- The Decision to Sell
- Choosing an Agent and Price
- Prepare to Sell
- Accepting an Offer
- Appraisals & Inspections
- Settlement Day
The Decision to Sell
The first step to selling your property is to consult with your real estate agent, to discuss your motivation and to develop a net sheet to see if it makes business sense.
Why do you want to sell your property?
Make sure you are a certain about wanting to sell your property because although the reasons may be obvious, you may not have considered all the implications, but once you've considered and weighed all your options, this will make it easier for your real estate agent to meet your objectives.
When is a Good Time to Sell?
The first step our real estate agents would do is to perform a CMA (a competitive market analysis) and to develop a step by step plan to accomplish your goals. By reviewing your CMA with your real estate agent, this will assist you to evaluate the current market conditions.
What is today's real estate market like?
Everyone knows that it's a great time to buy real estate, mainly because the interest rates are at an historical low, but our agents will keep you up to date on the latest mortgage financing programs, the latest market values, and the conditions of competing properties. Our goal is to maximize your net profit when we sell your property.
What other financial advantages should I consider in selling my home?
Our agents will develop a Seller's Estimate Sheet to determine the proceeds of selling your property and they will also perform estate planning and effective tax savings strategies. All in all, we will present the pros and cons of selling your property so you can make a sound financial decision.
Why Choose Our Real Estate Professionals?
There is so much paperwork involved in a real estate transaction! We will administer and guide you through the complicated process, from the initial agreement until we reach the settlement table. You can count on us being very organized.
What Qualities to look for in an Agent
Here are some key factors to keep in mind when choosing a Real Estate Professional:
- Education. There are no short cuts to education. You should request to review the educational background of the real estate professional, whether it being from a university or from a certified real estate school. We take pride to announce that all of our agents have a 4 year college education and are certified as real estate residential specialists.
- Experience and Expertise. Find a full time Real Estate Professional who is familiar with your area and with the type of property you intend to sell. Make sure they are organized and computer tech savvy.
- Availability and Commitment. Make sure your agent is available, even during the weekends. All our agents always use texting and email to stay connected with all our clients. Client satisfaction is our primary focus.
- Rapport. Does your agent take the time to listen to your goals and clarify your needs? Your real estate professional will be your partner in having a successful real estate transaction, so make sure you choose an agent with whom you can get along.
How much is your Home Worth?
Without a real estate professional, most sellers tend to overestimate the value of their property. You can avoid this mistake by consulting with an experienced real estate listing agent.
The Preparation of Selling
Presentation, presentation and presentation is essential to selling your home. If you don't showcase your property, then you won't attract potential buyers to your home.
What To Do To Prepare.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind when listing your home for sale:
- Curb Appeal.
Make your landscape more appealing, add creative ideas to your yard that will attract walkers, neighbors and passers-by. If they are attracted to your home, then so will be potential buyers.
- Simple Repairs.
You know your home better than anyone else, but making simple upgrades such as window repairs, polishing the doorknobs, and a fresh coat of paint in the most frequently used rooms will make an immediate impact to brighten up the property.
- Presentation & Cleanliness.
Keep your property uncluttered and well-lit from top-to-bottom. You should pay attention to small details: placing the kitty litter away, put a vase of fresh flowers near the entryway, and have your carpets cleaned. Your real estate professional will inspect the property before it is listed for sale to see what other ideas can improve the staging of your property.
- General Inspections and Disclosures.
Your agent will be very familiar with the legal process involved with Disclosures and will be ready to develop a thorough disclosure statement that will be advantageous to both you and the buyer, as well as, suggest Home Improvement measures before listing your property in the open market (such as termite & pest inspections).
- Listing your Property.
Your agent will be responsible on presenting your property to potential buyers. Remember that there will be a lot of questions on behalf of potential buyers and their agents! However our agents are very well qualified to know which and what information will be most useful to present your property.
When & How to Accept an Offer:
The Initial Offer is Not Always Final.
Just remember that the initial offer is not always the final because there are a number of conditions and/or concessions that must be negotiated in the contract. Our experienced agents will assist with evaluating every detail of the contract offer without compromising your financial position.
