Home Sellers Guide
Pricing a home
If you are planning on selling a house, you will need to decide what price to ask for your home. This is one of the most important and difficult decisions you will make. Buyers select by comparison shopping, so your home must be fair market priced. I can help you determine the fair market value of your home. The first five sections of this help guide will take you through a quick overview of the selling process.
Remember, your home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. By working with a qualified real estate professional, you can ensure that your property will receive the needed exposure to attract interested parties who are willing to make an offer.
The first step in determining the market value of your home is to prepare a comparative market analysis reflecting the prices of other sold houses in the your market area. There is usually no charge to have a CMA prepared for you. If you would like a free CMA prepared on your property, please contact a real estate professional.
You may think you can always lower the price, but overpriced listings aren't shown and houses that are on the market a long time become "shop worn" and do not sell for top dollar.
When you are selling your home you want to present the very best product. Buyers carefully inspect property. Keep the exterior neat by painting the trim, clipping the hedges, mowing, edging, and weeding the lawn and you may wish to plant a few flowers.
Inside lighten up the dark corners, perhaps add some fresh paint and put the clutter away to give the rooms an open feeling. Make sure there are no "stale" odors in the home. This can be especially important for remote areas such as a basement or attic. On the second showings, you may want to consider baking some cookies or bring in some fragrant fresh flowers. This will add a cheery and pleasant scent to your home. These little things may help you sell your home more quickly.
Marketing Your Home
It is not likely that the right buyer will simply walk through your door. Properties must be presented to the buyers. A successful marketing campaign can insure a number of qualified buyers. Select an agent who uses agent to agent marketing, and one who uses state-of-the-art techniques such as an interactive voice-response system, a front end MLS system and the internet. Make sure your agent is trained not only in the financial aspect of a real estate transaction, but the marketing aspect as well.
Assuming you price your home correctly, a prospective buyer will "make an offer." As the seller, you have three options: you can accept the offer, reject the offer or make a counter offer. A counter offer usually will encourage a buyer to continue their negotiations. You may also receive multiple offers. You may prefer to take slightly less for your property from someone who is willing to pay cash, versus someone who needs to sell their current home. Contingencies, move-in dates, and financing are all things to consider when weighing an offer.
After you accept an offer on your property there are a number of details to be completed. There will probably be an inspection of your home by a professional who will determine the condition and integrity of your property for the buyer. The buyer's mortgage company may choose to send out an appraiser who will assure the lender of your property's worth. The title company will warranty that there are no liens or existing encumbrances which would inhibit a transfer of title to the buyer. Either you or the buyer may chose to be represented by an attorney. First time sellers and buyers often feel more comfortable to have the paper work reviewed prior to signing.
During the Showing
Can You Sell Your House Yourself?
The best reason for working with real estate brokers is the enormous amount of information they have at their disposal. Professionals know about market trends, houses in your neighborhood, and the people most likely to buy there. They also know how to reach the largest number of people who may be interested in your house, and are trained in areas like screening potential buyers and negotiating with them. Finally, Realtors are always "on-call," and willing to do the things most of us hate: working on the weekends, answering the phone at all hours, and always being polite.
How to Determine Your Asking Price.
Fix Your House Up Before it Goes on the Market.
Unless your house is nearly new, chances are you want to do some work to get it ready to market. The type and amount of work depends largely on the price you ask, the time you have to sell, and of course, the present condition of the house. If you are in a hurry to sell, do the "little things" that make your house look better from the outside and show better inside.
"Curb appeal" is a common real estate term for everything prospective buyers can see from the street that might make them want to see the inside of the property. Improving curb appeal is critical to generating traffic. While it does take time, it need not be difficult or expensive, provided you keep two key words in mind: neat and neutral.
Neatness sells. New paint, an immaculate lawn, picture-perfect shrubbery, a newly sealed driveway, potted plants at the front door -- put them all together, and drive-by shoppers will probably want to see the rest of the house. Hand-in-hand with neatness is neutrality. If you're going to repaint, stick to light, neutral colors. Keep the yard free of gardening tools and the kids' toys. Remember, when a family looks at a house, they are trying to paint a picture of what it would be like as their home.
Make Sure Your House Shows its Best.
First, make your house look as clean and spacious as possible. Remember, people may look behind your doors -- closet and crawlspace doors as well as those to the bedrooms and bathrooms. So get rid of all the clutter; have that garage sale and haul away the leftovers. After you've cleaned, try to correct any cosmetic flaws you've noticed. Paint rooms that need it, grout tile walls and floors, remove or replace any worn-out carpets. Replace dated faucets, light fixtures, and the handles and knobs on your kitchen drawers and cabinets. Finally, as with the outside of your house, try to make it easy for prospective buyers to imagine your house as their home. Clear as much from your walls, shelves, and countertops as you can. Give your prospects plenty of room to dream.
Moving does not always mean a traumatic experience. Comprehensive pre-planning, organization, and family meetings to establish each person's responsibilities will go a long way in maintaining harmony and efficiency. For the children: If you are moving out-of-town, provide the children with photographs of their new home and school. Once they know what to expect and begin to visualize themselves in their new surroundings, they grow much happier and more cooperative.
Give each child his or her own "packing labels" for marking personal possessions.
Provide them with floor plans of their new bedrooms so they can participate in furniture placement. Give children small address books for noting names and addresses of friends they leave behind. They can look forward to filling the remainder of the book with names of the new friends they make after moving.