The Sales Process - What To Expect When You Sell Your Home


Research

  • Do some research and consult your Realtor. A Realtor can assess your home and assist with preparing your home for sale. Some suggestions may be:

  • Clean and repair

  • Curb Appeal - Straighten it up. Get rid of old cars, garbage barrels, and all blight. Buyers will do a drive-by to see the house and the neighborhood before they decide if they want to view the house.

  • Declutter- It makes the home, rooms, and closets look more spacious. You’re going to be packing to move anyways. Start cleaning out the cramped closets and rooms now.

  • Depersonalize - remove photos or tone down. It’s a big distraction to buyers. You want them to visualize themselves living there.

  • Neutralize - a fresh coat of paint (a neutral tone) is one of the most inexpensive but very effective updates.

Comparative Market Analysis

  • Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from your Realtor. They should prepare a CMA of your property that will analyze the current market and analyze your area to determine what price your house will sell for. Price is one of the most important steps in selling your home in a timely manner and receives the best return. see article

Listing Agreement

  • Sign a listing agreement with a Realtor/Broker to list and market your property for sale.

Property Conditions Statement

  • The Seller completes a form that asks questions about the property. The sellers discloses information such as age of structure, age of roof, has there been any drainage problems, etc.

Advertise

  • Marketing. It is what you’ve hired the Realtor for. Get exposure to get the sale.

  • Excellent quality photographs - Your 1st showing/1st impression is typically online-make it count -see article

  • Virtual tours

  • Custom property flyers

  • Direct mail campaigns

  • Local, national and international advertising

  • Open house promotion

  • Mobile marketing

  • Agent-to-agent outreach

  • Cutting edge online marketing

  • Social media

  • Showing - try to never turn down a showing request. Sellers should not be present at the showings. This makes for an uncomfortable situation with the potential buyers. Let them view the home with their vision.

Offers

  • Your agent will present all offers to you. You should be presented with supporting documentation, i.e. buyer’s prequalification (the lender has reviewed some preliminary information on the buyer - not to be confused with an approval), the written offer, proof of funds if needed, deposit check. Your agent will negotiate all terms of the offer with the buyer’s agent.

  • Your agent will review the offer with you and discuss with and advise you on your options. Should you accept or counter? Are there any conditions that the buyer has requested? Conditions are negotiable too. Once the terms are agreed upon, all parties sign. A typical length of time from signing to close is anywhere between 30 days and 2 months on average, depending on the type of funding or financing the buyer needs.

Attorney

  • You need to hire an attorney if you haven’t done so yet. If you don’t have a real estate attorney, your realtor will give you the name of a few attorneys to select from. Make sure they specialize in Real Estate Law.

Home Inspections

  • They will be done after the contract is in force. The buyer will hire and pay for the home inspection. A Home Inspection can take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the home. The sellers should not be present for the home inspection. The Realtor(s) will accompany the buyer. If any issues arise, you will be presented a remedy request from the buyers. Structural, safety and health issues would be issues that are requested to be remedied.

Appraisal

  • An appraisal is required for a buyer’s mortgage. This is at the buyer’s expense. They take place sometime within the first couple of weeks into the contract.

Prepare For The Move

  • You should seriously be starting to plan your move once the home inspections and appraisal are completed and any new terms are agreed upon.

Buyer’s Mortgage Commitment

  • One of the final steps to wait for is the buyer’s commitment from their lender. A mortgage commitment is issued approximately 1 week before closing. It is a formal offer by the lender stating the terms under which it agrees to lend money to a home buyer.

The Final Walkthrough

  • The buyers take a final walkthrough before closing to inspect that the home is in the same condition as when they first signed the contract with the sellers. They also inspect any repairs that may have been made. The sellers are typically not present for this.

The Closing

  • Again, this can take anywhere from 30 days - 2+ months from the time the contract is signed, depending on the buyer's funding. The title to the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. The keys are handed over. If the seller has a mortgage, that will be paid with proceeds from the sale. The seller will receive the net proceeds after the seller's closing costs are paid. see article seller's costs

These steps are a guideline. As with anything, there is always the possibility that some time frames, expenses, etc. may vary.

© 2020 by Judy Meucci

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