YOU’VE DECIDED TO SELL YOUR HOME
From the moment you decide to sell until the deal is done, you’ll be working with a number of Professionals including Contractors, Inspectors, Realtors and Brokers to name just a few. In other words, it can get a little complicated.
Luckily, knowing what the process looks like ahead of time can be a huge help. Here is a brief outline of what you need to know about the Home Selling Process.
HIRE A LOCAL TOP NOTCH AGENT
Search for a few local real estate agents and explore online reviews about each, then schedule an appointment to meet. In your meeting, this agent should be able to provide a full market analysis of your community and give you a value range for your home. Also in this interview, they should have a rock solid plan for getting your home sold for top dollar. Choose an Agent you feel confident can handle your type of transaction and you’re comfortable with. This agent should be skilled in positioning your home in the marketplace; they will help you find the “Sweet Spot” of the market with a price that will generate interest from qualified home buyers and offers.
Walk through the house with your agent and identify the items that need your attention. A good agent will give you a list of items that need to be done before your home goes on the market. Now is the time to take care of those pesky home repairs you may have been putting off. Be sure that you have working Smoke and CO Detectors installed and your water heaters are properly strapped.
GETTING YOUR HOME READY TO SELL
First, De-Clutter. The best way to do that is to start packing. Anything that you don’t need or use – decide now what to do with it and get started. Pack it, Sell it, Donate it, or Throw it Away. Anything left, super organize it. While you’re working on De-Cluttering, it’s the perfect time to De-Personalize. Remove Collections of Objects like model cars, tea cups etc. Pack up the personal photos that line the walls of your hallway, be sure to patch the holes!
Believe it or not, one of the most important things you can do is to do a Deep Clean and Organize. Clean inside and out. Inside, clean every nook and cranny including in closets and drawers, inside the ovens, clean the garage top to bottom, don’t forget the doors, they may need a fresh coat of paint. Clean the windows inside and out, include the screens and tracks. Landscape outside, trim and clear out overgrown or dead plants. A Home that’s Looks and Smells Sparkling Clean appeals to everyone!
STYLING YOUR HOME TO SELL
Now that you’ve hired a Local Top Notch Agent, Decluttered, Cleaned and Repaired your home, it’s time for the Bling, so to speak. It’s Time to Style, or Stage your Home to Sell. Your Agent will guide you through this process either with outside resources or perhaps even do the staging themselves. Either way, how your home is presented to the market is critical.
This is where you, as the homeowner and seller, need to disconnect your emotions from your house. Now your house is a product that you want to get sold for the highest price possible and to do that, it needs to appeal to a wide range of potential home buyers. Think about how Builders present their Model Homes, they have only a few well selected items on display. Open sight-lines and clear pathways that draw you from one room to the next.
Now that your home is clean as a whistle, de-cluttered, depersonalized and Staged, it’s time to take some Great Photos. Don’t skimp on this detail; using an experienced Real Estate photographer will be key in the online presentation. This photo presentation should include lots of photographs, Drone Shots, a video, a walking tour, a floorplan and night shots. A good photographer can bring your house to life; they will make it look beautiful in photos and irresistible to home buyers who are shopping and comparing.
Top Agents have a professional marketing plan committed to writing; they are innovative and offer progressive strategies to reach the largest pool of qualified buyers as possible. Gone are the days of listing a home on the MLS and placing a newspaper ad or holding an open house. Today’s successful marketing requires a tech savvy Agent that’s creative and uses cutting edge technology to market your home. Scheduled Online Open Houses via Zoom, Social Marketing and Online Videos are just a few of the many important strategies a Top Agent will use.
SHOWINGS AND OPEN HOUSES
Avoid the last minute fire-drill. It’s easier to stay ready than it is to race around frantic at the last minute before a showing or Open House. Ask for our Exclusive eBook; “Lights Camera, Action! Your Guide to Stress Free Showings and Open Houses”.
YOU HAVE AN OFFER, NOW WHAT?
Your Agent will help you analyze each offer and be able to show you the “net” of what each offer is. They will help you negotiate your best price on the best terms for your situation and help you navigate through the escrow, appraisal, inspection, loan, and closing processes.
If your buyer is getting a loan, there will be an appraisal. An Appraiser come to your home, photograph, measure and make notes. They will look at similar homes on the market and homes that have recently sold and do a written analysis of the value of your home. The bank will use this appraisal to evaluate how much they will loan on the property. The rule of thumb, a lender will lend 80% of the purchase price or the appraised value, whichever is lower. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, you have a decision to make. The buyer will need to make up the difference with extra money, or you can re-negotiate price with the buyer that reflects the appraised value, or you can both agree to mutually cancel the agreement and you can start looking for another buyer that may not care that your house doesn’t appraise.
The Buyer will hire a home inspector to go through and test the systems of the house including the roof. Their report will highlight any deficiencies. From that report your agent will guide you through your “Request for Repair” usually the repairs are focused on health, safety or code violations.
As the homeowner / home seller you are required to provide the buyer with a set of mandatory disclosures. Some of those disclosures may include; Seller Disclosures, Pest Inspection, Natural Hazard Disclosure, HOA Disclosure. If your home is located in an HOA, you will need to provide a full set of HOA doc’s to the new buyer. Your Agent will guide you through this process.
CONTINGENCY REMOVAL #1 – INSPECTION
In California, Day 17 is the contract default day the Buyer Inspection Contingencies are to be removed. The Buyer has done their inspections, reviewed the disclosures and reports and you’ve negotiated what items will be repaired or credit issued at closing, it’s time for the Buyer to remove the inspection contingency. Your Agent will keep your transaction moving according to the contract timeline and make sure this important step is done on time.
REPAIRS AND RECEIPTS
Now that you have an agreement between Buyer and Seller regarding the repairs and the Buyer has removed their Inspection Contingency, it’s time to get the repairs done. You will need to provide receipts for the repairs, or a written statement if you’ve done the repairs yourself.
CONTINGENCY REMOVAL #2 – APPRAISAL AND LOAN
If the Buyer is getting a loan, Day 21 is the contract default day the Buyer is required to remove the Appraisal and Loan Contingency. After the Appraisal comes in at or above purchase price, and the Buyers loan application has gone through Underwriting and been approved. The Lender should be ready to give final loan approval to the Buyer, at this point the Buyer can remove their final contingency, Appraisal and Loan. Your Agent will be working closely with the Lender to make sure this bench-mark is met.
BUYER WALK THROUGH
Between 3-5 days prior to closing, the buyer will do their final walk through to confirm the repairs are complete, and the house has been maintained in the same condition as the day the offer was made. Buyer will sign a “Verification of Property” as acknowledgement.
Be sure to call all Utility and Service Providers and notify them of your closing date. Set up the services to end on or the day after your closing.
Depending upon the agreement, if the transfer of possession is the same day as recording, you will need to plan your move a few days before closing.
CLOSING FUNDS AND LOAN DOCS
Once all contingencies have been removed, the Lender will issue a Closing Disclosure to the Buyer for signature. And Escrow will issue their “Demand for Closing Funds” to the Buyer. Buyer wires the Balance of Closing funds to the Escrow account and the Lender will order the loan doc’s. Escrow will receive the loan doc’s and set up a Notary Signing for the Buyer. Once the loan doc’s are signed and Buyer funds are in Escrow – the Lender will “Fund the Loan”. At this point, the closing package is set up for recording with the County Recorder. Once the County Recorder has stamped “Recorded” the title will officially transfer to the Buyer and you’ve had a Successful Sale and it’s time to Celebrate!