away so we can be sure to take your considerations into account.

Negotiate To Sell

Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. We are well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used and will protect your best interests throughout the bargaining process. We also know what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate, and where to protect you. Some negotiable items:

  • Price
  • Financing
  • Closing costs
  • Repairs
  • Appliances and fixtures
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • and Move-in date.

Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, we will prepare the contract.

Prepare To Close

Once you accept an offer to sell your house, we will work with you on what must do before escrow closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. We will spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and the service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure 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. Important reminder: A few days before the closing, you will want to contact the escrow company and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date. Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so. We will help you with every step of the process.

Close The Deal

“Closing Escrow” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. We will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, we will mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. After the closing, you should make a “to do” list for turning the property over to the new owners if you haven’t already. Remember to contact the Post Office to change your address (you can do this online at USPS.com), also arrange for the utilities to be transferred out of your name and the new ones at your new home transferred into your name.

We’re with you to guide and protect you every step of the way!

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