Seller's Roadmap Source
[editorial note]: IP as of Jul 11 2016. Source: http://www.montecitocaliforniarealestate.com/sellers-roadmap/
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- Deciding to Sell
- Select an Agent & Price
- Prepare to Sell
- Accepting an Offer
- Escrow, Inspection and Appraisals
- Closing Day
Deciding to Sell
First of all, make sure you have clarified your reasons for selling. Then draft a basic time frame based on your needs.
It is always wise to do some introspection and clarify the specific reasons for your decision to sell your property. Sometimes those reasons are clear, but sometimes preconceptions or acute needs arise that can be dealt with in alternative ways. Make sure to consider your finances, lifestyle and both immediate and future opportunities. Now – what are your goals and objectives?
When Should I Sell?
A time frame for selling your property should be based on your needs, of course, but also, when possible, on the market. The Langhorne Group can provide a market analysis and action plan. If you can afford to take some time, you can meet with Sofie Langhorne to evaluate the market conditions and establish a favorable time to sell.
What Is The Market Like?
Detailed, up-to-date market analyses are available to you. Your agent will go over them, explain them in detail and answer any questions you might have. Current and historical pricing as well such things as market presence before sale will be plotted for your community and, in some cases, for your specific neighborhood. Analyzing and utilizing these trends is a vital part of your agent’s expertise and job.
How Do I Optimize My Finances?
Your current financial picture and its future possibilities are extremely important factors in your decision to sell your property. Tax savings, estate planning and other considerations must be evaluated. Your qualified agent can work with you and your financial planner to map the optimum strategy for your individual situation.
Select an Agent & Price
Why Should You Choose Our Professionals?
The Langhorne Group, backed by the prestigious brokerage firm Coldwell Banker, is able to utilize local, national and international networks of real estate professionals and their clients in the sale of your property. In addition, the Group coordinates extensive, sophisticated worldwide marketing programs with Sofie Langhorne’s local marketing expertise. The extensive and complicated paperwork involved in any real estate transaction is handled competently and efficiently from the initial agreement through the closing.
What To Look For In An Agent.
You should keep the following factors in mind when searching for a listing agent:
- Education. Real estate education and certification combined with ongoing training are vital to the competency of an agent.
- Experience and Expertise. Select a full-time agent who is a resident of your area and who is familiar with the type of property you intend to sell, as well as with local and regional marketing opportunities.
- Availability and Commitment. An agent should be available 24/7 to answer your questions and take any action necessary to facilitate and expedite the sale of your property. Your calls and emails to your agent should be returned promptly.
- Rapport. Your agent will be your consultant, advisor and ally during the entire real estate transaction, so it is imperative that he or she demonstrates compassion, empathy, understanding and even a sense of humor as well as professional expertise.
What Is Your Property Worth?
Property owners who attempt to sell their own homes frequently overestimate the home’s value and thereby delay or prohibit its sale. A qualified real estate agent will study the market and use available analyses and other tools to price the property competitively in order to assure an optimal outcome.
Prepare to Sell
As the property owner, you can do several things to increase the appeal of your property and make a positive impact on potential buyers.
What To Do To Prepare
Following are several things you can do to make your property appealing to agents and potential buyers:
- Curb Appeal.A clean yard and driveway and tasteful landscaping embellished with colorful foliage and flowers create an eye-catching scene and create welcoming energy.
- Property Repairs.
Even modest upgrades and freshening can make a world of difference. Clean windows, screens, floors and carpets, polished hardware on windows and doors, and a fresh coat of paint are all worth the time and investment.
- Cleanliness and Staging.
Although your agent will visit your property and suggest ways to improve its appearance and ambiance, the basics include eliminating clutter, maximizing light, introducing pleasant aromas created by scented candles and baked goodies, and displaying flower arrangements.
- Disclosures and Inspections.
The disclosure statement is very important to you and the buyer. Your agent will assist you in the development of the statement and will suggest beneficial measures such as termite and pest inspections
Presenting your property to potential buyers is your agent’s number one job. Since he or she will know the best way to show your home, and the best way to present information about it to other agents and prospective buyers, it is best if you take the opportunity to go shopping, exercising or to visit friends during showing times.
Accepting an Offer
The Price Is Not Always Right.
There are many factors besides price that constitute a good offer. Trust your agent to help you thoroughly consider every offer and evaluate its terms and conditions as well as the price.
Negotiating The Right Way.
At The Langhorne Group, fairly and ethically negotiating the terms of a contract is paramount. We prefer a win-win outcome that benefits all parties involved in the transaction. It is the philosophy of success and one that is especially important in multiple-offer situations.
The Initial Agreement and Deposit.
Although laws related to effective real estate agreements vary from state to state, most require consideration in the form of initial and additional deposits. The deposits are held in the closing agent’s escrow account until the conditions and contingencies of the agreement are fulfilled.
Here are some ways to streamline the process:
- Keep written records of everything.
All verbal agreements such as addendums and counter-offers should be placed in writing and signed by both parties. Your agent will draft all paperwork and make sure you have copies.
- Stick to the schedule.
Meeting the timeline set forth in the agreement assures uninterrupted negotiations and avoids any breach of contract possibilities. Your can rely on your agent to keep you on track and prepared
Escrow, Inspection and Appraisals
Expect the buyer to have your property inspected by a licensed property inspector, or possibly several specialized inspectors, during the timeframe set in the contract. If the buyer is dependent on financing from a lending institution, appraisal by a licensed real estate appraiser will determine the value of your property for the lending firm. In the case of a commercial property, an environmental audit and soil test may be performed.
The Closing Agent.
A title company or attorney will act as closing agent, whose responsibility it will be to examine and insure a clear title. All new encumbrances will be included in the title.
Contingencies must be met before a contract becomes legally binding. A professional home inspection is one example of a contingency. Expect the buyer and his or her agent to peruse every aspect of the property, including:
Reviewing all documents such as preliminary title reports and disclosures
- Inspection. The buyer’s exercising the right to determine property condition might include professional inspections such as roof, chimney and fireplace, pest, septic, pool, well, mold, lead-based paint and so on.
Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:
- Contingencies will be removed and you will move a step closer to closing,
- The buyer may request a contract renegotiation.
If the buyer demands renegotiation, you should trust your agent to act on your behalf. Experience and an objective approach free of emotions are vital in this situation.
Loan Approval and Appraisal.
We at The Langhorne Group strongly suggest that you consider only buyers who have a lender’s pre-approval letter or written loan commitment.
Congratulations are almost in order. You just need to tie up a few loose ends.
Final Walk-Through Inspection.
The day before, or day of the closing, you and your agent walk through the property to verify that everything is in order.
Home Services and Utilities.
Just before the closing, your agent will provide you with a list of useful numbers for the activation of home services and utilities.
Sofie and her Langhorne Group of professionals are ready to assist you with any unforeseen problems or needs. Sometimes those things challenge even the best preparations, but they should not be considered insurmountable or cause undue stress.
All parties involved in the transaction will be furnished with a settlement statement summarizing the details and financial transactions. You, the seller(s) and the closing agent will certify the accuracy of the statement and sign it. You will also be required to sign all documentation required by the lending institution, and to present funds in the form of a wire transfer or certified check. Alternate arrangements can be made if you are unable to attend the closing. Property keys and any relevant information will be supplied by the seller.