Preparing to Sell
First impressions go a long way in selling your home. First, walk through your home as if you were a buyer looking to purchase it, or enlist the help of a neighbor. Make a list of both positive and negative items that could affect the appearance of your home.
Here are some tips on increasing the appearance of your home:
- Increase your curb appeal. A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects.
- Reduce clutter; less is more when it comes to selling your home.
- Re-arrange the furniture to make the room look larger
- Clean! Make your home spotless.
- Make Simple improvements such as tightening loose knobs, fix leaky faucets and discolored sinks, lubricate squeaky hinges, clean out clogged drains, replace filters, tighten loose banisters, and even re-painting faded or “worn” walls will greatly enhance the appeal of your house. Remember, prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look “with a little work.”
- Check all light fixtures. Install new bulbs to make your home brighter.
- Exterminate if necessary.
- Make room for space, remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They’re looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.
Additional information can be found on our FREE Report(s) page by requesting a copy of, “13 Things To Do Before You List Your Home” or “10 Questions To Ask Before You Hire A Real Estate Agent”.
Pricing Your Home
This is arguably the toughest part of the selling process. Price your home too low and risk losing additional income from the sale of your home. Price your home too high and risk low buyer interest in your property. Remember, the home selling market dictates the price, not what you think it should be worth.
To accurately price your home find an agent that is familiar with the homes and market conditions in your area. They will prepare a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) at no cost or obligation to you. This report will show you the most recent home sales as well as the homes currently available in your area, the avg. market time, listing price vs. selling price, and then adjust for any features that differ between properties. Together you can determine the right price for your home.
Another way to help determine the value of your home is to enlist the services of a home appraiser. Click here to find an appraiser in your area.
Marketing Your Home
Marketing can make all the difference when it comes to selling your home. Your real estate professional will be able to maximize your home’s exposure with tools like Realtor.com and the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Realtor.com is the #1 visited real estate website and around 90% of all homes sell through the MLS.
Here are some additional marketing tips to remember when selling:
- Have pictures or a virtual tour taken of both the inside & outside of your home.
- Display a yard sign as well as directional signs to assist potential buyers to your property.
- Always display a home brochure. Your brochure should contain your property’s features as well as any extra amenities your home might have, a copy of your MLS listing, any disclosures, and possibly some additional photos.
Receiving an Offer
This is where having a real estate professional can be a big advantage. Make sure the offer is in writing. A contract is only binding if it is in writing AND signed by both parties. Real Estate contracts can be somewhat complicated so make sure that you have your agent go through the entire contract with you. Once your real estate professional has negotiated an agreed upon price for your home you will need to hire the assistance of a real estate attorney. They will assist you with and obtain the necessary documents in order for you to close (complete the sale) of your home. Click here to find a real estate attorney.
All real estate contracts will contain some form of a contingency. Contingencies are clauses that, if not met, will render the contract null and void. Here’s a list of the most common contingencies:
- Mortgage contingency– is a provision in the home purchase contract that says that if the prospective buyer can’t get a mortgage within a fixed period of time, s/he can call the whole deal off. In other words, the agreement is conditional on the buyer being able to obtain a mortgage on the property.
- Home Inspection Contingency– All standard real estate contracts contain a clause allowing a prospective homebuyer the right to inspect your property, at the buyer’s expense (usually 5 business days). This is a very thorough inspection and will cover everything, plumbing, electrical, appliances, windows, etc. If any major repairs need to be made, the buyer will have the option of canceling the contract, or have the seller at the seller’s expense make the necessary repairs or give the appropriate compensation.
*Please note-When a home is being sold “AS IS” the buyer still has the right to conduct a home inspection, but the seller is stating no repairs or any additional compensation will be given.
- Home Sale Contingency– Allows a specific timeframe for the purchaser to sell their current home. During this time the seller would continue to show their home to prospective buyers, and would continue to entertain all offers. This type of contract usually includes a “kick out clause,” a statement that basically says: “if we get another acceptable offer, you have “X” number of hours (usually 24-48) to remove your home sale contingency and move forward to buy the house, whether they’ve sold their current house or not.” If they cannot move forward, the seller can back out of the contract.
- Home Close Contingency– This contingency is a lot like a home sale contingency except the purchaser already has a contract to sell their existing home, but is just waiting to close. The seller would continue to show the home to prospective buyers, and would entertain all offers. This type of contingency also usually includes a “kick out clause” (see home sale contingency).
The day of the closing (or possibly sooner), the home’s buyer will do a “walk through” of the property to make sure all agreed repairs are completed and that the home is in the same condition as when the buyer made their offer. If problems arise at this point, the closing, can still take place with funds held in escrow to remedy the problem.
Usually the attorneys decide on a mutually agreed title company to have the closing at. Your closing will be assigned a Closing or Escrow Agent to complete your transaction.
The escrow agent conducts the closing and is often affiliated with the title insurance company. Their job is to ensure the buyer obtains a clean title, the lender obtains a good mortgage, that the costs of the transaction are paid, that the seller’s mortgage is paid off, and that the seller receives their proceeds.
The escrow agent prepares a closing statement that outlines what the required funds are, who’s paying and where the funds are going toward They will not disburse funds until they can guarantee that the above noted items have been taken care of.
Click here for Title Companies.