So You’re Thinking of Selling Your Home!

Before anything else, it is a good idea to sit down and clarify your motivations and draw up a basic time frame for the selling process.

Why Sell?

Why do you want to sell your property? Do you intend to simply find a larger property, do you plan on moving to another neighborhood, school district, or are you relocating for a job in another city or state?  Being clear about your intentions for selling will make it easier for your realtor to determine the most appropriate option for your specified financial, lifestyle, and real estate goals.

When Should I Sell?

You should establish a clear and realistic time frame for selling. If you need to sell quickly, I can speed up the process by giving you a complete market analysis and plan to help you achieve all of your goals. If there is no pressing need to sell immediately, we can sit down and thoroughly review the current market conditions and find the most favorable time to sell.

What Is The Market Like?

When you work with me, you can be sure that you will have a knowledgeable expert with negotiating skills that will help you arrive at the best market prices and terms. I will keep you up-to-date on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties. With me you will know exactly how to price and when to sell your property.

Why Should You Choose Our Professionals?

You may opt to try to sell your property yourself, but are you prepared to handle all the documents that are required to sell a home, are you going to hire an attorney, what about the title policy and closing agent, have you planned how you will price, market and handle showing your home?   The days of putting a Fore Sale By Owner in the front yard are gone.  There are many excellent reasons, however, why you should choose Me to assist you in this important undertaking. I will ensure that you maximize your opportunities in the current real estate market. With my extensive contact networks that I have developed through the many national and international organizations, of which I am members, as well as my current and past clients, I will employ the most effective marketing and advertising strategies for your property. I will also guide you through the complicated paperwork involved, from the initial agreement to the final documents.  From Start to Finish I will be working for you to protect your interests and insure the sale of your home goes quickly and smoothly.

What To Look For In An Agent.

The following are a couple of factors to keep in mind when looking for a listing agent:

1. Education. The most important factor in choosing a real estate professional is their education in the real estate industry. I hold two Broker Licenses, one personally and one for my LLC.  I have 14 years of advanced real estate training and 10 years of relocation training and experience.

2. Experience and Expertise. You want a full-time agent who is familiar with your area and with the type of property you intend to sell. Does he or she employ a diverse range of marketing and advertising strategies? How tech-savvy is your agent? How many similar properties has he or she been able to sell in the past?

3. Availability and Commitment. Your agent should be capable of prompt and decisive action during the course of selling your property. Does your agent make it a point to keep in touch with you constantly? Can your agent easily be contacted in case of emergencies or even for the simplest questions? Is your agent available on the weekends or in the evenings when most buyers are out looking?

4. Rapport. Does your agent take the time to listen to your goals and clarify your needs? Can your agent understand your unique situation and be genuinely concerned about the outcome of the process? Your listing agent will be your guide and partner in this crucial decision, so it is important to find one with whom you can get along.

What Is Your Property Worth?

Without a professional agent, most independent property sellers tend to overestimate the value of their property. You can avoid this pitfall by consulting with an experienced real estate listing agent.

You can do a lot to increase the appeal of your property and to create a lasting impact on potential buyers.

What To Do To Prepare:

The following are a couple of factors to keep in mind when listing your property for sale:

1. Curb Appeal.

Keeping your landscape pristine, and adding creative touches to your yard, such as colorful annuals, will create an immediate impact on passers-by and potential buyers.

2. Property Repairs.

Simple upgrades such as window repairs, polishing the doorknobs, and a fresh coat of paint in the most frequently used rooms will instantly brighten up the property.

3. Cleanliness and Staging.

Keep your property uncluttered, sweet-smelling and well-lit from top-to-bottom. Pay attention to details: put away the kitty litter, place a vase of fresh flowers near the entryway, pop a batch of cinnamon rolls in the oven, have your carpets cleaned. Your agent will scan the property before it is listed for sale to see how you can improve the staging of your property.