The Process of Negotiating your Offer.
Our goal to find a win win situation that is most beneficial to you, the seller! and of course we cannot ignore the other parties involved in the real estate transaction. In some instances, you may receive multiple offers before accepting and ratifying one that you feel is most suitable to you and your family. In either case, our agents will guarantee a thorough and objective assessment of each offer to help you make the right decision.
The Initial Agreement & Deposit.
An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential buyer and the property's seller. Real Estate Laws vary from state to state, but the majority of states require Consideration in order to be legally binding. This consideration (initial and additional deposit) is to be held in the closing agent's escrow account pending the satisfaction of conditions and/or contingencies in the effective agreement.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind in reaching a successful transaction:
- Stay organized.
Keep records of everything! Including all counter-offers and addendums. Our real estate professionals will assist with drafting all the paperwork for your sale, but we will also maintain copies of everything, even after the settlement is over.
- Timeline of Events.
Once an offer has been accepted, you and the buyer will be given a timeline to mark every stage in the process of closing the real estate transaction. Meeting those requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations and also ensures that each party involved is not in breach of their agreements. During the real estate transaction, our agents will keep you updated so that we are always one step ahead of the other party.
Appraisals & Inspections
It's customary that buyers who are seeking financing must also pay (at their own expense) for an appraisal inspection. A licensed appraiser arrives to your property to determine the market value for the lending institution (via 3rd party). This process must be completed by the lending institution to confirm that their investment in your property is accurate. Some buyers also prefer to have the property inspected by a licensed Home Inspector, especially within the timeframe that was agreed upon in the ratified contract. Other inspections could also include roof, radon, HVAC and structural.
The Title Company.
Either a title company or a real estate attorney will be selected on behalf of the buyer to perform the real estate settlement. Their job is to examine and insure clear title to real estate. After they complete recorded history of your property, they will confirm that 1) the property title is free and clear of encumbrances (eg. 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 contract is binding only when there is a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified inspector.
Before completing the purchase of your property, the buyer reviews every aspect of the property, as provided for by purchase agreements and any applicable addendums. These items 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 results of these inspections, one of two things could happen:
- Either each inspection is successfully reviewed and closed, the contingencies will be removed, which brings you one step closer to the closing; or
- The buyer, after reviewing the property and the inspection reports, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually of the price or closing cost assistance).
How do you respond objectively and fairly to the buyer when a renegotiation is demanded, while acting in your best interests? This is when your agent can make a true difference in the outcome of the transaction. Having dealt with various property situations in years past, we guarantee our expertise and total commitment to every customer, no matter what their situation is.
Loan Approval & Appraisal.
Our agents will ensure that you accept buyers who have a lender's pre-approval, approval letter, or written loan commitment from an Underwriter, which gives much more assurances on solid financing than a pre-qualification or no documentation from a lending institute. It is customary that an appraiser from the lender's company to arrive to your property to verify that the sales price is appropriate.
Nothing feels better than coming closer to the date of settlement, but always remember to review your checklist with your agent.
Final Walk-Through Inspection.
This is 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 everything is functional and in working order, that everything is the same as when the buyer last viewed the property, and that there are no extra items left behind.
Request Final Billing to Cancel Your Utilities.
Our agents will provide a list of useful numbers for the termination of home services and utilities after the closing occurs.
Be Prepared for Last Minute Surprises.
Every now and then, a last minute surprise arrives just before settlement. If something at the property breaks down or the buyers' loan does not pull through on time, there is no need to panic. We have encountered these problems before so we know how to handle them efficiently and in a stress-free manner.
The closing agent will meet with all parties involved in the transaction to obtain final signatures on a settlement statement better known as the FINAL HUD 1, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process. Apart from signing all their loan documents, the buyer(s) will sign the FINAL HUD 1 statement and then you will sign as well as the closing agent, certifying its accuracy. If you are unable to attend the scheduled closing, then other arrangements can be made depending on the circumstances and the advanced noticed 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 closing, so that the purchaser may receive these items at this time.