We put together a few tips for the seller to help guide you through the process of selling real estate. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
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 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?
It would help if you immediately established 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 adequate 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.
Why Should You Choose Our Professionals?
You may opt to sell your property independently. However, there are many excellent reasons why you should choose us to assist you in this significant undertaking. We will ensure that you maximize your opportunities in the current real estate market. With the extensive contact networks that we have developed through the many national and international organizations, of which we are members, and our current and past clients, we will employ the most effective marketing and advertising strategies for your property. We will also guide you through the complicated paperwork, from the initial agreement to the final documents.
What To Look for in an Agent.
The following are a couple of factors to keep in mind when looking for a listing agent:
1. Education. The most crucial factor in choosing a real estate professional is their education in the real estate industry. Our professionals have advanced training and education, allowing them to be among the top agents globally and earn prestigious designations in the various fields of real estate.
2. Experience and Expertise. You want a full-time agent familiar with your area and the type of property you intend to sell. Do they employ a diverse range of marketing and advertising strategies? How tech-savvy is your agent? How many similar properties have they been able to sell in the past?
3. Availability and Commitment. Your agent should be capable of prompt and decisive action while selling your property. Does your agent make it a point to keep in touch with you constantly? Can your agent easily be contacted in case of emergencies or even for the most straightforward questions? Is your agent available on the weekends or in the evenings when most buyers are out looking?
4. Rapport. Does your agent take the time to listen to your goals and clarify your needs? Can your agent understand your unique situation and be genuinely concerned about the outcome of the process? Your listing agent will be your guide and partner in this crucial decision, so it is essential to find one with whom you can get along.
What Is Your Property Worth?
Without a professional agent, most independent property sellers tend to overestimate the value of their property. You can avoid this pitfall by consulting with an experienced real estate listing agent.
You can do a lot to increase your property’s appeal and create a lasting impact on potential buyers.
What To Do To Prepare:
The following are a couple of factors to keep in mind when listing your property for sale:
1. Curb Appeal.
Keeping your landscape pristine, and adding creative touches to your yard, such as colorful annuals, will create an immediate impact on passers-by and potential buyers.
2. Property Repairs.
Simple upgrades such as window repairs, polishing the doorknobs, and a fresh coat of paint in the most frequently used rooms will instantly brighten up the property.
3. Cleanliness and Staging.
Keep your property uncluttered, sweet-smelling, and well-lit from top-to-bottom. Pay attention to details: put away the kitty litter, place a vase of fresh flowers near the entryway, pop a batch of cinnamon rolls in the oven, have your carpets cleaned. Your agent will scan the property before it is listed for sale to see how you can improve the staging of your property.
Presenting your property to potential buyers is a job that we will take care of for you. Buyers feel more comfortable discussing the property with the agent if you are not there. Moreover, your agent will know what information will be most helpful in representing your interests when speaking with prospective buyers.
The Price Is Not Always Right.
“The higher the price, the better the offer.” Do not let yourself be fooled by this popular misconception. Price is not always the determining factor when accepting an offer for several important reasons: the initial offer is usually not final, and several terms and conditions may influence the outcome of a price. You can trust our professionals to help you thoroughly evaluate every proposal without compromising your marketing position.
Negotiating The Right Way.
We take the ethical responsibility of fairly negotiating contractual terms very seriously. It is our job to find a win-win agreement that is beneficial to all parties involved. You may even have to deal with multiple offers before ratifying the one you judge to be the most suitable for you – and as your agents, we will guarantee a thorough and objective assessment of each offer to help you make the right choice.
The Initial Agreement and Deposit.
An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential purchaser and the property’s seller. Laws vary from state to state, but the agreement may require consideration to be legally binding. This consideration (initial and additional deposit) will be held in the closing agent’s escrow account pending the fulfillment of conditions or contingencies in the effective agreement.
Some essential tips to keep in mind to streamline the process even further:
- Keep written records of everything. For the sake of clarity, it will be beneficial to transcribe all verbal agreements, including counter-offers and addendums, and convert them to written agreements to be signed by both parties. We will assist you in drafting all the paperwork for your sale and make sure that you have copies of everything.
- Stick to the schedule. Now that you have chosen your offer, you and the buyer will be given a timeline to mark every stage in the process of closing the real estate contract. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations and ensures that each party involved is not in breach of their agreements. We will keep you updated during the process, so you will always be prepared for the next step.
Inspections and Appraisals
Most buyers will have the property inspected by a licensed property inspector within the time frame that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase. Some buyers will have several inspectors inspect the property if they wish to obtain professional opinions from inspectors specializing in a specific area (e.g., roof, HVAC, structure). If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution via a third party. This is done so that the lending institution can confirm their investment in your property is accurate. A commercial property buyer may also have a complete environmental audit performed and soil test, if required by the lending institution.
The Closing Agent.
Either a title company or an attorney will be selected as the closing agent, whose job is to examine and ensure a clear title to real estate. After researching the complete recorded history of your property, they will certify that 1) your title is free and clear of encumbrances (e.g., mortgages, leases, or restrictions, liens) by the date of closing; and 2) all new encumbrances are duly included in the title.
A contingency is a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding. For instance, a buyer will usually include a contingency stating that their agreement is binding only when a qualified inspector has a satisfactory home inspection report.
Before completing their purchase of your property, the buyer goes over every aspect of the property, as provided for by purchase agreements and any applicable addendums. These include:
- Obtaining financing and insurance;
- Reviewing all pertinent documents, such as preliminary title reports and disclosure documents; and
- Inspecting the property. The buyer has the right to determine the condition of your property by subjecting it to a wide range of inspections, such as roof, termite/pest, chimney/fireplace, property boundary survey, well, septic, pool/spa, arborist, mold, lead-based paint, HVAC, etc.
Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:
1. Either each milestone is successfully closed, and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the closing; or
2. After reviewing the property and the papers, the buyer requests a renegotiation of the contract terms (usually the price).
How do you respond objectively and fairly to the buyer when a renegotiation is demanded while acting in your best interests? This is when a professional listing agent can make a real difference in the outcome of the transaction. Having dealt with various property sales in the past, we guarantee our expertise and total commitment to every customer, no matter their situation.
Loan Approval and Appraisal.
We suggest that you accept buyers who have a lender’s pre-approval, approval letter, or written loan commitment, which is a better guarantee of loan approval than a pre-qualification or no documentation from a lending institute. Expect an appraiser from the lender’s company to review your property and verify that the sales price is appropriate.
If you have come this far, this means that it is almost time for congratulations, but not yet. Do not forget to tie up these loose ends:
Final Walk-Through Inspection.
More of a formality than anything else, the final inspection takes place the day before or the day of the closing. The buyer visits the property to verify that all is in working order, everything is the same as when the buyer last viewed the property, and there are no extra items left behind.
Cancel Home Services and Utilities.
We will provide a list of valid numbers for the termination of home services and utilities after closing.
We are ready to assist you should an unforeseen glitch pop up, even at this last stage. If something at the property breaks down or the buyers’ loan does not pull through on time, there is no need to worry. We have encountered these problems before, so we know how to handle them efficiently and stress-free.
The closing agent will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process. The buyer(s) will sign this statement, and then you will sign as well as the closing agent, certifying its accuracy. If you cannot attend the scheduled closing, then arrangements can be made depending on the circumstances and the notice that we receive. If you are receiving funds from the transaction, you can elect to either have the funds wired electronically to an account at your financial institution or have a check issued to you at the closing. The seller should arrange to have all property keys and any other important information for the new purchaser at the finish so that the purchaser may receive these items at this time.