It is important to set out in writing the reasons that are motivating you to sell your current home. You might ask yourself, "Why am I selling my home and what do I expect to accomplish?" If you have a growing family and you need more space you may be under less pressure to get your house ready to sell than if you were, let's say, moving to a new city due to career opportunity.
Explore your short and long term goals and decide how selling your house fits into those goals. I will help you identify all of the variables within your individual goals and how best to achieve them in our local real estate market. I will apply all of my local knowledge to your particular needs and goals and then help you set a realistic time frame for the process. This will help you to establish a time management path for selling your home and finding your new Dream Home.
Your next objective is to consult with me, your real estate agent to determine the best possible selling price of your home. I will help you determine the state of our local market, the condition of your home, and show you sales of comparable homes in your neighborhood. I will then create a comparative market analysis by taking into consideration the type of market you are in and recent sales of area properties. Then we will be able to determine a fair market value that will help sell your home within your desired time frame.
Often, it can be hard for you, as a seller, to maintain objectivity, so remember to be reasonable about the price you set. You will always be better off setting a fair market value than setting your price high expecting that someone will come along and be willing to pay that inflated price. Do not use old logic that you will take a lower price when a prospective buyer is found, be objective and fair when you price the home and you will be far likely to receive better quicker offers avoiding having your home set on the market. If your home stays on the market too long because it was overpriced, potential buyers may think that something is wrong with it and you may end up selling it for less than what you could have gotten had you started out with your asking price based on a fair market analysis.
Now that your home is ready, it’s time to put it up the For Sale Sign and market it. We will establish a marketing plan, or strategy and we will then work our plan. I will expose your home to the most potential buyers possible by using our marketing plan this will bringing not only the most buyers, but also the most qualified buyers, to your doorstep. There are many different ways to get the word out there that your home is for sale. A yard sign, flyers, virtual tours and direct marketing are just a few of the many options available. If you are in a buyer's market we will have to be extra careful when developing our plan. We do not want your home to sit with no one showing interest. You and I will structure our marketing strategy so that the first 3-6 weeks that your home is on the market will be the busiest.
It‘s time to get your home in "showing and selling" condition. Most of us don’‘t keep our homes in the condition it would need to be in to sell. Over the years those boxes in the corner of the garage just seem to multiply in some inconceivable way on their own. Things have broken that we just have never gotten around to fixing and some things have just plain worn out. We just accept the fact that they will always be this way. It is this frame of mind that you have to break out of in order to get your home ready to show. How your home looks will have an immense impact on how quickly it sells and whether or not you get full market value for it.
First impressions are very important and you only get to make one. I will help you to make a great first impression because I am out there interacting in the marketplace every day, so I can assist you in approaching your home from the buyer's standpoint. What needs to be changed to make a good first impression? This may mean that all you do is prune the trees and shrubs. On the other hand, it may mean that you completely repaint the house, inside and out. Do a "curb to door" check. Give the potential buyers a clear path to enter the home. The fewer obstacles between the buyer and the true appeal of your home the better. Keep in mind that over time we become accustomed to our surroundings. What's normal for you may be detrimental to the buyer.
Make your home look as spacious as possible. Organize your closets and kitchen cabinets, and if you have things stored in the attic or basement, make sure they are presentable. If you are showing during the day, pull back your curtains and drapes to show how bright and cheery your home is. If you are showing at night, turn on all of the lights to create a warm and welcoming environment for the prospective buyers. A home that is marked with your personality and style will be much easier to sell.
When a buyer decides to buy your home, an offer will be presented. I will then advise you as to whether or not the prospective buyer is qualified to purchase your home. After all, there is no reason to review an offer if the person(s) making it will not be able to actually buy your home. We will then review the written document, taking care to note what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract should protect the best interests of all parties involved and should be comprehensive in nature. Once we accept the offer, it will be too late to make any changes.
The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:
• A legal description of the property
• The offering price
• 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 Remember that the legalities of this phase are very important. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with me right away.
Most offers to purchase your home will require some level of negotiation to come to a win-win agreement. I am well versed on the legalities of the real estate contract used here in our area and will handle the responsibility of protecting you and your best interest throughout these negotiations. In addition, I have a thorough understanding of the contract itself, including what each contract clause means to you and our buyer, what you will net from the sale of your home, and what areas in the contract lend themselves easiest to negotiation. I will review the written offer with you to make sure that you thoroughly understand what the buyers are offering and what they are asking in return.
Some of the items that you may have to negotiate are:
• The price
• Closing costs
• Repairs that need to be done
• Appliances and fixtures
• Occupancy time frame
To really gain some insight into why potential buyers are pursuing the purchase of your home and how they might proceed in the negotiations, it is also important to know as much about the buyer as possible, especially their motivation for buying. Once both parties have reached a point where the deal is acceptable, I will be certain that you have a legally executable contract.
Once you have accepted an offer to sell your home, I will inform you of all the procedures involved in order to proceed successfully to closing, as well as each parties responsibilities for completing those procedures. For instance, the property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Depending on the specifics reached during the negotiations, you may pay for all, some, or none of these items.
I will then coordinate with all the parties and keep you informed as to the results of the various procedures. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the property the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. Depending on the contract, you or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations, or close. I will of course be there to advise you throughout this process and will help you coordinate any actions you must take to keep the sale moving forward.
There are some sales that go smoothly and some that require a lot of work to get to the closing table. Until you get into it, you won’t know which one you have on your hands. Either way, I will be there with you every step of the way.
A few days before the closing, I will contact the title company closing the transaction to make sure that all of the necessary forms and documents have been prepared and are going to be available for you to sign on the appropriate date. I will also contact each party to the transaction to be certain that they have taken each action necessary for closing, so that the entire closing can proceed on the date and time planned. I will also prepare you in advance for the process of the closing, advising you of any documents you must bring to the closing, how much time to block off for the transaction, and any other information that is pertinent to the closing meeting.
"Closing" refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. I will be present during the closing to help explain the process and forms to you and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, I can mediate any last minute issues that may arise. As the seller, you will need to be prepared to give over any necessary documentation regarding the property and, depending on the arrangements made during negotiations, you may be required to have done something specific in order to close. Be sure to read all the documents and ask any questions you may have. It is important that you understand every document you are signing.
Now that, everything has gone smoothly and you will be closing and moving from your home in the time frame that you had anticipated. I will help you create a checklist of all the things you will need to do to turn the property over to the new owners. You will need to make sure that all of the local services (i.e. electricity, gas, lawn care, cable, etc.) have been cancelled or, if the new owner is going to retain some of the services, the name on the account should be changed. The property and anything assigned to the buyer according to the contract should be prepared appropriately for the new owners. This will make the transition as smooth and effortless as possible.
Carolyn Jones, SRES
Professional Realty Services of Idaho