Home Selling – Where do I start?
Don’t worry, at Smart Realty we will be with you every step of the way; from the valuation of your property, through the marketing and negotiation process, to being at your side during closing!
10 basic steps to Selling your home (with tips to make your home sell faster and for top dollar!)
- Realtor®: Once you have made the decision to sell your home, the first thing we recommend is to find a Professional REALTOR® that has a CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) Designation that takes their responsibility to represent you as the seller the same way they would want to be represented if they were selling their home. The difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor® is simply that a REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. As such a REALTOR® must subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Many real estate agents as well as those with CNE Designations don’t advertise the fact that they have these designations because most people don’t know the difference, and few REALTORS® have the CNE Designation.
- Home Evaluation: Next we need to do a home evaluation based on a comparative market analysis of the price similar houses in your area sold for, while making allowances for their differences. To do so Click Here or click on the FREE Market Evaluation on the Menu Bar. In today’s market if you list your property at the correct price you should get a lot of activity; multiple offer situations are not unusual. A common method of determining if it is a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market is if the average inventory of houses in a given area is less than 5 months it is a Sellers’ Market. Using this method almost all of the D/FW housing market is currently experiencing a Seller’s Market.
- Sign Listing Agreement: Now that you have chosen a REALTOR® and determined a Fair Market Value for your home, it is time to spell out your agreement in writing. As the listing agent, it is our responsibility to do what it takes to bring you ready, willing and able buyers. REALTORS® basically work on a performance basis. We are ethically bound to treat each party to the Real Estate transaction honestly, but we enter into a fiduciary relationship with the seller much like an athlete and his agent; our primary responsibility is to look out for the seller’s interests.
- Seller’s Disclosure Statement: The next step is to fill out the Seller’s Disclosure Statement. This statement is a disclosure of the condition and information concerning the property, known by the Seller. It basically requires sellers to disclose anything they know about the property which could sway a potential buyers decision to proceed with the purchase. The seller’s disclosure statement must be delivered to the buyer or to the buyer’s agent prior to the seller signing an offer to purchase or executing a contract. The disclosure statement must be filled out by the seller, not a third party.
- Preparing your Property for Sale: As they say in interviewing, “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” It used to be that first impressions were made by curb appeal. However in today’s Information Age, curb appeal is rarely the first impression. 80% of home buyers first see your home during an search online. This being said it is just as important to Prepare Your Home For Sale whether the potential buyers see your home first on the internet or during a showing. If your home doesn’t sparkle it may not get noticed. First look at the things that can be done with little effort (mowing, edging and watering your lawn; trimming your shrubbery; spray washing the front of your house, removing leaves hanging out of gutters; cleaning the windows; and painting the front door and door sill). Make minor repairs (patch holes in walls, change out light bulbs to brighten you house, change dirty light switch and electrical socket plates) Lastly, if you do nothing else de-clutter your home. Everyone needs to determine how much work they want to put in to preparing their home for sale, however the aforementioned items could be accomplished in just a couple of days and could make a significant difference in how quickly and for how much your home sells.
- MLS Listings: MLS Listings are the primary way Real Estate Professionals find out about homes for sale. It is also the primary way Real Estate Agents let their prospective buyers know about homes that meet their price range and specific criteria. As previously mentioned 80% of home buyers begin their search for homes on the internet. In a survey conducted by the NAR (National Association of Realtors®) people looking for homes rated pictures as the primary feature used most when searching for a home on the internet.
- Staging Your Home: Long past are the days where you stage your home for showing only. If photos are the primary feature that attracts people to want to view you property, it is important to take a lot of high quality pictures. It is important to use as much natural lighting as possible and de-clutter your home; you want to highlight your space, not what’s in it. Clear your home of personal pictures, toys, refrigerator magnets, magazines, etc. Make your home sparkle; the time spent will be well worth the effort.
- Contract Negotiation: Once you receive an offer, you have three options: decline the offer, accept the offer, or make a counter offer. We will provide you with our honest opinion on what is in your best interest, however ultimately, we represent you and will defer to you for the final decision. If you would like to make a counter offer we are educated and experienced in the negotiation process.
- Inspection/Appraisal: The buyer will almost always want to have the property inspected to protect what will probably be their largest investment to date. More often than not, we will incur another negotiation stage upon the completion of the Home Inspection. Buyers typically want to have the seller assist in or pay for the repairs the inspector recommends. We usually leave some wiggle room in our asking price to offset any repairs. Some repairs are required to be done in order to meet federal loan guidelines. Who pays for repairs and how much is paid is all negotiable. There will also be an appraisal required by the lender to protect their investment. The appraiser will use a combination of up to three different appraisal methods to determine the appraised value of your home.
- Closing: Once both parties have signed off we will schedule a closing date with the title company. We make every effort to be at every closing! The closing process should usually be accomplished in 30-45 minutes.