The Selling Process
Our agents have successfully guided hundreds of area sellers through the home selling process, from the initial consultation with our clients to the excitement of the day of actual transfer of title. We are highly experienced in the steps necessary to market and sell a home, and our understanding of real estate law and the complex contract procedures enhances our ability to assist our sellers in getting the best terms of sale for their property. We work with our sellers to understand the unique mix of issues that are important to each sale, and to apply this understanding throughout the sale process. Our goal is make certain that we are totally focused on reaching a sale that is truly in the seller’s best interests.
The following is an outline of the home selling process for our area, including what each seller can expect to accomplish in each step along the route to the home sale. You can relax as we move forward, confident in the knowledge that many, many other sellers have been down this road before, that we are here to guide you, and that this should ultimately be rewarding.
Step One:The Sales Process and Identification of Objectives
Just like any good project, the first step is to discuss the fundamentals of your home sale. It is important that we understand the basics of your sale, including why you are relocating and when you need to move. What is the condition of the property, and are you willing to make changes if necessary to increase the likelihood of selling the property? What do you owe on the property and how flexible are you regarding listing price and closing date? These and other factors can have a significant impact on decisions regarding the timing of the listing, the list price, the nature of improvements to be made to the property, and an acceptable settlement date. Once we have discussed these issues we can provide our clients with an in-depth overview of the selling process, identifying each step where opportunities exist for the seller to maximize their selling opportunities, and ensuring that our sellers are comfortable with every step before we begin.
Step Two: Comparables
We know the market in the area, and we provide our clients with current information regarding the overall market for local home sales, including documentation for recent local sales of comparable properties and how such sales reflect on the value of our clients’ properties. It is important that you understand what these comparable sales mean in relation to your home sale and that everyone agrees on your initial list price. Pricing your property incorrectly can result in your home languishing on the market, costing you valuable time and resources, or selling below market price and costing you direct sales dollars. We strive to assist you in setting a list price that is in your best interests.
Step Three: Property Evaluate, Staging and Repairs.
It is imperative that your property is in the best showing condition possible. This does not mean that you have to sink money into the property, but rather that it shows as the best example of what it is. That is, it can show as the best four bedroom, two bath colonial in a newer neighborhood, or it can show as the best short sale and greatest value among other short sales. In today’s market, buyers are very selective, and only those properties that stand out will attract an offer. We know what buyers are looking for, and we assist you in identifying positive enhancements that could result in a faster sale or a higher sales price, as well as those factors that must be corrected in order to permit any sale at all.
We also assist you in properly staging your property and in suggesting changes to the overall presentation of the property so that it shows itself in the best light possible. Studies show that homes that are staged sell much more quickly and for a higher price than homes that are not staged. Each of our agents are experienced stagers in their own right, but we will pull in full time stagers when the property condition requires that we do so.
Step Four: Digital, Print and Internet Marketing
Studies show that over 95% of all buyers employ the web in their home search, and that the vast majority of these shoppers will not even consider looking at a property that does not have a substantial photographic depiction of the property. We recognize the importance of a strong digital presentation of the property, and we fully document your property for both digital and print advertising. on our website, the real estate agents’ multiple list service, and the vast array of independent real estate websites which provide this information to the buying public. We employ the greatest use of appropriate digital and print advertising to effectively present the property to the widest range of potential buyers, including specifically our website, the multiple list service for real estate agents, and the use of a vast array of real estate websites that target buyers in this region. We use the available tools to ensure that virtually any buyers looking for a home like yours will find your listing on one or more real estate websites.
On the very local level, we place a Sale sign with a brochure holder on your property, hold appropriate Brokers Open Houses to showcase the property for other real estate professionals, and advertise and hold Open Houses especially for neighbors and friends who may know someone who is interested in relocating into this neighborhood.
Step Five: Offer and Contract Negotiation
Using our extensive experience and knowledge of the sale process, we assist our clients in the complex evaluation of each individual purchase offer, emphasizing the balance of effects that various terms may have on the overall acceptability of the offer when compared to the best interests of our seller. Once you have evaluated an offer that you deem to have potential, we assist you in the complex contract negotiation process and in the determination of the final terms with the goal of ensuring a contract that is in your best interests.
Step Six:Home Inspection and Repair Negotiations
The sale of the home is not done when the buyer agrees to your terms in the Contract. Not by far. Following contract the buyer will evaluate the property to be certain that it is in a condition that meets their expectations. For this to happen the buyer will need to have a professional home inspector evaluate the entire property. Based upon the results of the home inspection, the buyer will provide you with a list of items that the buyer wants you to repair. This list can be short or quite exhaustive, but the terms of the Contract afford the buyer the right to terminate the contract under certain circumstances relative to their repair request. This is a very important and often quite contentious part of the purchase process, given that you will possibly wish to limit your expenditure of time or money on a property you are leaving. We are very sensitive to this inspection process, and we are quite skilled at assisting the parties in reaching an agreement regarding repairs. We understand the effect of the terms of the Contract in this area, and we will monitor the repair process to ensure that your interests are protected.
Step Seven:Appraisal, Loan Approval and Closing
While everything else is going on regarding the home inspection and repairs, the lender will have your home appraised to assure the lender that the property is worth the loan. The loan process has become much more detailed in the past few years as a result of the tighter loan requirements during the recent economic slowdown and the lender will not provide a loan for more money than the amount of the appraised value. We will provide the appraiser with documents showing the value of comparable homes in the area to support the purchase price as representing a fair market value, and should the appraisal come back below purchase price we will negotiate with the buyer seeking to reach some agreement that can save the sale.
Step Eight: Lender Documentation, Title Search and Settlement
The last step in the purchase process involves the use of a title company. The title company does the title search to ensure that you as the seller are the actual owner of the property and that the deed is not encumbered in any way. The title company also takes the loan documents from the lender and combines them with the title search results to create the final loan package. This loan package sets forth the obligations of the parties regarding the closing process, including how much money the buyer needs to have on hand in order to purchase your home, and how much money you will either receive at closing, or what amount you will need to bring to closing in order to pay off any outstanding mortgages or other debts. We fully understand the many issues that can arise as the lender and the title company complete their work, and we will monitor and guide all of the parties toward this final transfer of title from you to the buyer.