You have decided that it is time to sell your current home. Maybe you need a bigger home, or a smaller home, or are moving to a completely different state. Regardless of the reason you are moving, there are some steps which are necessary in any home sale. Please take the time to read through this list and request a copy of my Home Selling Guide for a more thorough description of the process.
Define Your Needs
What are the reasons you need to sell your current home? If you just need more space, you may have more flexibility with your timeline than if you are say, moving across the country to start a new job. Will you be buying another home? Now may be the time to speak with a lender to find out if you qualify to buy another home and how much money you will need to close the transaction. Do you have to sell your current home in order to buy another home? I will apply my expert knowledge to your particular needs and set a realistic time frame to help you establish a time management path for selling your home.
Choose A Pricing Strategy
Using local market research, the condition of your home and recent sales of comparable homes in your area, I will create a comparative market analysis. Using this information, I will lead you to the best fair market price that will help sell your home within in your desired timeframe. It is best to set a reasonable price rather than setting your price high and expecting someone to pay more than current conditions say it is worth. If your home stays on the market too long because it is 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 if you had started out with a realistic asking price.
Prepare Your Property To Sell
It’s time to get your home ready to be seen. Most of us don’t live in a home the same way it needs to be presented to potential buyers. Just like when you meet a person for the first time, the first impression potential buyers get of your home will be the one they carry with them. Take a look at your home through a stranger’s eyes…both insid and out…and organize, clean or remove anything that would make anything less than a great first impression. Another good rule of thumb is: if it’s broken, fix it or replace it. Don’t let any fixable items that you may have let go too long be a deal breaker. If you were buying the house and you would want it fixed then do it now. Small repairs that don’t cost a lot will more than pay off in a faster sale.
Establish a Marketing Strategy
In the “old days,” a real estate agent’s marketing of their sellers’ properties consisted simply of putting a sign in the yard, putting the listing in the MLS, and praying that it sold. Even today, there are a lot of real estate professionals who think syndicating listings to portals is a job well done. And here’s the thing: these tactics may be enough to sell a home. In a good market, they may be enough to even sell a home over asking price. However, I believe that you deserve better. I will design a customized marketing and prospecting plan that targets the greatest number of buyers for your property. I then blast information about your home to the entire market using email, database marketing and prospecting, and networking strategies that generate the highest sales price and quickest sale.
When we receive an offer from a prospective buyer, we will review the pre-qualification letter that comes with the offer to ensure the potential buyer is, in fact, qualified to purchase your home. We will then review the contract to make sure you clearly understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. Once you accept the contract, it is a legally binding instrument so we want to ensure we have reviewed the offer to ensure if includes the following:
- Full, legal names of the Buyer(s) and Seller(s)
- Legal Description of the Property
- Offer Price
- Type of loan the Buyer will be using
- Earnest Money Deposit
- List of fees and who is responsible for each
- Inspections rights and timelines
- Bill of Sale which will list any items which will remain with the home
- The Settlement Date
- Any relevant contingencies
You should be certain to ask detailed questions about any items that you are not clear or have concerns about.
Negoiating The Offer
I believe that the best real estate transactions are those that result in a win-win for both Buyer and Seller. In order for this to happen, there is usually some level of negotiation involved. When we receive an offer on your home, we will review the contract together and make sure you understand what the Buyers are offering and what they are asking for in return. I will prepare a ‘net sheet’ so you have a clear understanding of what your costs and profit will be based on the offer. From there, we can decide which areas of the contract you would like to negotiate. Some of those items may be:
- Purchase Price
- Seller paid contributions toward closing costs
- Any appliances or fixtures remaining with the home
- Home Warranty Provision
- Possession time frame
Once we come to terms which are acceptable to both parties, we have a legally executed contract.
Once we have a ratified contract, the buyer will have the opportunity to hire a professional inspector to evaluate the condition of the home. If repairs are called for based on the inspector’s recommendations, the buyer may submit and Amendment to the Contract to further negotiate the sale by aksing for repairs to be completed or a reduction in the price. At this point, we can either agree to the Buyer’s requests, or again negotiate to come to acceptable terms.
Checking Title To The Property
Simply explained, “title” is the right to own, possess, use, control and dispose of property. When you sell a home, the buyer is actually buying your title to the home. A deed is the written legal evidence that you have conveyed your ownership rights to the buyer. The Buyer’s chosen title specialist will conduct a title examination. The purpose of the title examination is to discover any problems that might prevent you from transferring clear title to the home. We will receive a written report from the title agency which we will review for any title problems.
Once all inspection concerns have been resolved and we have determined that there are no defects on title, it is time to order an appraisal. An appraisal is an estimate of the value of a property made by a qualified professional. The appraisal of your home is important for the buyer in obtaining their mortgage. After all, the property serves as the collateral for the loan. Although the primary goal of the appraisal is to justify the lender’s investment, it also protects the buyer from overpaying. An important reason to not overprice your home, is because we don’t want the appraisal to fall short of the agreed purchase price. If that happens, the purchase price will most likely need to be adjusted. In most cases, a Buyer will not pay more for a propery than an appraiser says it is worth.
All the preparation is complete and you should now be moved out of the house. Now, it’s time for closing. Closing is the legal transfer of ownership of the home from seller to buyer. It is a formal meeting that most parties involved in the transaction will attend. Closing procedures will be held at the title company where the closing officer will coordinate the signing of the documents and the collection and disbursement of funds. Once all parties have signed and the banks have been funded, the deed will be recorded. Recording in the State of Alaska happens the day after signing and that is the day that ownership transfers to the Buyer. Congratulations…you have successfully sold your home!!