So you have decided to sell your home!
Maybe you are moving on to something bigger and better, maybe you have a job transfer, maybe you are downsizing for retirement, or you have out grown your smaller home. What ever your reason, it is my goal to help you achieve yours.
For over 14 years I have helped many families such as yourself sell their home and make smooth Real Estate transactions. It is a personal goal of mine to see you in the home you have dreamed of.
If you are moving, I want to set your mind at ease & that you are happy and confident in the choice you have made to let me sell your home.
I have compiled a list of important things you should consider when selling. This comes from many past clients questions and concerns over the years.
I hope it helps you to be informed and give more understanding of this sometimes confusing process.
You have expectations! You know what you want and how you will get there! It is my role as your Real Estate Agent to help you sort through everything and hopefully “EXCEED” your expectations.
The listing Appointment
When you first make a listing appointment you should make sure you book enough time to get all your questions answered. You should know what you want to ask and you should be ready for questions that myself as an agent will ask.
* Repairs that have been done to the home
* The age of the home
* Damage that may have happened to your home
* Special features that set your home apart, compared to others in the area
* Your expectations of your agent
Are just to name a few. By the time you have made the decision to sell you will have more than this I am sure. By the time your listing appointment arrives both you and your agent should be well prepared.
I will meet with you in your home, this allows for time to view the property both inside and out, to become more familiar with it. It is a good idea to have the home in showcase quality, just as you would if you putting it on the market tomorrow. We want to see just how the home would show and it will be better for you as it can get you more for your home.
After visiting we will discuss an asking price for the home. The basis for your selling price is its market value, commonly defined as the amount a willing buyer will pay A willing seller.
A good rule of thumb is that homes priced more than 5% over market value WONT SELL. That’s because a buyer who feels your home is over priced will more readily buy “ more house” some where else for the same money.
Have all documentation ready that will explain such things as yearly heating costs, repairs that were carried out, appraisals, surveys, property taxes etc.etc.
Pricing Guidelines for your House
•what you paid originally for the property does not affect its value
•the amount of money you need to get from the sale of your home does not affect its value
•what you think it should be worth has no effect on its value
•what another Real Estate Agent says your property is worth does not affect its value
•An appraisal does not always indicate what your home is worth on the market as there are different types of appraisals.
The value of your property is determined by what a ready, willing and able buyer will pay for it on the open Market, which will be based upon the value of other recent closed sales in the area.
BUYERS DETERMINE MARKET VALUE!!!!!
***DO NOT automatically list with the agent that gives you the highest price.
A Real Estate Agent has no control over the Market Conditions, only their Marketing Plan. Never Select a Agent based on the price they promise. Select an Agent based on criteria about their company, there sales track record, experience, and the services they provide to you!
True professionals will give you truthful feedback and accurate information so you can price to sell in this market.
Getting Ready for the BUYERS!!
All other factors being equal, the home that makes the best “FIRST IMPRESSION” often sells the quickest. Use your common sense as to what a buyer would most like to see.
Start outside the home, trim lawns & shrubs. Clean up the yard, including tools and toys. Look for signs that the house might not be well-maintained- things like loose shingles, gutters, cracking caulk on windows and doors, even peeling paint. If you can afford to dress the home up with seasonal decorations and new hardware it helps.
Inside the home, your first impression is of the entranceway! Is it warm, welcoming, well lit and clutter free? Give visitors a pleasant aroma, a sense of clean walls, carpets, floors, and an attractive neutral color scheme. A coat of fresh paint is often the best investment.
In the living areas, shoot for clean but lived-in, cozy atmosphere. Get rid of worn furniture and add lamps if the rooms are to dark. Set out fresh flowers or arrange the furniture in the most welcoming manner.
A critical area for home buyers is the Kitchen. Don’t show your house before you clean the stove, especially if they will be conveyed to the buyer. Clean eating areas, and make sure that all the appliances work. If you wouldn’t be comfortable eating off the counter chances area a buyer won’t be able to imagine it either.
This goes for other areas of the home too, bathrooms!! Make them spotless and squeaky clean from lime & rust deposits & plumbing problems.
Bedroom area & personal space, you want them to be clean & inviting. Closets, hallways and floors should be clutter free. Give the best impression of space for your buyer.
