Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Your agent should be a Realtor! Realtors are held to a higher standard and must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of you the seller, client. As a Realtor’s client you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters.
Your Realtor will work exclusively for you by way of a listing agreement in obtaining the best price and terms possible. Your Realtor will give you advice and council throughout the entire selling process. Your Realtor does have a legal duty to act solely in your interest as a fiduciary. Your Realtor should explain the entire process so you know what to expect with each step. Your Realtor should be available directly to you at all times. Your Realtor should be well connected and have a vast network of colleagues and vendors to assist as needed.
MOST IMPORTANTLY Your Realtor MUST be ahead of the curve in this digital and social marketing age.
Determine the home’s value or market price
One of the most important steps is pricing the property at the best price possible. Pricing takes much research of the comparable properties nearby, the location and the condition of the home. Pricing the property should be in line with the comparable properties and should be right at fair market price.
Pricing your home higher will not bring a higher purchase price, consumers and especially their agents know what the home is actually worth. By overpricing you potentially lose out on possible buyers looking in the price range yours should be listed in and buyers make assumptions that you’re an unreasonable seller and may be difficult to work with. An overpriced home tends to sit on the market longer appearing stale or problematic to a buyer.
You also need to keep in mind, if overpriced it will most likely have appraisal issues making it difficult to find a buyer willing to overpay.
The best price to market your property is a good, fair market price. In the case of a seller’s market you may even create a bidding war which may drive up the price a little more and/or you can choose the buyer with the best conditions and terms.
Tax values and Zestimates are NOT used in pricing a property for sale. Market value can best be determined by a real estate professional after much research into your home and the homes nearby.
Preparing the Home to Market
To achieve the best possible price, you must remove yourself emotionally and somewhat physically from the home. You are now selling a product to a consumer and you want to present it in the best light. First de-clutter to help reveal the beauty of your home. Your Realtor will make recommendations, they may be simple improvements or they may suggest paint and flooring, you may even need to stage the home to market it properly. Preparing your home will ensure your home attracts the buyers.
A Pre-Certified Home for Sale
While it is not required, it is proving to be a great selling point. Pre certifying a home for sale ensures no surprises and minimizes the chance of delays due to unforeseen issues. There will most likely be an inspection done by the buyer and an appraisal done by the buyer’s lender anyway. Having these things done earlier and any issues with home addressed before putting your home on the market makes your home stand above others. The value to buyers is shown in better selling prices and smoother transactions. Marketing a pre certified home shows that you are confident in the product you are selling and most likely any possible issues were resolved.
Marketing Your Home
Successfully selling a home requires a good mix of marketing, executing, and customer service. Tools and Technology are” key” in today’s real estate market. Digital marketing as well as social marketing will put your home in front of more buyers than ever before. Your home should be listed on the MLS as it is still the most reliable and accurate source available. It should also be available on all of the major sites that buyers are browsing and networked among your Realtor’s colleagues, friends and past clients. It should also be made available to other websites. It may also be sent by direct mail to clients or nearby neighbors. Your Realtor may even choose to do an “open house”. Your Realtor should have the expertise in ensuring your home is viewed by buyers looking for specific characteristics of a home.
Professional Photos and Virtual Tours is a MUST. There is no substitute for professional real estate photography and virtually touring a home. Proper lighting, knowing the right angles, highlighting certain characteristics and photo editing make all the difference in your home standing out when it is displayed on websites all over the country.
You need to make available the product you are selling. I know it is difficult, especially in the first couple of weeks when showings are at the highest level, but the one buyer you turn down because it was inconvenient, may have been THE one.
You usually only have one chance with a buyer, they move on to the next home if it becomes inconvenient to view a home. And it is important that you leave the home and let potential buyers feel free to imagine themselves living there. This cannot happen if you are there.
Keep the house spotless and in order, makes sure counters sparkle and lighting is bright. Open blinds and make sure the entire house smells good, a light fresh scent is best.
Offers and Negotiations
Once an offer is made, your Realtor will review to be sure it is in order and signed properly and notify you immediately. Your Realtor will present to you all aspects of the offer and advise you accordingly. If you choose to accept, reject or simply respond, your Realtor will communicate with the buyer’s agent and/or negotiate on your behalf. Keep in mind that the highest price offered is not always the best offer to accept.
After all is accepted by both parties and signed, the buyers will be doing their due diligence. They will schedule a home inspection and an appraisal for which you will need to make the house available. If the inspection reports anything in need of repair, the buyer may ask you to make such repairs. With the advice and council of your Realtor you will decide how best to proceed. You will have to decide to make such repairs, some repairs or no repairs and/or negotiate a dollar amount to allow buyers to repair on their own.
Don’t forget to bring the keys to closing.
It is helpful to leave appliance information and warranties, utility information, codes to garage and/or remotes and anything specific to the home in a folder on the counter for the new owners.