Time to Sell…
…Means time to alter your perspective of your house. Until now your "home" has represented security, your family’s haven, in general, a safe sanctuary from the rest of the world.
Now it’s time to shift gears and look at your property as a saleable investment. As a house on the market, it becomes simply a piece of real estate that needs to be sold. When you remove emotion and personal attachment, you’ll concentrate more objectively on the finer points of selling your property.
Step 1: Selecting an Agent – Full time vs. Part time
Ask the agent if they have another job besides a Real Estate career, and why. Most part timers are in the business to make an extra buck for themselves, and do not have proper training, oversight or market expertise. They usually take a listing; put it in the MLS with little or no other marketing effort, hoping that others will sell the property. Full time career professional know their business, and will look out for your best interests.
Confused about whom Realtors represent in a transaction? There are several ways that agents represent their clients, as clarified by the Minnesota agency relationships form required for all transactions.
First Impressions Count
When interviewing agents to sell your property:
- Are they dressed appropriately?
- Do they present themselves well?
- Do they know their business?
- Are they what you expect in a professional realtor?
- If you were a buyer, would you work with them?
Gimmicks don’t sell properties, Realtors do! Watch out for "guaranteed sale plans", "I’ll sell your home in 30 days or less", and the like. These gimmicks and other empty promises seldom work for the sellers best interests, and are usually a line of baloney just to obtain the listing.
Step 2: Creating a Marketing Plan
Create a marketing plan for your home that will help distinguish it in your local marketplace and attract sellers to your property. This may include advertising in the newspaper, posting your listing on the Internet, holding an Open House and more. Our Sales Professionals use our Customized Home Marketing System to create a personalized selling program for clients. Its purpose is to sell a home at the best price possible in the shortest amount of time.
Step 3: Setting the Price—What is a Competitive Market Analysis?
A key part of the marketing plan is setting the list price. If a home is priced too low, it may cost you money. If a home is priced too high, your home may become "Market Stale". To determine the best asking price, review comparable sales of recently sold homes, evaluate the competition and study marketplace trends. Our Sales Associates are trained to use this information to help you reach the right asking price which is more critical than ever before. It is also helpful to discuss other terms and conditions, such as timing and items that can be included with the sale of the home. Both of these can make your home more attractive to potential sellers.
To set a value for Real Estate, professional Realtors generally use the following three techniques:
- The Market Data Approach
- The Replacement Cost Approach
- The Income Approach
For most residential Real Estate, the most accurate method is the Market Data Approach, which compares your property with similar properties that have sold and closed, usually within the last year or so.
To do a professional market evaluation, the Sales Associate will inspect your property thoroughly, taking notes on construction quality, condition, lot size, location, and other features important in establishing market value. When the Associate returns to the office, they will review the MLS information to find similar recently sold properties. After selecting the best comparable sales, the Associate will complete a worksheet, making adjustments for differences between your property and the sold properties, and arriving at a range of value for your home.
Once a range of value as been established, the Associate will prepare an estimate of Seller’s expenses, based upon different sale prices and methods of financing the property. Also, the Associate will consider the number of competing homes on the market, and other factors when preparing a market analysis to develop a strategy to sell your home for its maximum value over a reasonable time.
We realize that selling a home usually is the largest transaction that most sellers face in their lifetime, and we will do our best to prepare a thorough and professional market evaluation of your property.
Generally, a market analysis is performed at no charge, and is not considered an appraisal of the property. A true appraisal considers all approaches to value, and the appraiser prepares an extensive report for use by lenders and attorneys, and charges a fee for the appraisal service.
Step 4: Showtime
Now it’s time to get your home ready for the spotlight. Start with a good cleaning, then eliminate any clutter, add a fresh coat of paint and tidy up the yard. Talk to your real estate professional about other tips that can help boost a home’s curb appeal and impress potential buyers once in the door. One way to make a home more attractive is to purchase a Home Protection Plan. This insurance protects you, the seller, from paying replacement costs of major items during the listing period. It also protects the buyer during their first year of homeownership.
In addition, make sure you are aware of all the federal, state, and local disclosure laws. This information can be obtained by the specific local and federal government agencies or from Edwards & Associates, Inc.
Step 5: Protecting Yourself
In some cases, a home sale can also be an invitation for danger. Here are some things you can do to make the process safer:
- Ask for identification
- Ask for pre-approval letters
- Lock up and hide collectibles and valuables
- Remember "For Sale" signs bring in strangers. Do Not allow your children to open doors to strangers.
- If you have pets, make sure they are controlled
- Remove any dangerous items
- Talk to your Sales Professional about additional safety tips to help protect you and your family.
Step 6: Making the Deal
A buyer has made an offer – now it is time to negotiate. Rely on your real estate professional to guide you through this process. He or she will help you arrive at an acceptable price, terms and conditions. Once you have accepted an offer, help keep the deal together by meeting deadlines and criteria, including Home Inspections, appropriate buyer visits, appraisals and other steps. In fact, during this period there may be a renegotiation of the accepted offer price depending on the outcomes of these visits. As the closing nears, you may also need to perform repairs or do additional work to the house, and "broom clean" prior to the closing so that the buyer can complete a final walk through. When you finally arrive at the closing table, come prepared with the appropriate certificates and approvals as required by your town, county and state. Ask the appropriate agency or get a list of what you need from Edwards & Associates, Inc. Once the money has exchanged hands and all the papers signed it’s time to hand over the keys and concentrate on your next big project – getting YOUR new home in order.
Step 7: Moving Checklist
- Contact the US Postal Service, magazine companies, and newspapers with your change of address once you know the date of closing.
- Contact local utility companies (gas, electric, telephone, cable TV); they will need personal information from you that your agent can not provide.
- Have your utility companies and/or city do a final reading of the gas, electric and water meters the day of closing.
- Contact your insurance agent to ensure you are covered and for address changes.
- Register your children for school.
- Take a photographic or video inventory of household furniture and belongings.
- Make sure you have packing supplies handy: boxes, marking pens, bubble wrap, newspaper and tissue, tape, scissors and a tape measure.
- Pack one room at a time. Label each box and indicate.
- Which room the box goes in.
- If it is Fragile
- If it should be unloaded first or not.
- Pack valuables (jewelry, legal documents, family photos and collectables) separately, move these items yourself.
- Prepare for the first night in your new home by packing items you will need accessible in a separate bag and carry it with you.
- Obtain medical and dental records, x-rays and prescription histories. Ask your current doctor and dentist for referrals and transfer prescriptions.