Deciding to Sell
So, you have decided to sell your property? Before anything else, it’s a good idea to sit down and clarify your motivations and draw up a basic time frame for the selling process. Being clear about your intentions for selling will make it easier for us to determine the most appropriate option for your specified financial lifestyle, and real estate goals.
- Establish your time frame for selling: If you need to sell quickly, we can speed up the process by giving you a complete market analysis and action plan to obtain all of your goals. If there is no pressing need to sell immediately, we can sit down to thoroughly review the current market conditions and find the most favorable time to sell.
- Stay up-to-date: You can be sure that you will have our knowledge, expertise and negotiating skills at work for you to arrive at the best market prices and terms. We will keep you up-to-date on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties. With us, you will know exactly how to price and when to sell your property.
Step 1: Representation & Price
You may opt to sell your property independently (FSBO). There are many excellent reasons including price savings. By choosing representation, we can increase your property exposure, thus increasing competition to purchase your property. With our extensive contact networks that we have developed through the many national and international organizations, of which we are members, as well as our current and past clients, we will employ the most effective marketing and advertising strategies for your property. In addition, we will also guide you through the complicated paperwork involved, from the initial agreement to the final documents.
Truth is, 87% of buyers purchase their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001 (Quick Real Estate Statistics). What this means is that selling your home independently, without offering compensation to a buyers agent, will hinder most agents from showing your property to their clients. Yes, agents are required to represent their clients best interest, including showing properties where they may not receive compensation, but they may inherently decide to show another property first rather than yours, thus reducing price competition.
Step 2: Prepare to Sell
You can do a lot to increase the appeal of your property and to create a lasting impact on potential buyers. The following are a couple of factors to keep in mind when listing your property for sale. Yes, it’s prior to offer acceptance and showings, but necessary to mentally prepare you and the family:
- Keep clean and tidy: If you visit model homes or open houses of homes that have been staged, you’ll never see a stack of unread magazines, children’s artwork loosely hanging on the refrigerator, or a cluster of unpaid bills on a table. While everyone has clutter, buyers want to see a fantasy version of your house, in which they can envision living. Once your home is on the market you’ll need to keep it as neat as possible. One way to make that easier is to reduce the amount of clutter you have on your shelves and surfaces.
- Minor improvements: While you don’t necessarily want to do a major, expensive renovation project before you sell, you can make minor repairs and improvements that will make your home look fresher to buyers. Try things such as replacing the caulk and grout in your bathroom, updating old or rusted ceiling fans and light fixtures, and changing switch plates, doorknobs and other hardware for a clean and neat appearance. Consider painting your front door and trim even if your rooms don’t need new paint.
- Open Houses: Presenting your property to potential buyers is a job that we will take care of for you. Buyers feel more comfortable discussing the property with the agent, if you are not there. Moreover, your agent will know what information will be most useful in representing your interests when speaking with prospective buyers.
- Marketing and syndication: Your Castle will market the property via REColorado (MLS), and syndicate the property through numerous websites to reach local and national audiences.
- Legal documents: We are very familiar with the legal procedures involved in disclosures and are ready to help you develop a thorough disclosure statement beneficial to both you and the buyer, as well as suggest home improvement measures before placing your property on the market.
Step 3: Offer Acceptance
An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential purchaser and the property’s seller. Laws vary from state to state, but in order to be a legally, binding agreement, the agreement may require consideration. This consideration (earnest money and additional deposit) is to be held in the closing agent’s escrow account pending the fulfillment of conditions or contingencies in the effective agreement.
Some important tips to keep in mind to streamline the process even further:
- Keep written records of everything: For the sake of clarity, it will be extremely useful to transcribe all verbal agreements including counter-offers and addendums, and convert them to written agreements to be signed by both parties. We will assist you in drafting all the paperwork for your sale and make sure that you have copies of everything.
- Stick to the schedule: Now that you have chosen your offer, you and the buyer will be given a timeline to mark every stage in the process of closing the real estate contract. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations and also ensures that each party involved is not in breach of their agreements. During the process we will keep you constantly updated so you will always be prepared for the next step.
Step 4: Escrow, Inspections & Appraisals
A contingency is a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding. For instance, a buyer will usually include a contingency stating that their contract is binding only when there is a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified inspector. Before completing his or her purchase of your property, the buyer goes over every aspect of the property, as provided for by purchase agreements and any applicable addendums to include:
- Financing & Insurance: Obtaining financing and insurance to include appraisals provided by the lending institution (Expect an appraiser from the lender’s company to review your property and verify that the sales price is appropriate);
- Title Review: Reviewing all pertinent documents, such as preliminary title reports and disclosure documents; and
- Inspections: The buyer has the right to determine the condition of your property by subjecting it to a wide range of inspections, such as roof, termite/pest, chimney/fireplace, property boundary survey, well, septic, pool/spa, arborist, mold, lead based paint, HVAC, etc.
Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:
- Either each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the closing; or
- The buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price).
How do you respond objectively and fairly to the buyer when a renegotiation is demanded, while acting in your best interests? This is when a professional listing agent can make a real difference in the outcome of the transaction. Having dealt with various property sales in the past, we guarantee our expertise and total commitment to every customer, no matter what their situation is. We suggest that you accept buyers who have a lender’s pre-approval, approval letter, or written loan commitment, which is a better guarantee of loan approval than a pre-qualification or no documentation from a lender.
Step 5: Closing
-Final Walk-Through Inspection
More of a formality than anything else, the final inspection takes place a day before, or the day of the closing. The buyer will visit the property to verify that all is in working order, everything is the same as when last viewed, that there are no extra items left behind, and that everything included in your purchase is still at the property (e.g. inclusions described in the contract).
-Home Services and Utilities
Cancel all home services prior to vacating the property, unless you may be renting back from the buyer following closing.
The closing agent will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process. The buyer(s) will sign this statement and then you will sign as well as the closing agent, certifying its accuracy. If you are unable to attend the scheduled closing, then arrangements can be made depending on the circumstances and the notice that we receive. If you are receiving funds from the transaction, you can elect to either have the funds wired electronically to an account at your financial institution, or have a check issued to you at the closing. The seller should arrange to have all property keys and any other important information for the new purchaser at the closing, so that the purchaser may receive these items at this time.