The selling process is broken down into five periods. Preparation, showing, contract, due diligence, closing.
This may be the most important period of all. During this time you will select your Realtor and begin preparing your home to sell. Your choice of Realtor is dependent on many factors. You should select your Realtor based on experience and trust and compatibility. If you are reading this page you have probably been referred to me by a past client. That is how I get a lot of my business. Once you have decided upon your Realtor, you will meet to discuss what steps you will need to take to get your home in show condition. I am prepared to offer suggestions on painting, remodeling, decluttering, staging, repairs, landscaping and any upgrades that will have a positive return. Some sellers may be looking for an as-is sale and we can take that approach as well. I am always looking for the easiest improvements that will maximize out net. During this time we will also settle on a price. Pricing is critical to get the right buyers in the house. We don’t want to over price the house and not compare favorably against similarly priced homes. At the same time, we do not want to leave money on the table. Once we have the house in show condition, we will layout our timeframe for putting the home on the market. Our goal is to cue up a lot of showings in a short period of time in hope of leveraging multiple offers.
Showing your home while you are currently living in it is burdensome. You will always need to leave it spotless and be out of the house during showings. We will also need to make accommodations for pets. Showings can be arranged with as much or as little notice as needed. The easier it is to show, the more showings you will have. It is often easiest to create three or four hour blocks of time to accommodate showings. Buyers will come with their agent and will never be in the home alone. They will get access through a lockbox and each appointment will be coordinated by Centralized Showing Service. All valuables including pharmaceuticals should be secured during showings. You can increase the homes appeal with lighting, scented candles, proper temperature and even music. We have a feedback system through our showing service and agents may offer helpful tips. Additionally I will follow up with agents to gauge their buyers interest.
When we receive one or more offers, we will reach out to all the agents and call for highest and best offer by a certain deadline. We will then evaluate offers based on price and likelihood of closing. The highest price does not always win. A cash offer close to asking price is hard to beat. However, a solid financed offer over ask might be our best bet. Each situation will be different and we will analyze each offer for its merit and make the best decision we can. Buyer’s agents are very competitive and I have learned to sort through the “fluff” and get to the meat of the matter and make smart choices. Once we have decided on one offer we like, we can accept or counter that one offer. Once we are in agreement with that party, we notify all other parties that we have gone with another offer. We are always honest and fair to all parties and do not leave people hanging longer that needed. Once we have come to terms with our selected buyer, we sign the contract and collect deposits. We are not under contract and showings will stop unless we choose to continue showings for back-up offers.
During the due diligence period, buyers can inspect the home for anything they choose and can back out for any reason. They will have a home inspection, radon, termite, septic, well and a myriad of other investigations. Our contract is an “as-is” contract and we are not contractually bound to do anything regarding repairs. However, the buyer can back out for any reason and only forfeit their due diligence fee. For this reason, it is usually in our best interest to negotiate repairs. Home inspectors are very picky and can make a mountain our of a mole hill. That is why you want an experienced agent to negotiate repairs on your behalf. Most requests can be reduced by half with the right approach. Depending on the request, we could make a financial concession or do the repairs. I can make recommendations for most repairs and can help get estimates on repairs if we are offering a concession. The house will also be appraised during this period. Hopefully we will appraise for full sales price but we can negotiate this as well if we do not. We can refuse to lower our price and force the buyer to bring additional cash to closing or we can compromise and meet in the middle. There are always options and we will adjust as needed depending on the situation. Once we have agreed to any due diligence items, we will make the changes in writing before the end of the due diligence period. We should also receive word that we have final or at least conditional loan approval before the end of due diligence. You will also want to schedule movers during this time to make sure you can get on their schedule.
Once mortgage, appraisal and inspection issues are settled, we can proceed with repairs and moving plans knowing that closing is highly likely. You will complete repairs and confirm your moving arrangements. You will want to set up your utility disconnects for the day of closing and your will want to make cleaning arrangements for the day before closing. You will want to gather all keys, mailbox keys, garage door openers and pool keys or fobs and make them available for the new buyer. We can sign docs the day before or we can attend closing. Proceeds checks are not available until after the closing attorney has recorded at the court house. This may take a couple hours so be prepared to return later in the afternoon to pick up your check. Congratulations, you have sold your home.