If you have a rec-room, emphasize its relaxing & fun atmosphere. Show off its flexibility by furniture arrangement and highlight things like track lighting or ceiling fans.
Your garage may be your storage area, but don’t assume that a buyer will use it the same way. You should have as little clutter as possible there, just a car if possible. Check for oil stains on the cement, ensure strong overhead lighting and organize storage or work areas.
The same goes for the basement, but here you’ll also want to be on the lookout for mold and dampness, which you may be able to cure with a bag of limestone. Check and clean your water heater and furnace, make access to the utilities and electrical panel if need be.
Even your attic is for sale, and buyers will indeed check it. Clean it too and light it well if it’s not already. Get rid of anything that you don’t need and even pack items that are going away! STORE YOUR STUFF!! Storage is becoming more popular and can make you get more for the sale of your home.
How much preparation is to much? Well, I am glad you asked!! Any redecoration project before you sell needs to be examined. It’s difficult if not impossible to anticipate the tastes of a prospective buyer. Your best bet is to stick to simple things like fresh paint, neutral décor & clutter free. Most of all, clean, clean, clean works best every time!!!
It’s possible to over-improve your house for a sale. Some projects may raise your home’s marketability, but if you go overboard, you may end up pricing your home out of the range of other homes in your area.
Still, any of your “fixing-up” expenses are worth it in the long run!
Showing your Home
Even though you spend all this time getting your home ready for sale, the selling it is the job of the Real Estate Agent. We will take responsibility for marketing the house to appropriate audiences and bringing the buyers to view the home. A lot of marketing is done by MLS ( Multiple Listing Services) You home’s profile is entered in a database available to over 1500 agents in Nova Scotia. Other Agents will tour your home on line and become familiar with it and offer it to a prospective buyer they may have.
Although most clients feel it is the responsibility of the listing Agent to bring the buyers to the property, this only happens about 12% of the time. Imagine if I have only 5 buyers looking for homes, but 1500 other agents each have 5 buyers, now you have 7500 buyers looking at your home. It would be great if every time we listed a property we sold it, this is not the case, it is our job to get you the most money for your home by getting it SOLD!
In my office I use many, many forms of advertising & marketing tools. MLS & the traditional “FOR SALE” sign on your lawn is just the beginning. I have my own web-site with listings, neighborhood information, mortgage calculators, helpful hints and of course contact information.
We also have our company web-site where you will find all EXIT Realty listings and all our Agents. www.exitinterlake.com
We also provide a wonderful flyer that my personal Administrator formats using photos we take of your home. These flyers go on display in our office as well get e-mailed to our data base of clients and agents looking for a home such as yours!
I have hired someone to specifically spend time Marketing your home through this and many other forms. The average client is well informed and has ways of seeking out information on your home. It is our job to make sire every time it is presented to a buyer that it looks as wonderful to them as it is to you.
After all the advertising and marketing activity, your listing agent and other selling brokers will begin to bring prospective buyers to visit the home. You will be notified in advance and an appointment made. Use the notice to tidy up and make the home ready for a possible sale. You never know who will want to buy!
While you’re understandably anxious & eager to know what a potential buyer thinks of your home, experienced agents will tell you that the best situation for a buyer is to view your home with out the owner present.
You don’t always want the buyer to feel like an intruder, so find an excuse to leave the house or if that is not realistic, greet the prospect but then keep yourself in the yard or a part of the home you will not be in the way.
Keep your TV & Radio off, clear out the pets, and leave questions and answers to the selling agent unless you are asked a specific question.
AND BY ALL MEANS LEAVE PRICE AND NEGOTIATIONS TO THE SELLING AGENT. AFTER ALL IF YOU HAVE PICKED SOMEONE GOOD THEY WILL BE MORE THAN ABLE TO HANDLE THE PROCESS!!
If you received a call from someone inquiring about the home, it is in your best interest to take there name and phone number and refer it to your Listing Agent, after all that is what you have hired them for. This ensures your clients get all the information that you have spent your time working on.
This is the part we have all been waiting for………….
The Offer Process
The moment you have been waiting for is finally here. Although don’t get to excited it is also a waiting game and sometimes the offer is well lets say….. Less then desirable… Buyers also want to get the best value for there money, so they will start usually lower than what they are willing to pay for your home. Don’t be insulted, even though at times its hard. The best piece of advice I can offer is to take the personal aspect out of it. Think of this transaction as Business. You are making this move to bigger and better things for you, or you and your family. Your new home will have all the personal attachment the old one had and more.