4. Disclosures and Inspections.

I am very familiar with the legal procedures involved in disclosures and are ready to help you develop a thorough disclosure statement beneficial to both you and the buyer, as well as suggest home improvement measures before placing your property on the market (such as termite and pest inspections).

5. Showtime.

Presenting your property to potential buyers is a job that we will take care of for you. Buyers feel more comfortable discussing the property with the agent, if you are not there. Moreover, your agent will know what information will be most useful in representing your interests when speaking with prospective buyers.

The Price Is Not Always Right.

“The higher the price, the better the offer.” Do not let yourself be fooled by this popular misconception. Price is not always the determining factor when accepting an offer for several important reasons: the initial offer is usually not final, and there are a number of terms and conditions that may influence the final outcome of a price. You can trust that I will help you thoroughly evaluate every proposal without compromising your marketing position.

Negotiating The Right Way.

I take the ethical responsibility of fairly negotiating contractual terms very seriously. It is my job to find a win-win agreement that is beneficial to all parties involved. You may even have to deal with multiple offers before ratifying the one you judge to be the most suitable for you – and as your agent, I will guarantee a thorough and objective assessment of each offer to help you make the right choice.

The Contract “Offer” and Earnest Money “Consideration”

An offer will be sent in the form of a TREC One To Four Family Residential Contract, once executed by both parties this becomes the binding contract.  There are many things to consider when negotiating the terms of the contract, from the Sale Price, Title Policy, Title Company, Date of Closing, Seller Contributions, Residential Service Contract, and the list goes on.

Inspection and Appraisals

Most buyers will have the property inspected by a licensed property inspector within the timeframe that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase. Some buyers will have several different inspectors inspect the property, if they wish to obtain professional opinions from inspectors who specialize in a specific area (eg. roof, HVAC, structure). If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution via third party. This is done so that the lending institution can confirm their investment in your property is accurate. A buyer of a commercial property may also have a complete environmental audit performed and/or soil test, if required by the lending institution.

The Closing Agent.

A title company will act as the closing agent, whose job is to examine and insure clear title to real estate. After researching the complete recorded history of your property, they will certify that 1) your 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.

Contingencies and Option Period

A contingency is a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding. In the Texas contract we use an Option Period, which is purchased from the Seller for a Fee.  This gives the Buyer the Unrestricted Right To Terminate the Contract in the agreed upon time frame, usually 7 to 10 day from contract execution.

During this Option Period the Buyer will conduct the various inspections listed above and based on the results of those inspections do one of three things:

  • Ask for Specific Repairs;
  • Ask for a Reduction in Sale Price based on the cost of those needed repairs;
  • Terminate the Contract and lose their option fee.

How do you respond objectively and fairly to the buyer when a price reduction or renegotiation is demanded, while acting in your best interests? This is when a professional listing agent can make a real difference in the outcome of the transaction. I have successfully negotiated countless contracts with repairs, price reductions, and almost never have a contract terminate due to repair requests.

Loan Approval and Appraisal.

I suggest that you accept buyers who have a lender’s pre-approval, approval letter, or written loan commitment, which is a better guarantee of loan approval than a pre-qualification or no documentation from a lending institute. Expect an appraiser from the lender’s company to review your property and verify that the sales price is appropriate.

Closing Day

If you have come this far, this means that it is almost time for a congratulations, but not yet. Do not forget to tie up these loose ends:

Final Walk-Through Inspection.

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 all is in working order, everything is the same as when the buyer last viewed the property, and that there are no extra items left behind.

Cancel Home Services and Utilities.

We will provide a list of useful numbers for the termination of home services and utilities after the closing occurs.

Be Prepared.

I am ready to assist you should an unforeseen glitch pop up, even at this last stage. If something at the property breaks down or the buyers’ loan does not pull through on time, there is no need to worry. I have encountered these problems before and I know how to handle them efficiently and in a stress-free manner.

Closing.

The closing agent at the Title Company will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process, the HUD-1 statement. The buyer(s) will sign this 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 arrangements can be made depending on the circumstances and the notice that I 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.

Download my BHHS SellerServices PDF.