Are you selling your property for the first time or need a recap on the process? This page is determined to help you answer all your questions.
Steps of Selling Journey
Decide to Sell
Find an Agent
When concluding on selling your property, it’s time to find an agent right for you. Ask people close to you for recommendations, research agencies in your area, or work with an agent you have worked with before. A listing agent is able to help you with pricing, marketing, negotiating, and closing your property. See more about our agents here!
List your Property
Setting a Price
When listing your property, you’ll want to decide on your listing price. There can be an issue of overpricing or underpricing, both can lead to an insufficient sale. Overpricing will scare off buyers, receive a low amount of showings, and sit on the market longer, which raises suspicions when the price is reduced. Underpricing can lead potential buyers to think something is wrong with the property, which can drive them away. Don’t worry though; an agent will be able to help you set the right price to gain buyer’s attentions! To get a reasonable price, an agent will look at recently listed or sold properties in your area to determine a value fitting the neighborhood. Next they evaluate the value of your home based on size, age, improvements, and condition.
Fill out Documents
Once the price is set, it’s time to fill and sign documents. Your agent will help you fill in the listing contract with the address, included/not included fixtures, marketing efforts, commission price, representation relationships, any provisions, and the term of the contract. You’ll also get to decide how you would like your property listed. You can choose to withhold it from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or not. The MLS has advantages of immediate access of information on your property and a greater exposure to potential buyers. If you choose not to list on MLS, you’ll sign a Certificate to Withhold form acknowledging you are undergoing the benefits of the service. Next you’ll complete a condition report questionnaire based on your knowledge of any defects on the property.
Listing Goes Live
After the documents are completed, your agent will go to the property to determine style type, amount of stories, measurements, building materials, and home features for better knowledge of the property. They’ll also take photos to fully capture the property. When all of the information and pictures are entered into MLS, your listing is live for everyone to see! Not only will it be live on MLS, it’ll be spread throughout the world on over two hundred real estate websites MLS feeds to.
With the help of nice photos and remarks, buyers will be instantly interested in seeing the real deal. In preparation to showings: pick up clutter, organize personal belongings, store away inessentials, and clean vital areas. With minimal clutter and personal belongings, a buyer can visualize their own objects and it being their future property. It is also a good idea to hire a stager as they will highlight the spaces and make your property inviting. With an uncertainty of the people coming through your property, make sure to place expensive and meaningful items in a safe place, lock or shut off electronics, and set rules in precaution to COVID-19.
Depending on the market, you might receive multiple offers and now it’s time to determine the right one to accept. Your agent will be there to review every offer and work with you to determine your best options. Although an offer price is high and looks appealing, it might not be the best one to accept. You’ll want to consider the amount of earnest money, contingencies included, down payment, and the closing date.
- The amount of earnest money shows how serious a buyer is about the property. This will be given to the listing firm as stated in the offer to purchase and will go to the seller at closing.
- The fewer the contingencies, the faster it is to close. There’s also if a contingency is insufficient, the buyers have a legal right to walk away with their earnest money.
- The amount of a down payment a buyer offers, can tell the strength level of the offer making it to closing.
- Closing can take 30-60 days on average and it depends what closing date is best for the sellers.
After reviewing what offer is right for you, you and your agent are able to negotiate the terms. If you don’t have anything to negotiate, you will sign the original offer and you have an accepted offer! If you do have something to negotiate, you will make a counteroffer stating the desired terms. For example, you could want a higher asking price, more earnest money, remove or add contingencies, or pick a new closing date. Counteroffers can go back and forth unless a party walks away or until both parties have agreed on the same terms by signing the same counteroffer, leading to an accepted offer!
Work through Contingencies
The short relief of having an accepted offer is over and is now time to get through the provisions of the contract. Upon acceptance of both parties, the contingency deadlines start. The most common contingencies are: financing, inspection, and appraisal.
The financing contingency will protect the buyer if their lender doesn’t approve their mortgage loan.
The inspection contingency will have a home inspector evaluate the property to see if there are any repairs to be made.
The appraisal contingency has the lender hire a third party appraiser to verify the value of the property for the buyer to get a mortgage loan.
Contingencies have been met and it’s almost time to officially close. The title company will send the closing costs at least three days before the settlement. Review the closings costs and if anything looks incorrect, tell your agent and they will resolve it. When the costs are correct, wait until your closing date, go to the closing location at the time agreed upon, and sign the paperwork. Congratulations you have sold your property!
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