Selling Your Home
Rest assured we will do everything we possibly can to sell your home as quickly as possible at your asking price. Our service include:
- Eye-catching "for sale" signs to ensure that your home is noticed no matter what the hour.
- Exterior flyers designed to capture the highlights of your property.
- Information and picture of your home added to the multiple Listing Service (MLS) program so Realtors throughout the country can find out particulars.
This process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. The first step is to determine what is that price? What should you list your home for? Here's where your agent can be invaluable because your agent has access to data on comparable homes in your neighborhood and can help you set the correct price. Your real estate agent can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
Get Ready, Get Set
When you put your house on the market, you want to be sure your house is in good condition and looks attractive to buyers. Doing any necessary repairs helps add to the attractiveness of your home and can substantially add to the price you can ask. Once you're ready, your agent will list the house, bring you buyers and work together with you to get your house sold.
Letting REALTORS show the house as much as possible and staying flexible are important to selling your home. It may seem inconvenient to have people viewing your house right when you want to wash the dog or sit around in your nightgown, but it's very necessary. Just remind yourself that you're moving on and your job right now is to make your house available so that your agent can let as many potential buyers as possible look at it. Your agent's job is to narrow down the people who are interested in the house, to bring you plenty of prospective buyers and to point out the features your house offers. Soon enough, you will have an offer on your house.
The next step is a marketing plan. There is a lot more to selling your house than simply putting it on the market. Today, less than 5% of all property sales are a result of newspaper ads. You need a marketing plan - a strategy. The key to a successful sale is Exposure. We employ a wide range of marketing methods to provide maximum exposure for your property.
Often, your agent can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of the property. Marketing includes the exposure of your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your agent acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc.
Spread the News
You can't sell your house until buyers know it's available. Your agent will help by listing the house on computerized services, putting up signage and connecting you with qualified buyers. In addition, you may choose to market your home by running ads in your local paper, advertising on the Web or asking for additional marketing suggestions from your agent.
Advertising is part of marketing. The choice of media and frequency of advertising depends a lot on the property and specific market. For example, in some areas, newspaper advertising generates phone calls to the real estate office but statistically has minimum effectiveness in selling a specific property. Overexposure of a property in any media may give a buyer the impression the property is distressed or the seller is desperate. Your real estate agent will know when, where and how to advertise your property.
There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The National Association of REALTORS studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends and family, and personal contacts.
Multiple Listing Service
Your home will also be visible through the Multiple Listing Service. This Listing is used daily not only by our Associates, but by realtors in the area, thus assuring maximum exposure for your home.
When the property is marketed with an agent's help, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Agents will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
The negotiation process deals with much the same issues for both buyers and sellers, as noted above under the buying process. Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections, and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. Your agent can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
Get It in Writing
All offers and contracts have to be made in writing. Verbal agreements are not legally binding. Once a buyer makes an offer for your house, you can accept it outright or make a counter offer. Your counter offer indicates that you are willing to negotiate, but that your terms haven't been met by the first offer. The process of offers and counter offers may go back and forth a few times until you and the buyer agree on terms.
While you're negotiating you can still accept offers from other buyers. You have no legal obligation to anyone until you agree in writing to their offer.
When you consider any offer, you need to figure out what your actual profit will be on the amount proposed. You have to deduct your current mortgage balance, the legal fees for the transactions and anything else you'll be responsible for, like termite inspections, unpaid taxes on your property, etc. If the offer meets your expectations, you're ready to make a deal.
Once you settle on an offer, the buyer is now legally obligated to purchase your house. There are some standard contingencies though. Typically, these include issues like the buyer not being able to get financing, or the house failing inspection. These contingencies protect both you and the buyer.
Monitoring, Renegotiating and Closing
Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your agent is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).
Closing the Deal
Your buyers have their mortgage financing approved, the house has been inspected and the details have been worked out. Now all you have to do is read everything carefully and sign on the dotted line.
That's what the closing is. At the closing you are actually transferring ownership of your house to the buyer. Now you're done with selling your current home. If you've been looking for a new house at the same time, you'll probably want to have your closings close on the same day so that the buyers can take possession and you can move to your new home.
How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?
Real estate agents or brokers are generally paid through the
sales commission paid by the seller when a transaction closes. Agents have
expenses and financial obligations just like you, so it will be to your mutual
benefit if you choose a real estate agent and stick with that person. The agent
will respect your loyalty and respond with a sincere commitment to you. Please
keep in mind that sometimes the agent will collect his or her fee from the
buyer. This usually occurs when no compensation is offered from the listing
company or individual selling the property.