A Decision to Sell
So you want to sell your property – before you get carried away, it’s important to take a moment to put together a solid plan to get your property to market.
The big question – why are you selling your property? Moving into a larger living space? Changing neighborhoods, cities or even states? While everybody has their unique reasons, it is key to articulate them early on, in an effort to better understand the context and implications of this huge financial decision. Bringing these reasons to your agent ensures he or she understands your current and desired real estate goals.
When do I sell?
Your selling time frame dictates the procedure and speed with which your property goes to market. If you need to sell quickly, inform your agent so that they can design a market action plan that positions your property for a quick close with the maximum return. If time is no object, utilize your agent’s market knowledge and expertise to deploy your property to market at the most favorable time to obtain your goals.
How do you know when the market is right?
As subject-matter experts in real estate, neighborhoods, and communities, agents always have their proverbial ear to the streets. This knowledge and expertise nets you the best market prices and terms. At the end of the day, your agent has the tools and proficiency to precisely price and market your property based upon comparable properties, neighborhood trends, and historical monetary data.
Greater Financial Implications
Selling your property definitely requires a careful oversight of your current financial situation, as well as future monetary considerations. I will walk you through this interesting time, assessing the impact of each decision made. Whether it’s the sale proceeds, tax savings, or estate planning strategy, I make sure to survey the decision landscape and provide you with the best financial strategies.
Choosing an Agent and Price
Choose a Professional
Selling a property is a rather daunting undertaking. Sure, you could sell it independently—but without experience and know-how, you will be left in the dark with nobody to help. Working with an agent that has both the expertise and contact network ensures you maximize the exposure and opportunity on the current market. Using my unique brand, I know how to position and advertise your property, getting it in front of serious buyers that match the target buyer demographic. At the end of the day, it’s also a massive benefit to have a professional guiding you through the completion of the complicated sale paperwork involved.
Selecting an Agent
When looking for an agent, consider the following factors:
Prepare to Sell
Education – The type and depth of training and education an agent possesses in the real estate industry is directly related to their ability to navigate the purchase landscape. I pride myself on advanced training that goes beyond the industry standard, making them the top choice to sell your prestigious property.
Expertise and Experience – Is your agent familiar with your trade area and type of transaction? How are his or her marketing skills? What kind of technical savvy does he or she have? Does he or she bring any new advertising strategies to the table? What is his or her track record selling similar properties in the past?
Accessibility and Availability – When selling a property, you need a prompt, accessible agent that stays in contact with you during days, nights, and weekends. Whether it’s an emergency or a simple question, an agent that can ameliorate your concerns is absolutely paramount in this important transaction.
Professional Rapport – Is your agent attentive to your goals and needs? Is he or she genuinely concerned about the process, or are you just another selling transaction? Find a listing agent that aims to be your guide, partnering with you in this difficult series of decisions.
As a property owner, you can do many small things to increase the appeal of your property, creating good first impressions on potential buyers.
Manicured landscapes and fresh yard elements like flowerbeds and colorful displays grab the eye of passers-by, drawing them in to take second look.
Little things like window repairs, polished fixtures, fresh paint, and new finishes instantly brighten up properties – buyers want to see properties that are well taken care-of.
It is very important, while your property is on the market, to keep it clean, uncluttered, fresh smelling, and well-lit. Little details like stowing some unused furniture, clean carpets, a bouquet of flowers near the door, and some food cooking in the kitchen will improve the look and feel for potential buyers. Work with your agent to stage the home properly for a quick and efficient sale.
Disclosures + Inspections
As a seasoned team of agents, I am intimately familiar with the legal procedures involved in disclosures and inspections. The development of a complete disclosure statement that is useful for both you and the buyer is elemental at this stage in the game. Other things like home improvement measures and inspections (termite and pest) should be completed before the property hits the market.
As agents, it is our job to present your property to potential buyers – most buyers are comfortable discussing the property with the agent, as they are an independent 3rd party if you are not there. It is in your best interest to work with a competent agent that can represent your best interests and position your property to close quickly and efficiently.
Accepting an Offer
The Price is Not Always Right
Price is not always the final determining factor in the transaction – a lot of buyers are fooled into thinking “the higher the price, the better the offer.” First, the initial offer is typically not the final figure, and there are a number of terms and conditions that can have a significant impact on the closing price. You can trust me to help you process, rank, and evaluate offers without hurting your property’s market position.
Negotiating with Poise and Precision
It is up to your agent to fairly negotiate the terms of a contract with precision and a serious attention to detail – a win-win agreement for all parties involved is the ultimate goal. You might receive multiple offers and counters which seem overwhelming, but your agent should objectively guide and present you with the best choices.
Agreement and Deposit
When a property owner and purchaser arrive at a legal arrangement, an effective agreement with consideration is drafted. Laws and details vary from state to state, but agreements become legal binding documents between two parties with consideration. Consideration in the form of the escrow deposit sits pending the removal of certain contingencies.
As a property owner, it’s paramount to:
Escrow, Inspections, and Approvals
Keep written records of everything.
Transfer verbal agreements like counter-offers and addendums to written records.
Stick to the schedule and be prepared for the next step as you work through the timeline with your trusted agent.
Inspections and Appraisals
As outlined in the contract to purchase, buyers will typically have a licensed property inspector take a look at the property. It’s not uncommon to have multiple inspectors out with different areas of expertise (roofing, HVAC, structure, etc) to render a professional opinion. If the property is going to be financed, the lending institution will send out a third party appraiser to determine the property’s market value.
Role of the Closing Agent
At this point in the process, a title company or attorney handles the final clearing of the property title. After a thorough researching of your property’s complete recorded history, it is the closing agent’s job to certify that the title is free of encumbrances (mortgages, leases, liens, restrictions) by the date of closing, and that any new encumbrances are added to the title.
Contingencies are conditions that must be satisfied before the purchase contract becomes legally binding in a sale. A complete home inspection report from a qualified, licensed inspector is a good example of a contingency.
Before completing the purchase agreement, the buyer goes over the property with a fine-toothed comb, covering such areas of detail as:
Depending on the outcome of the above, the process goes in two directions:
Obtaining the proper financing and insurance
Reviewing all reports and disclosures related to the property’s titled history
Inspecting the property (not limited to roof, termite, pest, chimney, fireplace, boundary, well, septic, pool & spa, arborist, HVAC etc)
It is in your best interest as a buyer to work with a professional agent that can objectively and fairly respond to the buyer when a renegotiation is ordered. Having dealt with numerous situations like these in the past, my expertise and commitment to my clients ensures I stand up for them at every step along the way.
Either the property checks out, inspections don’t reveal anything negative, contingencies are removed, and both the buyer and seller are one step closer to the closing.
The buyer, after being briefed on the property’s details, requests to renegotiate the terms of the contract, namely price to take care of the repairs.
Loan Approval and Appraisal
As an agent with experience in these matters, I recommend that you accept buyers who have a lender’s pre-approval, approval letter, or written loan commitment in hand, which is good guarantee of a loan. Pre-qualification or no documentation from a lending institution is not as strong –an appraiser from the lender will review your property and price at the end of the day.