Step-by-Step Selling Guide
No matter how attractive your home and community are, and how robust the real estate market may be, the idea of selling your home can be daunting. The process of selling a home has become more complex every year with more disclosure statements, longer agreements, and a range of environmental concerns that have emerged. There are many steps involved when it comes to selling your property, but the first step is the most important, and that is selecting the right agent to work with.
Selecting the Right Agent
Selling your home is, in all actuality, a life-changing experience. Working with the right agent is critical. You want to choose someone who is the right fit for you – someone you can relate to, someone you feel you can trust, and someone who can guide you through the entire process with confidence and ease.
The home selling process is not as easy for sellers as it was five to 10 years ago. Navigating today’s complex real estate market requires experience and special training in such fields as real estate marketing—in both traditional and technological methods—financing, negotiating, and closing the deal. Finding the right fit has never been more important. You are essentially entrusting your agent to help you secure the highest possible financial return on one of the largest single investments of your lifetime. Yes, the process is complicated and has many moving parts, but the right agent, with the right temperament and experience,will know how to make it seem hassle-free, while saving you time, energy, and aggravation.
As your agent, I will listen to you carefully, answer your questions as they arise, offer advice, make suggestions, anticipate your needs, and guide you step-by-step through the entire home selling process. I will not distort the truth on your property’s estimated value to get your listing. I will suggest a price range and show you numbers supporting that range. I will prepare a detailed outline advising you on how to best prepare your property to attract the most buyers. I will prepare your home for market. I will discuss pricing strategies with you, suggest the best list price to generate the most interest, advertise your property aggressively, and network effectively to find qualified buyers. I will advise you in a counteroffer situation and negotiate on your behalf to get you the highest price possible with the best terms possible.
I will offer you my keen business acumen and stellar negotiating skills. But most importantly, I offer you my integrity and excellent industry reputation, which I believe are my most valuable assets and qualities that lead to cooperation and trouble-free closings.
Listing Your Home & Signing the Listing Agreement
When it is time to list your home, we will sign a listing agreement that partners us for a set period of time. Depending on the market and type of home, this period typically runs from a three month agreement in a swift market, to a six month or one year agreement in a sluggish market, or in the luxury home market.
After receiving your signature, I will assist you in fulfilling your disclosure obligations, explaining each and every form, and I will order reports, including property and pest inspections. Your property inspection will consist of an assessment done by a property inspector, who will provide a written report outlining functionality and code compliance findings, as well as recommendations for repairs or replacements. Similarly, a pest inspector will check your home for infestations, as well as rot or fungus damage, and provide a report summarizing any findings and defining recommendations and estimates for repairs. Performing these inspections will help us anticipate and resolve any problems so we can proceed with determining the appropriate list price and marketing strategy for your home, as well as minimize issues a buyer may have that would cause them to back out of a purchase.(C.A.R. ResidentialListing Agreement)
Pricing Your Home
Pricing a home is part art and part science. Determining a pricing strategy, one that will generate the most interest when your property first comes on the market, is the trick.
To accurately price your home, many factors need to be taken into account, including the property’s condition and specific attributes, as well as the current market conditions, which can vary for a number of reasons, including interest rates, available financing, and the larger economic climate. Other aspects that influence pricing include size and age of the home, amenities such as a pool or guest unit, lot size, community, school system, and location. Pricing and days on market of comparable properties, such as homes currently on the market, homes recently sold, pending sales, and homes that were listed but did not sell, also need to be taken into account.
It is also important to note that while several websites offer automatic estimates of your home based solely on square footage, age, lot size, and asking prices of similar properties, this data is rarely accurate. Each home is unique, and only by considering all the amenities and elements that your home has to offer can we determine the appropriate list price.
Preparing Your Home for Sale
How we prepare your home for sale can have a huge impact on how the property is perceived by potential buyers, and first impressions are everything. Having your home in good condition to sell not only can help it sell faster, but also fetch a higher price. Making repairs and improvements, staging the home tastefully, painting, cleaning, de-personalizing and de-cluttering can all be important steps to readying your home for market.
As an experienced listing agent, I will advise you on how to best prepare your house and grounds so they are presented in the best possible light the first day it comes on the market. We only have one chance to make a first impression.
Marketing Your Home
Professional photography, detailed property descriptions, and printed materials are just a few of the traditional items I will use to market your property. My strong suit, however, is my creative use of the latest marketing technologies,which allow me to connect with an even larger audience – locally, nationally, and even globally – in a fraction of the time of traditional means.
Being adept in marketing technology has a distinctive advantage, especially when it comes to the luxury home market. With the Bay Area being one of the most desirable places in the world to live, our market is rich with home buyers from across the globe, making international reach essential.Advertising your home and making your listing visible to this worldwide audience can draw huge additional interest to your property.
When marketing your property, I will create a virtual tour which will provide an interactive view of your property, highlighting its best features.This tour will enable potential buyers from across the globe to experience the feeling of being in your home and capture its unique ambiance.And, to maximize your property’s visibility to an international clientele, your listing will also be syndicated to a number of well-trafficked real estate websites including Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow.
On top of all of this, I will offer open house dates for potential buyers to tour the property in person, which will be advertised in the local paper, online, and through print media sent out to specifically targeted buyers.
Negotiation of Sale
Once an offer is made on your property, we will assess if we will accept it as presented, or revise the terms and come back with a counter offer. Rarely does an offer get accepted as presented. However, in the unique Bay Area real estate market, where there are lots of cash-rich buyers, some offers may astound you. In this case, we may decide that no negotiating is necessary. If we decide to proceed with a counter offer, I will thoroughly explain the process and we will discuss the best negotiation strategy. During the negotiation process, I will be your best advocate, assuring that your interests are always first and foremost. Additionally, if there are multiple offers, which can often be the case on Peninsula properties, we will hear them all and determine which is best for you based on price and terms, and we will proceed accordingly.
Upon acceptance of the purchase agreement, earnest money is deposited into an escrow account at the title company specified in the contract, and escrow begins. Escrow refers to the process by which an impartial third-party handles all funds, documents, and instructions on the purchase of a property. The escrow process ensures that the interests of all parties in a transaction are protected, and that all conditions of the sale, as outlined in the contract, have been met prior to property and money changing hands. During the escrow process, buyers will receive a bank appraisal, secure financing, approve the seller’s disclosures, obtain inspections, secure homeowner’s insurance and title insurance, and perform a walk-through on the property. For the most part, you, the seller, will just sit back and wait.
Negotiations can occur during the escrow process, particularly when there are contingencies written into the purchase contract. The results of the bank appraisal, or conditions that emerge from a buyer’s property inspection, may all affect whether the buyer wants to renegotiate the terms of the contract. If such issues arise, we will discuss your options and proceed accordingly. I will negotiate diligently on your behalf and always look out for your best interests.
The close of escrow date is written into the purchase contract. Typically, in our current real estate climate, escrow closes in sevento 30 days from the date of offer’s acceptance.
After all contingencies have been removed, and both the buyer and seller have fulfilled all obligations of the purchase contract,the title company will contact your mortgage lender, and other lien holders, if any, to request a payoff amount.
Shortly thereafter, you will receive a settlement statement, or HUD-1 Form, itemizing your payoff and all expenses imposed in the transaction. We will make an appointment with the title company where I will accompany you to sign the deed transfer and other documents. Once the title company receives all funds from the buyer and the buyer’s lender, anew deed is registered with the county in the buyer’s name. When the title company gets confirmation that ownership has been conveyed to the buyer, your lender will receive the funds to payoff your mortgage and all remaining funds will be released to you.
Congratulations, you have now closed escrow!