Making a Decision to Sell Your Home
Selling your home is a big step! Once you are prepared to sell your home from both a financial and an emotional point of view, it’s time to embark on your home selling journey!
Choosing a REALTOR®
When exploring the home selling process, the absolute most important thing to do is to find a Realtor. A Realtor can provide you with intimate knowledge of the industry and provide you with the necessary guidance throughout the process. However, it’s important to find a Realtor who understands your needs and expectations, and with whom you can have a comfortable and trusting dynamic. Just because a Realtor has done well for a friend of yours, does not mean that this Realtor may be a good fit for you. Put together a list of questions and interview a few Realtors, before choosing the one who is right for you. With the guidance of the right Realtor, your home selling journey can actually be rewarding and enjoyable!
Determine your Home’s Value
One of the biggest takeaways from this article is to make sure that you price your home correctly. The biggest mistake a seller can make is to overprice a home. Overpricing a home means eliminating potential buyers and decreases overall interest in your home. Many sellers believe that if they price their home higher, they will get a higher price, and if they price it lower, they will get a lower price. This is just not the case. Real estate is based on market economics, and prices are influenced by factors such as supply and demand, interest rates, demographics, the overall economy, and government policies. It is important to price your property in line with other homes that have sold in the area. To do this, request that your Realtor put together a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA provides an estimate of your home’s value, based on recently sold, similar properties in the immediate area. It may also contain information on comparable active listings, pending listings, sold listings, and expired/terminated listings. By analyzing the information in a CMA, your Realtor can provide a strategic suggested listing price. Once again, it is important to price your property correctly, as not doing so could be detrimental. Listing too high could result in the listing sitting on the market, and potentially realizing a lower sale price than what you could have achieved with a proper list price. Listing lower than market value could be employed as a strategy to drum up more interest and potentially realize a higher sale price. Consult your Realtor for their recommendation on list price and listing strategy.
Preparing your Property for Showings and Photos
When selling your home, it is important to make a good first impression. It is imperative that your home looks its best in photos and is ready for showings. You should ensure the following are addressed:
• Your home is clean.
• Rooms are not cluttered. Clear all excess chairs, lamps, magazines, accessories, toys, and accent furniture that you don’t need.
• Depersonalize. Remove personal or family photos from the walls so that buyers can envision themselves living in the home.
• Windows should sparkle. Blinds and curtains should be open and lights should be on to brighten the rooms.
• If the paint is peeling or cracking, consider painting the home.
• Organize your closets so they seem bigger. At the same though, ensure they are not too full.
• Pay special attention to cleaning your bathrooms and kitchen, and make sure the floors are clean.
• Flowers, potpourri, or even the smell of freshly baked cookies will make your home more inviting.
• Agents and buyers often feel more relaxed and comfortable discussing the property in private. Realtors usually encourage sellers to be away from the property during showings, to allow the buyer and buyer’s Realtor to view the property comfortably and without pressure.
List Your Home for Sale
When you and your Realtor are ready, it is time to list your home on the market. Your Realtor will be hard at work, marketing your home!
Offers and Negotiations
At this point in the selling process, buyers or their Realtors may present your Realtor with an offer. You can decide whether you would like to accept the offer, reject the offer, or provide a counter-offer. Your Realtor will provide you with guidance and advice while making your decision, so do not be afraid to ask questions. In some situations, there could be more than one offer. If this happens, your Realtor will coordinate the offers in a professional and ethical manner.
Signed Contract and Conditions
Once the contract is signed and accepted by both the buyer and the seller, there may be conditions attached to the agreement. Conditions may include inspections, review of condominium documents, financing, and/or a range of other possible conditions. The contract will state the agreed date upon which the conditions are to be removed. If everything goes well, the conditions will be removed on or before the condition date and the contract becomes a firm deal. This means that neither party can back out of the contract. At this point, all documents are forwarded to the lawyers for closing.
Closing and Possession
During closing, all parties to the purchase agreement sign the necessary documents and the lawyers handle all the necessary registrations. Funds transfer from the buyer to the seller through their respective legal representatives, and ownership passes from seller to buyer.
The home selling process can be a confusing process, but it can be equally exciting! Be sure to consult with a licensed Realtor when you are ready to begin your home selling journey.