REASONS TO CHOOSE A LOCAL INDEPENDENT OVER A LARGE CHAIN REALTY COMPANY!
When you're looking for a partner to help you negotiate the complexities of selling a home, you've come to the right place. The experience, dedication and strong communication you'll receive here will help ensure the successful and profitable sale of your home:
1. The Local Advantage - Take advantage of a broad spectrum of technologies and tools to support the sale of your home from start to close.
2. Internet Advertising - Since the lion's share of home buyers starts their search on the internet, top placement on search engines is essential. You'll gain access to placement on Google, Bing, and other websites. This will maximize your exposure and bring a large number of potential buyers to view information about your home.
3. Email Campaigns - It's important to "work the network." We can work together to identify the right people to target your home-and get in touch with them by email to drive excitement and interest.
4. Personal Touch - Of course, technology alone won't sell your home. Face-to-face interaction provides the advantage to sell your home-and you won't have to worry about a thing. The details will be handled with care and constant communication, to ensure the marketing and sale of your home go smoothly.
5. Dedicated Agent Appointment Set up and follow up - It is important to have the sales agent you hired answer the phone and set appointments per your request not an 800 service call center with no knowledge about your personal requirements. As well I personally call for feedback to ensure the highest level of information transfer to assist with the selling of your home. I do not rely on third party emails as a source of feedback.
6. Strong Negotiations - My reputation as an independent agent is on the line, so when a low offer comes in from an investor looking to take advantage of the market situation, I have experience to overcome this situation and achieve the expectation goal set from the listing meeting.
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Then there are the factors within your control that have a big impact on the bottom line. Things like hiring a really good real estate agent and maximizing your home’s online appeal can convert effort into dollars — and a more seamless closing.
Here are 12 steps experts advise homeowners take to quickly sell their homes.
- Hire an agent who knows the market.
- Set a timeline for selling your home.
- Get a pre-sale home inspection.
- Don’t waste money on needless upgrades.
- Get professional photos.
- Put your house on the market.
- Set a realistic price.
- Review and negotiate offers.
- Anticipate seller closing costs.
- Weigh the tax implications.
- Gather necessary paperwork to close.
1. Hire an agent who knows the market
The internet makes it simple to delve into real estate agents’ sales history and professional designations, so you can choose the right person to work with. Look up real estate agents’ online profiles to learn how long they’ve been in the industry, how many sales they’ve done, and what designations they may have earned. Pay attention to how and where they market their listings, and if they use professional photos or not.
Homeowners might be tempted to avoid hiring a real estate agent to save on paying the real estate commission and instead sell their home themselves. This is known as “for sale by owner,” or FSBO. I am an experienced agent and I earn earns the fee by exposing your house to the broadest possible audience to garner the best offers possible, and negotiating on your behalf. If you go it alone, you’ll have to personally manage prepping your home, marketing it, reviewing buyers’ offers, all of the negotiations and closing details.
2. Set a timeline for selling your home
Selling a house is a major undertaking that can take two to four months from start to finish — or much longer depending on local market conditions.
As soon as you decide to sell your house, jump right into researching the market to find someone with the right experience for your situation. At least two or three months before you plan to list it, consider getting a pre-sale home inspection and identifying any problem areas, especially structural or mechanical issues that may need addressing to facilitate a sale. Leave enough time to schedule necessary repairs.
About a month before listing your house, start working on staging and deep-cleaning in preparation for taking photos.
Here’s a checklist of things to do before listing your home:
- Interview real estate agents and check their sales history.
- Declutter, perhaps moving excess furniture to a storage unit.
- Get an optional home inspection to identify any issues.
- Schedule repairs if needed.
- Deep clean.
- Stage the house.
- Take professional photos.
3. Get a pre-sale home inspection
A pre-sale home inspection can be a wise upfront investment, but it’s optional. A detailed inspection report can identify any structural or mechanical problems before you list your home for sale. It may cost a few hundred dollars, but an inspection will alert you in advance of issues that buyers will likely flag when they do their own inspection later in the process.
By being a few steps ahead of the buyer, sellers might be able to speed up the selling process by doing repairs in tandem with other home prep work. This means, by the time the house hits the market, it should be ready to sell relatively drama-free and quickly.
4. Don’t waste money on needless upgrades
If you’re going to invest money into costly upgrades, make sure that the additions or updates you make have a high return on investment. It doesn’t make sense to install new granite counter tops if you stand to break even or even lose money on the sale.
Here’s where a good real estate agent can help guide you. They often know what people expect in your neighborhood and can help you plan upgrades accordingly. If local shoppers aren’t looking for super skylights or a steam shower, then it doesn’t make sense to add them. A fresh coat of neutral paint, new carpet and a spruced-up landscape are low-cost ways to make a great first impression.
