SELLING REAL ESTATE MAY BE ONE OF THE LARGEST FINANCIAL TRANSACTION AND MOST CHALLENGING DECISIONS THAT YOU’LL MAKE IN A LIFETIME.
When selling, you want the best price and most favorable terms. There are a variety of marketing options, legalities and details that go into a sale of a home. from the time you set the price to closing.
When we market your property, you benefit by receiving our professional experience and approach, a marketing plan tailored to your needs and to achieve optimal results. We assist you in all aspects of marketing, from preparing your house to sell to advertising.
The following information can help you prepare yourself to make good decisions during your home selling experience.
Preparing Your House For Sale
When selling, you want the best price and most favorable terms. There are a variety of marketing options and details that go into a sale, from the time you set the price to closing. When marketing your property, if it is properly prepared for showing an interested buyer, it will bring the best price, terms…and ultimately sell in the shortest time frame.
Helpful tips for preparing or staging include:
- Remove clutter from the yard
- Cut and edge grass
- Trim hedges and weed gardens
- Paint, fix or wash railings, steps, storm windows, screens and doors
- Clean gutters
- Wash windows
- Straighten up garage
- Paint, wash and fix garage doors and windows
- Repair dripping faucets and leaky toilets
- Replace all burned out light bulbs
- Repair faulty light switch
- Remove clutter
- Oil door hinges, tighten door knobs
- Carpet professionally cleaned or replaced if in poor condition
- Give home a thorough cleaning
Showing Your Home
Once your home is ready to show, we will begin marketing it to potential buyers and other sales associates. If possible, leave the home when buyers are present so they feel comfortable asking their agent candid questions. Other helpful tips include:
- Remove pets. Take them with you or keep them penned in the yard or garage.
- Open shades and curtains to let in light.
- Turn on enough lights so the home is well lit.
- Remove clutter from tables and bookshelves. Neatness makes rooms seem larger.
- Put away items in the yard like garden tools, bicycles and toys.
- Light a fire in the fireplace to create a cozy atmosphere.
- Grind up part of a lemon in the disposal to add a fresh smell to the kitchen.
- Keep radios and TVs off, or on a low volume.
- Keep money and other valuables, as well as prescription drugs, out of sight.
Purchase and Sale Agreement
Once we have an offer, I will review the offer with you and negotiate for the optimal selling price and terms of the sale. This is the contract in which outlines the details of the offer between Seller/Buyer and all required documents to transfer ownership of property once the sale is completed. The purchase and sale agreement usually consists of the following pages:
- Earnest money receipt.
- Financing addendum.
- Inspection addendum.
- Conditions/disclosure addendum.
- Contingency addendum-when appropriate.
- Addendum outlining special conditions.
- Short-Sale or Bank Owned/Foreclosure addendum-when appropriate.
- Lead-based paint notification-when appropriate.
- Property disclosure form completed by the property seller.
- Agency disclosure.
The Purchase and Sale Process Step-By-Step Process
Six to eight weeks before:
- Use up things that may be difficult to move, such as frozen food.
- Get estimates from professional movers or truck rental companies if you are moving yourself.
- Once you’ve selected a mover, discuss insurance, packing, loading and delivery and the claims procedure.
- Sort through your possessions. Decide what you want to keep, what you want to sell and what you wish to donate to charity.
- Record serial numbers on electronic equipment and take photos of or videotape all your belongings.
- Obtain a change of address packet from the post office and send to creditors, magazine subscriptions and catalog vendors.
- Discuss tax-deductible moving expenses with your accountant and begin keeping accurate records.
- If you’re moving to a new community, contact the Chamber of Commerce and school district and request information about services.
- Make reservations with airlines, hotels and car rental agencies, if needed.
Two to four weeks before:
- If you are moving yourself, use your inventory list to determine how many boxes you will need.
- Begin packing non-essential items.
- Arrange for storage, if needed.
- If you have items you don’t want to pack and move, hold a yard sale.
- Get car license, registration and insurance in order.
- Transfer your bank accounts to new branch locations. Cancel any direct deposit or automatic payments from your accounts.
- Make special arrangements to move pets and consult your veterinarian about ways to make travel comfortable for them.
- Have your car checked and serviced for the trip.
- Collect items from safe-deposit box.
One week before:
- Talk to your pharmacist about transferring important medical prescriptions.
- Arrange for a baby sitter on moving day.
- Return library books and videotapes.
Two to three days prior:
- Defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
- Have movers pack your belongings
- Arrange to have payment ready for moving company.
- Set aside legal documents and valuables that you do not want packed
- Pack Clothing and toiletries, along with extra clothes in case the moving company is delayed.
- Give your travel itinerary to a close friend or relative so they can reach you as needed.
Settlement Costs – Who Pays What
During the negotiation stage of the transaction, a mutually agreed-upon date for closing is determined. “Closing” is when you and the buyer sign all the paperwork and pay your share of the settlement fees, and the documents are recorded. Settlement obligations vary widely due to specific contract language, local laws and customs. Prior to closing, the closing agent (usually an escrow or title company or attorney) will complete a detailed settlement statement for both buyer and seller.
The Seller Will Receive
- Utility deposits held by gas) electric, cable, telephone and other companies
- Prorated portion of pre-paid property taxes
- Prorated mortgage interest from payments made during the current month
- Fuel rebate for oil or propane remaining in storage tank
- Net proceeds after sellers share of expenses are paid
The Seller Pays
- Brokerage commission (the sum or percentage of the sale price, previously agreed upon by the seller and real estate agent)
- One-half of escrow or legal fees paid to the attorney or escrow company for preparing the closing
- Document preparation fees
- Recording and notary fees
- Title search and title insurance (paid by either the seller or the buyer)
- Local transfer taxes, if any
- State taxes, if any
- Repairs or inspections you have agreed to pay for