Your home is more than an architectural structure. Often, it’s an extension of who you are – your personality, style and values. That is why selling you home can be an emotional experience but, it can also be exciting and rewarding. From helping you determine the best asking price, to walking you through the closing process and everything in between, the experienced real estate professionals at Sunday Rive Real Estate are here to make your home selling process a smooth one.
Here is a snapshot of the steps involved with selling your property:
Step 1: Reason for Selling
It is often more emotional to sell a home than to buy a home, and the reason for selling your home may be a determining factor in the urgency of the sale. The urgency may also have an effect on the price of the property. Give some consideration to all of the factors that can influence the sale of your home such as the location, condition, size, design/style and accessibility.
Step 2: The Cost of Selling
It is important to first calculate the expenses that may be incurred while selling your home. Some of the costs association with selling a property may include the real estate commission, attorney fees, real estate transfer taxes, property taxes and homeowner association fees. Your real estate agent can provide you with a good faith estimate of your closing costs.
Step 3: Price
The most important factor when putting your home on the market to sell is setting the right price. The price at which your property is marketed can make or break the deal. Your real estate agent will prepare a comparative market analysis, comparing your property to recent sales of similar properties in the area, in order to estimate the market value of your property and to help you determine the best asking price.
Step 4: Condition of Your Property
The condition of your property is always a factor in how quickly your home sells. It’s a fact: acquiring the highest market value and elevating your home above the others in the same price range often comes down to first impressions. Your real estate agent will be able to advise you on what today’s discerning buyers are looking for and give ideas that will maximize your home’s appeal. Sometimes a small investment in time and money can give you a big edge over your competition and generate a faster sale at a higher price.
Step 5: Listing Your Property
You and your agent should pick a date to get the property officially “listed” and then work back from there to plan the work. Your home should be “open house ready” for the photo shoot. Listing photos are people’s first impression of your home today. While curb appeal still matters, photos are the single most important part of presenting your house in a positive light so plan to get all the work done before the photo shoot. The hardest part for most sellers is the weeks and months leading up to a sale. Once the home is on the market, the home is out there, in its full glory for all the buyers to see.
Step 6: Negotiate an Offer
Perhaps the most complex moment in the sales process comes when you get an offer for your home. Whether you have one offer or several offers to consider, your agent will educate you on the terms of the offer and help you understand the offer in the context of your market area. As a seller, you have the options of accepting the offer as is, declining the offer, or making a counteroffer.
Here are a few of the factors to consider:
- How close is the offer to your asking price?
- Will your home appraise for the contract price?
- How large is the earnest money deposit that accompanied the offer?
- Has the buyer asked for assistance with closing costs?
- Has the buyer asked for inspections?
- Is the requested closing date appropriate for your needs?
- Is the offer contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing and if so, are they pre-qualified?
Your real estate agent will be able to assist you with evaluating each offer and negotiating the highest possible price and best terms for you.
Step 7: The Art of Settling
When you have a signed contract with the buyer for your home, you may feel as if you can breathe a sigh of relief, but before you can completely relax you need to get to the closing table. During this phase, the buyer’s lender will require that your house be appraised, a title search be conducted and other documentation be obtained. Your agent will also refer your file to a real estate attorney of your choosing to request that a deed be prepared in anticipation of the closing. Once the buyer’s loan has been approved, the closing will be scheduled and the final closing statement, also known as the closing disclosure or CD, will be prepared by the closing attorney. The CD will include your closing costs, legal fees, transfer taxes and pro-rations for property taxes and association dues, if applicable.
Step 8: Closing the Deal
If you’ve efficiently taken care of everything connected with the sale of your property, the experience of selling will be a positive experience with no surprises. Just prior to the closing (within 24 hours) the buyer will likely do a final walkthrough to make sure it’s in the same condition as when the contract was signed. The closing will usually take place at the office of the title attorney but it can be done by mail if it is more convenient for you. Once all of the closing documents are signed, sealed and delivered on the closing day, the keys will be turned over to the buyer who usually takes immediate occupancy.