Selling Your Home
Selling your home is much more than putting a sign in the yard. When selling your home there are decisions to be made that will affect the sale price of your home before you ever start marketing your home. The right real estate professional will guide you through every step and help answer these preliminary questions.
- What improvements need to be made?
- What will those improvements cost?
- Will the improvements result in a higher sale price for my home?
- What is my home even worth?
Selling Your Home 101
Find the Right Agent
You may have been looking at new homes online for weeks, months or even years but when you’re ready to take the next step, it’s imperative that you have a professional agent that represents your best interest. Remember, the listing agent represents the seller not the buyer. They have a fiduciary responsibility to get the best deal for the seller, not you.
Get Your Home Ready to Sell
Getting your home ready to sell can be the hardest part of the home sale process. It’s had to know where to start. How do you identify what needs to be done and what can be left alone. The right agent will help you make these decisions but there are some “universal truths”.
- Deep clean your home. If the budget allows, hire a professional.
- Pre-pack (aka. Declutter). This is a great time to identify items you no longer use and can be donated. Depending on your situation, a storage unit or a pod may be very beneficial.
- Finish projects. Partially completed projects are a big turnoff for buyers.
- Improve your curb appeal. Spruce up flower beds, add some mulch, remove any clutter from the yard.
Stage Your Home
It’s very important to stage your home for sale. We recommend using a professional stager. Most agents will provide staging at no cost to you. It’s not usually necessary to bring in additional furniture. It is much more common that furniture will need to be removed. The goal of staging is to make your home appear as large as possible and to create a smooth flow. You want the potential buyer to envision themselves in your home.
In the event that your home is vacant, it is even more important to do some light staging. Again, this doesn’t involve bringing in furniture. Simply adding some pictures draws the eye to focal points, while towels and other light accessories can soften a “cold empty” house. Your ResidentialPRO agent will consult in getting your house staged.
Price Your Home Strategically
It sounds simple, but this may be the most important element to selling your home for top dollar. The very best buyers see your home during the first few days/weeks on the market. These are educated buyers, and they know what homes are worth. They may have already lost out on another home or homes. They are ready to buy but won’t overpay. Pricing your home strategically is imperative. Your ResidentialPRO agent will provide you with the relevant comparable sales so you can decide the right list price for your home.
Professional Photographs and Video
The right pictures can make or break your home sale. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 92% of buyers use the Internet during their home search. Their focus is on the pictures. Professional photographs are a must to get buyers in your home. If your pictures aren’t great, the right buyer may skip your house altogether. Your ResidentialPRO agent will take high quality pictures or use a professional photographer.
3Dimensional Interactive tours are a new tool that many agents and sellers are using. These scans are completely interactive and allow potential buyers to virtually walk through your home. They are excellent marketing tools to get your home more visibility. Talk to you agent about a 3D Virtual Tour.
Market Your Home
Your ResidentialPRO agent will go over their detailed marketing plan designed specifically for your home including traditional marketing such as flyers as well as digital marketing to web portals and social media outlets.
Maintaining Your Home
You must continue to maintain your home during the listing period. This can be a challenge, especially when children and pets are present. You will need to allow a few extra minutes before leaving the home to ensure you take time to wipe down counters, make beds and pick up clutter and personal items. Your agent will be able to give you other hints like using an extra laundry basket to gather kids toys in a hurry.
Showings generally happen between 9:00AM and 9:00PM but showings windows can be adjusted to meet the seller’s needs. Showings are scheduled by a showing service where agents can request appointments online or by calling. The service will then confirm times with the sellers. Showings can be confirmed by text, email, or phone call or any o the above.
You may get an offer right away or it may take some time. The variables surrounding receiving an offer are price, condition, and location. You and your agent will have to discuss those variables and the best way to get the best offer for your home.
Once the offer is received, you will need to consider, the price, the close date, and “additional terms”. The price and close date are self-explanatory. Additional terms include some of the following: amount of the down payment, the amount of the earnest money, the type of loan, the quality of the lender, and any number of other items. A professional agent will help and advise you with these items.
Inspections and Appraisals
The default schedule for inspections is 10 days but it can be shortened or lengthened. The buyers will conduct inspections during this time. Most buyers will complete a whole house inspection and may include a termite and radon inspection. There are quite a few other specialty inspections that may be completed as well. These inspections include: roof, foundation, sewer/septic, mold, structural and more.
Buyers and sellers do not close at the same time and place. As a seller, you can choose to sign the closing documents a day or two before the actual close date. Most closings are done at a title company and will take approximately 30 minutes.