When an offer does come in, you will receive a written and signed contract from your Agent, who will present the offer to you, probably at the office or your home. The presentation will include the name & address of the buyer and of course the sales price. There may be conditions attached and a deposit should be written in. The conditions could be such things as financing terms, closing date, water tests, insurance, survey, septic pumping, etc.etc.etc.
You will have 3 options at the presentation. You may accept the offer as it is written or make a counter offer that alters such things as conditions and price. Either one of these options will result in sending the offer back to the buyers agent with amendments. You may also outright REJECT the offer. However, it is in my experience an offer of any kind is an opportunity to sell the property, this is what I am trained for, the negotiation process. If someone has taken the time to write an offer and come out to play ball with you so to speak, we should take the time to tell them what we want to throw back. Maybe we counter with no movement on price, either way this is your chance to put your “wish list” to paper.
Sometimes you get in a Multiple offer situation. This is exceptional as a seller, it puts you totally in the drivers seat! Multiple offers will be presented to you in the order they were received to your Agent.
Read each offer through and ask questions. You don’t need to take action on any one offer before you receive and review all active offers.
Sometimes, and I state, sometimes you will get an offer higher than what you are asking for. Some buyers choose to make their offer stand out above others buy bidding up the property. This is great when it happens!
If you get an offer and you accept it, as an agent we would not be doing you any justice by not continuing to show your home for sale. Anything can happen to your first offer, if all conditions are not met, consider your home still on the market. It is not sold until you have check in hand, or all conditions have been satisfied!!
If you can get a back up offer it is good to have something in your back pocket.
If your home doesn’t receive offers or doesn’t sell during the sales period, analyze the reasons. Perhaps you need to re-price the home, or alter your conditions.
Failure to understand the market conditions and properly pricing your home can cost you thousands of dollars and cause your home not to sell….. fouling up all your plans……
We Wont let this happen to you!
The Accepted Offer
When you and a buyer settle on a contract you must wait the time until all the conditions are met. Your buyer will give his/her agent a deposit on the property, this is part of your guarantee that the buyer intends to make the purchase.
The conditions will all have dates attached to them for the buyer to satisfy the conditions. Some things will take longer than others. Some times you or your buyer will need extra time to fulfill these conditions. You or your buyer, can request an extension which both parties must agree on. Financing can sometimes take a bit longer. Inspections, appraisers, and surveys can sometimes take a bit, which sometimes feels like forever. In case one of these conditions falls through and the transaction does not go through then this is where a back up offer comes in handy. If you don’t have a back up offer then you will want to make sure your home is still in showcase quality.
Once all the conditions are met the deal becomes
“FIRM AND BINDING” The home is considered sold if no issues arise.
You can start the moving process, this is something else we can help with. Doing business for 12 years you come to know many of the other people in the industry that making buying and selling possible. We can assist with competitive pricing for Lawyers, Building Inspectors, Movers, Storage etc.etc. Talk to your agent and let us help to make this part of the process as smooth as possible.
Unless otherwise noted, the buyer will take possession on the closing date in the contract.
Finally, you are ready to officially transfer ownership to the buyer. This will consist of signing a series of papers and reviewing documents. This is where your lawyer will walk you through all the paperwork involved with this process. As I mentioned before it is a good idea to research your choices for a lawyer, again this is something I can assist with. You want to make sure the lawyer you choose deals with Real Estate law on a continual basis. This should be there “area of expertise” so to speak. Someone who knows the ins and outs of these types of transactions.
The fees & costs can be confusing, but a good lawyer and Real Estate agent can assist with making things as simple as possible for you. You should understand what you are paying.
A general list of closing costs may include:
•lawyer fees, Agents commission, title transfer, recording costs, disbursements, mortgage penalty and payoff & lawyer fees.
You will be reimbursed after closing for any money you’ve paid in advance for bills not yet due such as property tax.
Lastly, you’ll transfer the house keys to the new owner. Once the funds are given to you and the brokers, the lender and title company will review the papers and approve the sale.
Congratulations! You have SOLD your home!