Sara Moyher's Free Home Sellers Guide
Ask Yourself Why You Want to Sell
What are your motivations for selling and are you motivated to do all that is necessary to get your home sold? Keep your reasons for selling to yourself and your Realtor. Outside of the business relationship with your Realtor, your motivation to sell is no one else’s business but yours and it should stay that way. You don’t want any personal information to possibly be shared with the buyer’s agent.
Be honest with your Realtor. Your reasons for selling will affect setting the listing price and how vested you are in getting the house ready to sell.
Find a Realtor You Trust
Getting your Realtor involved sooner rather than later is a good thing. Your Realtor will be able to make an objective opinion as to the condition of your house and can make recommendations of what should be done before you list your house. A good Realtor will be very knowledgeable of trustworthy professionals who will help prepare your house for the market. He or she will take a look to see what the house looks like to a prospective buyer. You should do the same.
Everyone’s situation and reasons for selling are different and can possibly call for variety of contractors to get the job done, if you are handy and have the time to do the work yourself, kudos. But perhaps, you might be selling an estate for a family member and live out of town. Who will get rid of unwanted houses contents? Will you need to have an estate sale? Will you need to have a yard sale? Do you want it donated? Who will be the one to dedicate the time necessary to accomplish these tasks? Use your Realtor’s expertise and get a recommendation, it will make this process easier and faster for you
Get Your House in the Best Condition Possible
The housing market is EXTREMELY competitive. Think of it as a beauty pageant. How does your home compare to others? Do you need to make repairs? Are the walls all scuffed up? How do the carpets look? A beauty pageant contestant will not have chipped nail polish, wearing a dress with holes and odd shoes. She will look the best she’s ever looked. Your house should look the same, no matter what the asking price!
If this is not your forte, get help. If this is not your idea of a good time, get help. If this is not your cup of tea, get help! Your Realtor will have people ready to do this for you, so not to worry.
Now That the House is Ready, Let's See What the Market Will Bear
"What the market will bear" is an extremely important concept to understand when selling your home. The current market is ultimately what determines the asking price and eventually what the house will actually sell for. The market is continually changing, so it is very possible you will need to adjust your price accordingly and timely. Your buyer will not care what you paid for it, how much you owe on it, how long you lived there, how many kids you raised in this home, your prize winning roses, etc. At this point, selling your house is a business transaction, no emotions necessary. This sounds harsh, but this is reality. The buyer will pay what the market says the house is worth.
Your agent will educate you with comparable sales in the immediate area. You will be made aware of what is currently on the market, currently under contract, and recently sold. This means you will have an accurate idea of what the market looks like allowing you to intelligently set the price.
Expose the House to the Market
The more showings the better. Be as flexible as possible for showings. This may mean you will need to live really, really neatly. Keep the house “ready to show” condition as much as possible. Obviously, kids, pets, and lifestyle will make this challenging. Remember it is only temporary!
A good Realtor will have a multi-faceted marketing plan to get the exposure necessary to get the number of showings you will need to get an offer, hopefully more than one. The more your home is exposed online to the consumer world, to other agents, to your neighbors the more likely it will sell. I have an aggressive marketing plan that works, and have an extensive network of friends and other agents to help me spread the word that I have a great listing for sale. Call me if you would like to discuss selling your home.
Negotiate the Offer
Your Realtor will present you with all Agreement of Sales (offers.) He or she will present both the positives and possible negatives so that you are able to make an informed decision of what to accept, counter, or decline. Your Realtor will be negotiating on your behalf and best interest. This tends to be the most emotionally challenging part of the sale. Keep your chin up, and try not to lose site that this is a business transaction, nothing more.
After there is a “meeting of the minds” and there is an agreement on sale price, concessions (if any), and contingencies, the buyer will sign and then you the seller will sign off.
"Time is of the Essence"
This is a term used in the Agreement of Sale contract which means that there is a timeline that will need to be adhered to in order to stay in contract. Inspections, reply to inspections, mortgage commitment, certifications, title report, and insurance all need to be addressed and completed by the agreed upon dates. Your Realtor will keep track of these dates and orchestrate in such a way that there is no breach of contract as far as you are concerned. The buyer’s agent will be doing the on behalf of his or her buyer client.
Get to the Settlement Table and Close the Dea
Settlement will include you, your Realtor, the buyers, their Realtor, their lender and title officer. The mortgage company and title officer will run the closing. Hopefully there will be no hiccups with the money wire, everyone has all the documents needed with correct information, and all goes smoothly. Sometimes closings do take longer than expected. Try your best to stay relaxed.
Assuming all went well above……Congratulations, you sold your house! Now what? Don’t worry, I’d be thrilled to help you find your next home!