Taking the First Step for Sellers
Selling your first home can be just as nerve wracking as buying your first home was. But don’t worry, we’re here to walk you through every step of the way!
Set an appointment with a Realtor®. Before you make any commitments, let one of our client advocates take a look at your home, compare it to market data, and see what price we can list at. We’ll need to know how much you have left to pay on your mortgage so we can determine how much “wiggle room” you have for pre-market updates, after contract repairs, and buyer concessions such as closing cost assistance.
Make reasonable updates and repairs. Did you let your four year old pick the color of his room? We might need to tone down the “Reptar green” walls before taking listing photos. Do you know that there’s a pesky leak under the sink but you just set a bucket underneath and forgot about it? Let’s go ahead and get that fixed. We will ask you these kinds of questions and give you feedback on what reasonable updates and repairs need to be done to get your home ready to market and help the entire process go smoother.
Stage it. If you doubt your style or plan on moving before listing, it may be worth hiring a professional home stager. A home stager will give you another set of eyes to determine what furniture can stay or go, how to arrange what you do have to help your home appeal to the largest group of buyers. Even if you don’t want to employ a professional, we can help assess your home and determine how to de-clutter, de-personalize, and start packing to help your home look as attractive as possible.
Price it right. Maybe the home around the corner from you sold for $10/square foot more than we suggest you list or maybe your Zillow “Zestimate” illustrates a higher price based on their algorithms. We know you love your home and we know you want to make the most money when you sell it. However, pricing it the best we can in the first place will save you wasted days on the market. When you were buy-ing a home, you probably took into consideration how long a home has been sitting on the market and used that length of time to try and negotiate a bigger price cut. Now that you’re on the other side, you see how sitting on the market wastes your time, energy, and gives Buyers a reason to write a “low-ball” offer. We’ll tell you what we think your home is worth but the market may determine that we will need to lower it to entice a buyer and make it more competitive.
Get the sign in the yard! Alright! Way to go! You’re on the market! We will have professional photos taken, tactful listing descriptions written, and all of our online ads up and running in no time. Now the tricky stuff…
Keep it clean. We got some great listing photos but now, you have to do your best to keep it that way. We will provide you with a list of tips and tricks to help you keep your home ready for showing at a moment’s notice. Most Realtors® will schedule showings with plenty of notice to you but occasionally, a Buyer may call us from the sign and want to see it in the next thirty minutes or a Realtor® may be showing the home down the street and suddenly, the Buyer wants to pop in and see your house. Will you be ready? Will your home looks its best? Remember, we may only have this one chance to make a great first impression. So, let’s make sure it’s a good one!
Negotiate an offer. Yay! We got an offer! Maybe it’s not quite perfect but no offer, even the very worst of offers, is worth completely rejecting. Let’s see where we can get with it, you may find out that we aren’t as far apart as it initially seemed. There are a lot of factors involved in each offer from the purchase price itself to buyer’s concessions, home warranties, and more. We will help you estimate these expenses with each offer as well as what expenses would look like for you in a couple different scenarios so we can find a healthy compromise and get your home under contract.
Inspection repairs. The Buyer has the right to inspect your home and may ask for repairs to be made prior to closing or a price reduction in lieu of completing repairs. We will help you navigate which repairs are important, which are frivolous, and help you get bids to make an educated decision. We will negotiate with the Buyer to come to an agreement so we can move forward.
Appraisal. If the Buyer is not paying all cash, the bank will require that an appraisal be done to determine if the price the Buyer is paying is reasonable for the home. This is one person’s opinion of value on your home but can make or break your transaction. We do not get a copy of this appraisal unless there are appraisal required repairs or if the value comes in short. We will help you navigate this process and educate you on options if the appraisal doesn’t come back at value or requires repairs.
Closing time. We did it! Now, you will go to the closing table to sign all the documents to legally process the sale. You will want to bring a photo ID, keys, garage door openers, important manuals, and any other information that you think will be helpful to the Buyer. If you are married, your spouse will need to be present even if they aren’t on the title or the mortgage. If you need to bring money to closing, you will have to bring this in the form of a cashier’s check. Hopefully, you will be making money on this sale and will be receiving a check or we can help you coordinate the funds to be wired to your bank account. Note that if you are moving out of state prior to closing, you will have to arrange to pre-sign before you move, receive a mail-out packet to have signed and notarized at your current location, or come back to town to sign.
Confused? There’s no such thing as a stupid question, especially when it’s a question about something as serious as selling your first home. We’d love to make everything clear to you if you’d like some advice! Contact us here.