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Home seller Guide

The decision to sell your home is an important one. You may need to sell, or you may want to sell, or it is a combination of both. With the guidance of an experienced listing agent, we can work together to strategically achieve realistic goals and expectations through the home selling process with minimal work involved from you. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at a number of strategies to sell your home in today’s market.

#1: Determine Your Motivations

Common reasons why people sell their homes include:
Once you determine your reasons and have committed to selling your home, you are ready to take the next steps.

#2: Find the Right Realtor

You hire a Realtor to be your advocate and to market and sell your home for the most profit and with the least hassle. Buying and selling real estate can be incredibly complex, regardless of how many times you’ve been through the process. Realtors will walk you through all the important steps of the transaction, from pre-listing to closing, and to keep the transaction running as smoothly as possible. Realtors must adhere to a Code of Ethics which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. This code reflect principles of honesty, competency, and fair dealings to all clients and customers, and the number one objective is to protect the best interests of their client. To find a great Realtor, start by asking your family and friends whom they recommend, and search for online for the best agents in your area or where you plan to move. Look for an agent who has at least two years of full-time real estate experience. Check for online reviews on Google and Zillow. Talk with agents and ask questions about their experience helping buyers and sellers in their markets. Chemistry also matters with home sales. Keep in mind that you will be communicating with your agent for (potentially) several months as you search for a home, submit an offer, and go through the buying process. As with most relationship-based decisions, your goal is to feel a strong comfort level. If you find an agent you like who gives you realistic answers to the questions you asked, and if you believe that is someone you can trust, you’re likely on the right track.

#3: Pricing Strategies

Setting the right listing price on your home can mean the difference between a fast, painless sale, and weeks or months of frustration. Price is a direct function of marketing, and determining accurate market value, then capitalizing on the higher levels of activity from a new listing, are data driven strategies. Experienced agents know who your target market is and what they’re willing to spend, and will view the home through the lens of those buyers. The motivations that influence why homebuyers choose some houses but not others can help create a strategy tailored to the sale itself and get a home under contract as soon as possible. A comparative market analysis (CMA) factors in the location, age, condition and improvements and puts your home side-by-side against other recently sold neighboring properties similar to yours. The strategy is to size up the competition, add or subtract value based on your home’s unique features, and realize an accurate listing price.

#4: Preparing Your Home to Sell

#5: Professional Photography

We’ve all heard the old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”.” Since 95% of buyers start their home search online, oftentimes the photos are what piques a buyer’s interest in your home and prompts them to take the next step in contacting their real estate agent. The best real estate photographers have an eye for the right angles, the best lighting, and provide high-quality photos to capture the best features of your home. And the more photos the better!

On the Day of Photos: Remove your car from the driveway and front of house. Remove trash cans from view. Put away garden hose, rakes, etc. Turn on all inside lamps and lights. Tidy up closets and make sure all beds are made and are wrinkle free. Remove pets, pet bowls, pet beds and toys. Clean and clear kitchen counters (sponges, dishes, detergents, etc.). Hide trash cans. Open window covers and turn blinds horizontal. Add fresh flowers or fruit to the kitchen and dining room. Clean the floors free of all smudges and footprints. Vacuum carpet. Wipe down the countertops in bathrooms (remove soaps, toothbrushes, etc.) and close all toilet lids. Turn off ceiling fans and televisions.

#6: Keeping Your Home Clean for Showings:

From the photo shoot to the revolving door of showings, it’s hard to keep a house looking clean and staged while still living in it. Time is short, you could be halfway through a movie when suddenly you get a phone call asking for a showing in an hour. Keeping your home clean and ready for showings can be managed with these tips:

#7: Review Offers:

Offers will sent to your agent, and he or she will present them to you without delay. Your agent will discuss the price offered and terms of the contract, and will negotiate on your behalf (with your input) until an offer is accepted. Sometimes the terms of the offer are as important as the price, such as closing date, closing costs requested, contingencies such as home inspection and appraisal, types of financing and amount of down payment.

#8: The Home Inspection:

A professional home inspector will likely be hired by the buyer to inspect your home and prepare a report listing all potential items needing to be addressed. Your agent will help you negotiant any repairs and the cost, with the goal of retaining the most profit for you while keeping the buyers happy

#9: The Appraisal:

An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of the value of a home and is used whenever a mortgage is involved in the buying or refinancing a property. A qualified appraiser creates a report based on a visual inspection, using recent sales of similar properties, current market trends, and aspects of the home (e.g., amenities, floor plan, square footage) to determine the property’s appraisal value. When the appraisal value is lower than expected, the transaction can delay or derail the transaction since the bank won’t lend more than the home is worth. Chances are, neither you nor the buyer wants the transaction to fall through. Any variation from the listing price may be discussed between you, your agent and the buyers to determine next steps.

#10: Prior to Closing:

Any repairs agreed upon must be completed, and the home kept in the same condition as when the offer was made. The title company will need your cooperation in ordering the mortgage balance payoff from your mortgage company and clearing any liens that may appear on the title. Pack all belongings in preparation of moving, and make arrangements to move on the day of closing (or another date if agreed to on the contract). Closing will take place at the office of a neutral third party.

#11: Closing Day!

Celebrate the sale of your home and the beginning of a new chapter