Great! You’ve decided to sell your home. Maybe it’s your first time. Here is the format on how homes are sold in the most effective way.
Step 1: Choose a Listing Agent
A listing agent will represent you during the sale of your home and have a fiduciary responsibility to work in your best interest. Interview a few agents. It is important that the two parties can co-exist.
Step 2: Ready for the Sale
It is critical to prepare your home for sale by cleaning, decluttering and improving curb appeal. The less a buyer has to think where what should where the better. If it helps to stage your home, do so. Your agent can assist with that. If there are any repairs you think should be made before your home is put on the market, make them. Address them before a buyer does.
Protect your valuables and pets. Make arrangements to have your pets cared for during showings and open houses. If you have a safety deposit box at your local bank it may be prudent to keep your valuable stored while your house is on the market.
Step 3: Figure Out How Much Your Home is Worth
It is imperative to price your home correctly and in line with the most recent sales in the neighborhood. Not to say your home may or may not be worth more than the one next door. It’s the duty of your agent to explain the determining factors that justify a list price. Consider whether your market is hot, cold or neutral, and price according to the market temperature.
Step 4: Market Your Home
There are many methods of marketing ones home. Every listing agent has a different strategy and game plan to sell your home. The most common methods of marketing are to hiring a professional photographer, hold open houses, and enter the home into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Other methods include:
- Virtual Tours
- Print Advertising
- Direct Mail
- Step 5: Showing Your Home
You only get one first impression with a prospect. Everything from the smell of your home all the way to the temperature can be a determining factor on whether or not a buyer will like your home.
Have a discussion with your agent as to whether or not you would like to have a lock box installed or a more traditional method of showing by appointment. You’ll get more showings if you let an agent use a lockbox.
Step 5: Receiving Offers
You’ve received an offer on your home; maybe more than one. Its time to go over them with your agent. When receiving an offer you have three response options. Seller’s may Accept, Reject, or Counter offers. Consider making a counter offer contingent on buying a home, if market conditions warrant.
Step 6: Open Escrow
- Your agent or transaction coordinator will open escrow and order a title policy
- Take note of the contact information for the buyers agent
- Select a date to close based on when the buyer’s loan will fund
- Ask for a receipt for the buyer’s earnest money deposit
- Step 8: Disclosures
Be prepared for a plethora of disclosures. A Real Estate transaction can produce hundreds of pages of disclosures. Be prepared. Ask your agent to explain anything you may have questions about.
As a seller you are obligated to disclose any and all material facts of the home that you are aware of. There will be a disclosure specifically for this to be noted. It is important that this form is extremely accurate.
Step 7: Sign Title / Close of Escrow
In southern California, you will sign escrow documents shortly after opening escrow. Your property deed, reconveyance and deed of trust will record in the public records. Title will notify you and your agent when it records. Depending on buyer’s possession rights specified in the purchase contract, you may be required to move on the day it closes.