INTERESTED IN SELLING?
HIRE A LISTING AGENT - Selling a home can become a daunting and full-time task. Between pricing your home correctly, answering phone calls from prospecting buyers, scheduling appointments, negotiating, keeping track of timelines, and understanding the disclosures and contracts; it can quickly become overwhelming. Hiring an agent that has experience, knowledge, and expertise in the field is imperative to not only navigating the entirety of the transaction, but also helping the process move as smoothly as possible between parties. Finding a trustworthy and experienced listing agent is the first step to a successful closing.
SCHEDULE A COMPARATIVE MARKET ANALYSIS (CMA) - This appointment is scheduled in the beginning of the selling process. This is for the agent to visit the home and take note/analyze various factors and characteristics of the property. These factors typically include location, age, size, construction, style, condition, and updates. These factors and characteristics are then used for the agent to generate a report of recently sold, comparable homes in the area. This is used to help determine the approximate value of the property at a price that is appropriate based on the current market.
NOTE: This market analysis report is not an appraisal and should not be construed as one. Should you desire an opinion of value for any reason other than to help determine a price for your home to put on the market for sale or to arrive at a price when preparing to make an offer to purchase, you should contact a licensed appraiser.
DECIDE ON A LIST PRICE - Once the recommended CMA price is established, the agent and seller will plan a meeting to discuss pricing and timelines for listing. Your real estate agent can guide you to an appropriate number based on their expertise of the current market, but the final decision rests in the sellers hands. Also, remember that a listing price is not necessarily how much the property will sell for. Depending on buyer demand, this number could fluctuate. It is important during this time to discuss plans and strategies for both, multiple offer situations or price reductions, depending on where the local market stands. Discussing these scenarios early helps alleviate any surprises along the way.
PREPARE THE HOME FOR LISTING (SPRUCING, REPAIRS, CLEANING, MAINTENANCE) - Once a seller establishes a price and timeline for listing their home, it is important to prepare the property for marketing. The agent should provide a recommended list for the seller to complete before scheduling photos. This often includes cleaning (house, carpet, roof, siding), yard sprucing, touch up paint, decluttering, staging, repairs, etc. These are not always necessary or essential, but can be recommended to help generate more buyer interest, which in turn, can drive up the price of the home.
SCHEDULE PHOTOS - The final step before listing the home is scheduling professional photography. An experienced agent will always hire a professional to do both interior and exterior photos. This is because often times the photos are what's piquing a buyer's interest and prompting them to schedule a showing. Quality marketing of a home is one of the most important steps an agent can do for their sellers. Getting people to the property for showings is the first and most important step in generating an offer. Professional photos can help to not only sell a home quicker, but often times at a higher price.
LIST THE HOME - Now that the home has been prepared for marketing and photos are completed, the home is ready to be listed to attract buyers. The real estate agent who represents the seller is responsible for this step. Once they’ve shared the home on the local multiple listing service (MLS), and any other platforms they have access to (i.e. Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, social media, other brokers & brokerages) - buyer’s agents will be able to view the property and schedule showings with their clients.
RECEIVE AND REVIEW OFFER(S) - Once an offer is received, the seller will have to decide what terms they are looking for, and if that particular offer is going to be strong enough to accept. It is important to remember that a seller can always counter to the buyer's offer. This is where an experienced agent is very beneficial, as they are trained to be expert negotiators. If a seller receives multiple offers, it is key to determine what factors are most important, as it is not always the highest bidder that has the best "terms". It is crucial to keep an eye out for additional contingencies that are written in the offer. An experienced agent will be able to help a seller navigate the contract accurately, and assist in determining what terms are most beneficial to the seller's needs.
OPEN ESCROW - Once there is an accepted offer, the agent will open escrow. The escrow company acts as a neutral third party to collect the required funds and documents involved in the closing process, including the initial earnest money check, the loan documents, and all documents from the seller's real estate agent.
BUYER'S EARNEST MONEY DEPOSITED WITH ESCROW - Earnest money is a deposit made to the seller that represents a buyer's good faith to purchase a home. The amount is traditionally 1-2% of the sales price and is typically due within 3 days of an accepted offer.
SELLER'S PROPERTY DISCLOSURE - This is a document the seller’s fill out to explain known material facts, conditions and/or any defects of the home. This is also considered a contingency of the transaction. Once it is filled out by the seller, the buyer's will have 5 business days to review and either approve or disapprove of the property. If the buyer's do not approve of the disclosures, they may terminate the transaction and have earnest money returned.
BUYER'S SCHEDULE INSPECTIONS - The sales agreement has an “inspection contingency,” meaning that the buyer's may have an inspection completed on the home. After the inspection, the buyer's can either approve of the findings or negotiate needed repairs with the seller. However, sellers are not obligated to complete these repair requests. If repairs cannot be negotiated, the buyer's have the ability to terminate the transaction and have their earnest money returned, as long it is still within the inspection timeline that is agreed upon when the offer was accepted.
BUYER'S APPRAISAL - An appraisal is required and set up by the lender. If the seller receives a cash offer, this is not always applicable (unless the cash buyer wishes to hire an appraiser to value the property. However, this is rare). The appraisal is used to determine the value of the home. The appraiser will do a visual inspection of the property, run comparables, and determine the home’s value (similar to a CMA). This process usually takes a few weeks and normally won’t require action on the seller or the agent’s behalf.
SCHEDULE SIGNING - At this appointment all final documents will be signed with the seller's escrow officer. This appointment generally happens the day before funding and recording.
CLOSE (FUNDING AND RECORDING) - This is when the loan or cash is officially funded. After funding, the buyers name is recorded on the deed with the county. Once recording is completed with the county, all monies are dispersed to seller. Possession of the home generally occurs at 5pm of that business day (unless possession after closing is otherwise agreed upon in the contract).