Upgrading, Downsizing, Outgrew Home, Job Transfer,
GREAT RESULTS ARE GENERATED THROUGH GREAT PROCESS.
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Get Clear on Motivation
Selling your home is an emotional experience, and the reason(s) driving the sale of your home are essential for how quickly we need to move and for the type of strategy we’ll develop.
In a high demand seller's market, a well-priced home could sell within a few days. In a buyer's market, it could take a month or more to sell. The main determining factors in how quickly we can sell your home are, price, location, condition, and the current market conditions. The range in Washington state is three weeks (cash buyers) – to three months (worse case).
Choose an Amazing Agent
(Psst… We know a good one!) The job of a real estate agent is to best represent your interests through every step of the home selling process. Your agent should listen to your needs and understand the market in which you are selling a home. They should be experts in marketing, negotiation, transaction forms, and finance options, as well as have an understanding of technology and how it can enhance the marketing of your home. Come up with a list of questions that are important to you. Then meet with at least three real estate agents and score them on how well they answer your questions. Always remember, your agent works for you.
PRO TIP! Most agents already know what you’re going to ask and have a canned answer. Think of a question that will actually allow you to see them in action. For example, say you want to cut their listing fee in half because that’s how much value you place on their work. Uncomfortable question, sure, but the way an agent responds to this will give you a great idea of how well they negotiate and will force them to elaborate where they’ll be of most value to you.
Cost of Selling
We’ll calculate the expenses you may incur while selling your home. This knowledge will help you realize the potential profit. The cost of selling your home may include things like taxes (excise and possibly others), home improvements, inspection repairs, utilities, mortgage payoffs, commissions, closing costs (escrow, title, various document fees), moving and relocating expenses, and possible other fees.
PRO TIP! Call your existing lender to find out exactly how much you need to pay off and order a beneficiary statement.
No better way to anticipate a successful sale than to plan for the move. It’s great to have your move-out plan in place, especially if your home sells faster or slower than you anticipate. Use this time to start packing up items and place your excess items in storage.
Buying a New Home
Most people who sell, do so to buy another home. See our buyers page to help prepare your transition.
PRO TIP! Are you moving to take a new job or position? If so, your company might offer some resources to make things easier. Call your human resources department to find out.
Preparing documents such as your title, survey, mortgage and insurance, utility bills, property taxes, heating and cooling costs for the home can better prepare you for the sale of your home. Perspective buyers will be grateful for this information.
Fixes and Improvements
Acquiring the highest market value and elevating your home above the others in the same price range often comes down to first impressions. We’ll work with you on examining (think of all the areas that would give a buyer a reason to say no) the condition of your home, then creating a list of the best cosmetic improvements we should make.
Remove family photos, religious items, political posters and drawings off the refrigerator. You want prospective buyers to envision their family in the house. This will also protect your privacy.
We’ll arrange well-placed furniture to really open up your rooms. If you have odd rooms with no obvious role, let’s give them one. For example, an odd alcove off the kitchen could be staged as an office or a pantry.
Prospective buyers form an opinion the moment they pull up. Having your home look up to the current market conditions will net you the best price available. Some examples could include adding new sod, planting flowers, painting the front door or replacing the mailbox.
It’s always best to remove (or at least hide them) pets and their paraphernalia, such as dog dishes and cat litter boxes. A prospective buyer shouldn’t know a pet lives in the home if you can help it.
Price Your House Right from the Start
Choosing the right price is so critical to both the speed and profitability of your sale. You don’t want to select a price that is too high and forces your home to sit on the market for a long time, but you also don’t want to risk going too low and losing out on potential gains. When developing a price, you want it to be data driven. We’ll begin evaluating neighborhood comparable homes of similar style, and square footage that has sold within the past three months to start determining value.
List and Market
The vast majority of homebuyer’s (92%) search for the perfect home online, so our marketing plan needs to be top notch with targeted online activities to drive interest.
Most homebuyers decide which homes they want to see based on the photos. Your listing will include professional photos not only of the house, but also of nearby recreation, dining, shopping areas, and schools. Keep in mind, we’re not just marketing the home, we’re marketing the lifestyle.
Real Estate Portals
We’ll ensure your listing is on all the major online portals including MLS (Multiple Listing Service), Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc..
For Sale yard signs, open house stands, flyers, handouts and printed materials are great resources for your neighbors, passerby’s, and open house guests.
Who’s more interested in helping you find a buyer than your neighbors? After all, don’t all of us wish we could pick them? From knocking on doors to mailing campaigns we’ll make sure all of your neighbors know you’re selling your home.
Social Media and Email Marketing
Good social marketing is much more than posting your listing on Facebook and tagging it to our brokerage website. We have access to social business accounts which enable us to target a very specific type of buyer, and track all interaction metrics for constant improvement. This level of targeting is proven to have the best conversion rates.
Showings are a necessary part of the home selling process. The more flexible you are about visits, the more people will see your home.
PRO TIP! You want would-be buyers to imagine themselves living in the home and to peek into closets without feeling like intruders. Leaving the house when buyers come to tour gives them the freedom to discuss its pros and cons honestly without worrying about offending anyone.
Negotiate and Accept the Best Offer
Because we can justify your asking price with current market research, we’re in a strong negotiating position. Most offers will come in with “contingencies” and other contract details such as price, earnest money deposit amount, items that will be included with the house, time frames, and closing date. We’ll review all offers with you to determine what stipulations are reasonable and what should be negotiated further. Should there be a bidding war on your house, we’ll guide you through how we’ll get the best offer.
Pro Tip! When reviewing offers, beware of hidden financing costs. Not all financing is the same from a seller’s point of view. With some types of financing, like FHA and VA home loans, the seller pays the points on the loan which could affect how much you net in a sale.
Purchase and Sale Agreement
Once an offer on a property has been made by a buyer and accepted by the seller, they enter into a legal contract known as a Purchase and Sale Agreement. This document outlines the specific terms and conditions of the transaction and is acknowledged by both parties by the signing of the document.
Home inspectors are hired to investigate every nook and cranny of your home to determine if any repairs are needed. An inspector will check items, such as the roof, basement, heating system, water heater, air-conditioning system, structure, plumbing, and electrical. Afterwards, buyers will have a chance to negotiate with you to cover the costs of certain repairs or to ask for concessions.
Prep for Closing
Use this time to finish packing up your home, and begin the move out process. Make sure to inform the utilities company that you will be moving. Let the city water department know of your move. Cancel your homeowner’s insurance (to be dated a few days after closing). You'll also receive a settlement statement outlining any fees which may apply to you.
At closing, all paperwork (property deed, reconveyance and deed of trust, title and more) is signed by you and the buyer and the documents are officially recorded. All settlement fees are due at this time. Once the title company records the deed, you’ll receive your payout (minus fees) from the title company a few days after.
Taxes can be one of the most confusing parts of closing because taxes are paid in “arrears.” Taxes will be collected by the title company from the seller through the date of closing. Then, title proceeds to give the credited portion to the buyer. So, when the taxes are due the buyer pays the whole tax statement.
Congratulations -- We Just Sold Your Home!
Depending on buyer's possession rights specified in the contract, you may be required to move out on the day the home closes or by a specified date. This is a great time to purge through all your stuff while packing. Let us know if you need a recommendation for some great local charities to donate items you no longer need and for any references regarding moving companies.