Generally, updates to kitchens and bathrooms provide the highest return on investment. So if you have old cabinetry, you might be able to simply replace the doors and hardware for an updated look. For example, you can swap out those standard-issue kitchen cabinet doors for modern, Shaker-style doors in a weekend, without breaking the bank.
5. Get professional photos
Now that your house sparkles and shines, work with your real estate agent to schedule a photo shoot to capture your home in all of its glory. High-quality photos are critical, since maximizing your home’s web appeal can make all the difference between a quick sale or a listing that languishes .
A professional photographer, with a strong portfolio, knows how to make rooms appear bigger, brighter and more attractive. The same goes for your lawn and outdoor area. Dimly lit online photos can turn off home buyers before they even have a chance to read about the lovely bike path nearby or the new roof you just installed.
6. Put your house on the market
If a speedy sale is your goal, here are tips to get it market-ready and attract buyers:
Focus on the house’s web appeal
You’ve heard of curb appeal, but professionals say web appeal is now even more important.
“Your home’s first showing is online,” Guerra says. “The quality of your web presentation will determine whether someone calls and makes an appointment, or clicks on the next listing.”
Stage it and keep it clean for showings
I often suggest that sellers “stage” their homes. That simply means you remove excess furniture, personal belongings and unsightly items from the home while it’s on the market, and arrange rooms for optimal flow and purpose. If you’re selling a luxury home, investing in a professional stager could help you stand out. Nationally, professional home staging costs an average of $922, according to HomeAdvisor. Homeowners pay between $325 on the low end up to $1,518 on average.
Let someone else show the house
Make yourself scarce when potential buyers come to view your home. Let them imagine themselves in the space, free from the distraction of meeting and talking to you. Generally, buyers are accompanied by their own real estate agent to view your home, or you can ask your own agent to be present at showings.
“Seeing the current homeowner lurking can cause buyers to be hesitant to express their opinions and keep them from really considering your home as an option,” says Grant Lopez, chairman of the San Antonio Board of Realtors in Texas.
7. Set a realistic price
Even in competitive markets, buyers don’t want to pay more than what the comparables, or “comps.” show, so it’s crucial to get it right the first time. Pricing too high can backfire, while underestimating the house’s value might cause you to leave money on the table.
To price your home right from the start, rely on your neighborhood’s comps. These are data sheets about recently sold properties in a specific area. At a glance, you can get an idea of what houses are going for around you.
“A frequent mistake sellers make is pricing a home too high and then lowering it periodically,” Lopez says. “Some sellers might think this practice will yield the highest return but, in reality, the opposite is often true. Homes that are priced too high will turn off potential buyers who may not even consider looking at the property.”
8. Review and negotiate offers
After your home officially hits the market and buyers have seen it, the offers may start rolling in. If you’re in a competitive market that favors sellers, buyers will likely offer at or above asking price, and you may even get multiple bids. On the other hand if sales are slow in your area and you don’t get many offers, you may have to be amenable to negotiate.
When you receive an offer, you have a few choices: accept the offer as it is, make a counteroffer or reject the offer. A counteroffer is a response to an offer, where you negotiate on terms and price. They should always be made in writing and have a short timeframe (48 hours or less) for the buyer to respond. You can offer a credit for paint and carpet, but insist on keeping your original asking price in place, for example, or offer to leave behind certain appliances to sweeten the deal.
I will recommend to look closely at other aspects of the offer, such as:
- How the buyer is paying (cash versus financing)
- Type of financing
- Down payment amount
- Requests for credits or personal property
- Proposed closing date
If you’re lucky enough to get multiple offers, you might be tempted to go with the highest one but be mindful that if a buyer is relying on lender financing, the property has to be appraised. Any shortfall between the purchase price and appraised value will have to be made up somewhere, or the deal could fall apart.
9. Anticipate seller closing costs
Both the homebuyer and seller have closing costs. The home seller typically pays the real estate agent’s commission.
Some other costs commonly paid by the seller include:
- Government transfer tax
- Title insurance
- Recording fees
- Outstanding liens
- Prorated taxes and other fees
Additionally, if the buyer has negotiated any credits to be paid at closing for repairs or closing costs, the seller will pay those too.
10. Weigh the tax implications
The good news is many home sellers won’t owe taxes on profits from the sale of their primary home. If you’ve owned and lived in your home for at least two out of the previous five years before selling it, then you would not have to pay taxes on any profit up to $250,000. For married couples, the amount you can exclude from taxes increases to $500,000.
However, if your profit from the home sale is greater than $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples), then you need to report it to the IRS on your tax return as a capital gain.
11. Gather necessary paperwork
There’s lots of paperwork needed to properly document a home sale. Organize your papers all in one place to help things go more quickly. Some of the main documents you’ll need to gather include:
- Your home’s original purchase contract
- Property survey, certificate of occupancy and certificates of compliance with local codes
- Mortgage documents
- Tax records
- Appraisal from your home purchase
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Home inspection report, if you did one