Eight simple steps to selling your property
1. Define your NEEDS so you can come to terms with WHY you are selling.
Write down all the reasons you are selling your property. Ask yourself: “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may require a larger home or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. For your goals, write down if you would like to sell your property within a certain time frame or if you need to make a particular profit margin. Work with your Glacial Ridge Realty agent to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.
2. Write down the PRICE that you will accept for the property, not just what you would like to have if you could get it, but an honest assessment of what you could live with if you sold the property quickly.
Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your property. Considering your market and setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. You will need to take into account the condition of your property, what comparable properties in your neighbourhood are selling for, and the state of the overall market in your area. It is often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your property—your real estate agent’s expertise is invaluable at this step. Your agent will know what comparable properties are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those properties are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your property, you could have an appraisal done. (This typically costs a few hundred dollars.) Remember: You are always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that properties priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your property sits on the market too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
3. Prepare your property for sale so it will receive the best first impression possible from its potential future residents.
Most of us don’t keep our homes in tip top condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. First impressions are the most important so get your house in model shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. Your real estate agent can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers. A home with too much of a personal touch is harder to sell. Try these things to make it more appealing to a buyer:
- Removing family photos, mementos, and personalized décor (this will help buyers visualize the property as theirs)
- Make minor repairs and replacements that can ruin the buyer’s first impression (such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen, or a worn doormat)
- Remove all clutter: clear all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible
4. Market the property to as many people and places as possible, the more exposure the better.
Now that you are ready to sell, Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including:
- The internet
- Yard signs
- Open houses
- Media advertising
- Agent-to-agent referrals
- Networking groups
- Community organizations
- Chambers of Commerce
- Direct mail marketing campaigns
In addition to listing your home on the MLS, Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home and structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks initiate the most traffic.
5. If we did all the things just mentioned above correctly, we should receive an offer for the property in a timely manner. This is what we will do next:
When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC will first find out if the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If they are, then you and we will review the proposed contract, taking care that both parties understand what is required of them to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:
- Legal description of the property
- Offer price
- Down payment
- Financing arrangements
- List of fees and who will pay them
- Deposit amount
- Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
- Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing
- Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home
- Settlement date
At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with us before you sign.
6. Negotiate to sell.
Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Your real estate agent is well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Your agent also knows what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale, and what areas are the easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items:
- Closing costs
- Appliances and fixtures
- Move-in date
Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, your agent will prepare a contract.
7. Create a closing check list of things you need to do before you close. Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC will help you.
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected, or repaired. Your real estate agent can spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some, or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations, or proceed to closing. Important reminder: a few days before the closing, you will want to contact your Title Company or closing agent and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date. Also, begin to make arrangements for moving out, if you have not already done so.
8. Show up on time for the closing and bring your identification and other information that the buyer might want such as door openers and all keys.
“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. Your agent will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, they can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. In some states, an attorney is required, and you may wish to have one present. After the closing, you should make a “to do” list for turning the property over to the new owners. Here is a checklist to get you started:
- Cancel electricity, gas, lawn care, cable, and other routine services.
- If the new owner is retaining any of the services, change the name on the account.
- Gather owner’s manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances.
- Don’t forget to get the check or proof-of-funds transfer before you sign the deed.