Listing your home for sale is a big decision, and can take time and effort to prepare for. By following these simple steps, you can streamline the process and make your home appealing for both buyers and their agents.
A pre-listing home inspection allows you to see what items a home inspector will point out to a Buyer so that you can have those items corrected prior to listing your home for sale. The inspection report, along with the repairs, can also be used as a marketing tool to attract prospective buyers.
Staging Your Home
Staging your home allows it to show in the best possible light to Buyers. A vacant home can be staged with furniture and artwork to give it a more inviting “lived-in” feel. This helps prospective buyers envision how they might use each space in the home. Occupied homes can benefit from a professional home stager guiding re-decorating suggestions such as which rooms to paint, what items to remove from the house to lessen the appearance of clutter to buyers, and even to rearrange furniture to increase the flow and appearance of space.
Photography & Virtual Tours
Statistics show that prospective homebuyers consider photos of a home the most important part of a home’s marketing listing. Utilizing a professional real estate photographer is the most effective way you to market your home. Realty NET offers an optional professional photographer service and some feature 360 degree virtual tours and floor plans to encourage buyers to make an appointment as a result of viewing the home online.
Pricing Your Home
Selecting the right price your home for today’s market is important, not only for attracting a buyer, but for ensuring the transaction can end successfully. Whether the buyer obtains a mortgage or not, 99% will order an appraisal to assess the home’s value. An appraiser will consider the values of similar homes in your region that have sold in the last six months that are similar in size. Pricing your home outside of these criteria will probably lead to a home not appraising for the right value, and depending on financing, that appraisal could remain for the next six months.
Since appraisals are subjective, its best to consider the most recent sales around your home at the time you list and then again at the time of contract. This ensures that your home isn’t overpriced for the market.
Once you’ve determined the right price for your home, it’s time for your agent to list it and let homebuyers in to view it. You should leave the home prior to a showing, however, it is recommended that you leave the lights on and the window coverings open to maximize natural light. Your home should be left at a comfortable temperature, too. The idea to is to make the home feel inviting. After an appointment, the buyer agent will leave feedback from the Buyer which can be used to adjust pricing, marketing or used to put together a deal with the Buyer.
Open houses can also be a great tool to attract Buyers. Open Houses provide an opportunity for buyers to walk through without having to set an appointment with a Realtor®
When an offer is received, the following items will be negotiated with the Buyer and their agent:
- Offer Price
- Closing Date (the date the home is no longer yours)
- Due Diligence Period (the time period a Buyer has to complete inspections, appraisals, etc)
- Earnest Money and Due Diligence Fees paid by the Buyer
- Any Contingencies (anything that must be satisfied in order to complete the sale).
When an offer is agreed up on by all parties, it is a Contract.
Once a sales agreement is reached between you and the buyer, the home is officially under contract. The time period between this agreement and closing is called the “Due Diligence” period. The buyer sets this time period (negotiated in the contract) in order to perform inspections, appraisals, and perform any research needed to determine whether or not you want to purchase the home. It is customary after a home inspection for a Buyer to request that the Seller complete all of the repairs uncovered in the inspection report or to ask for additional money off the contract price. That is why it is always a good idea to complete a pre-listing home inspection to identify potential problem areas and to have those items addressed prior to the Buyer’s home inspection.
The Buyer will also have an appraisal completed to ensure the sales price is within the market value for that type of property.
Title & Underwriting
Before closing, the Buyer’s lender will order a title report on the house to make sure that there are no issues with current or past ownership. In final underwriting, the lender checks to ensure that the Buyer is still mortgage-worthy.
Closing is where a Buyer provides the funds to purchase and the Seller signs over the deed to the home. Once the deed is recorded, the home has officially passed to the Buyer and all funds are released to the Seller.