Selling your home can be a long, stressful, expensive process. At Apple Country Realty, our job is to help make it as short, stress-free, and financially beneficial for you as possible. We hope that the information provided below is helpful in your journey.
There are seven steps involved in the home selling process:
- Finding the right real estate agent. Choosing the right person to sell your home is important. You need someone who listens; who’s knowledgeable, experienced, and responsive; and who you enjoy working with.
- Valuing your home. Setting the proper price when you list your home is essential. Many factors can affect the list price of a home including location, age, size, condition, amenities, supply and demand, and market conditions.
- Preparing a marketing plan and promotional materials. You may have the best home in the area, but if it isn’t property presented and communicated, it won’t sell. Good marketing includes yard signs, newspaper ads, an MLS listing with striking photographs, etc.
- Showing your home. Potential home buyers will usually decide whether they like your property within the first 30 seconds. Your home is a product being sold in a very competitive market, and it’s important to present it in the best light possible. As soon as you choose us to represent you, we will conduct an on-site analysis to help you decide what additional investments of time and money — such as repainting a room, adding lighting, or decluttering — might lead to a quicker sale at a better price.
- Receiving an offer. At this point, your agent will help you understand, review, and respond to the offer’s specific terms and conditions. In addition to a price, offers often include the amount the buyer needs to borrow, closing dates, contingencies such as inspections and appraisals, and any personal property such as appliances to be included.
- Meeting required deadlines. The work is far from over once you’ve agreed to an offer. Your real estate agent will work closely with you — and the buyer — to monitor progress and meet deadlines for home inspections, appraisals, surveys, title insurance, agreed upon repairs, and final walkthroughs.
- Closing the sale. At the closing, all parties sign the necessary paperwork needed to complete the transaction. Title to the property is transferred from you to the buyer, any existing liabilities like your remaining mortgage are paid off, documents are filed with the local property records office, and you receive payment for your house! Right through this final step, your real estate agent will continue working with the buyer’s agent and both attorneys to ensure that no last minute issues pop up to stop the sale.
Valuing your home.
Online estimates of home values, like the Zestimate® from Zillow, represent a computer algorithm’s best guess, and can often be tens of thousands of dollars off. To get an accurate assessment, it’s best to use a Certified Residential Appraiser with first-hand knowledge of your area. Setting an initial asking price is the most important step in the home selling process. Too high, and you delay your sale by months or years. Too low, and you may shortchange yourself by thousands of dollars.
The challenges and pitfalls of “For Sale By Owner”
According to a recent study, just 9% of homeowners opted to sell their home without the services of a real estate professional, and many of those “For Sale by Owner” transactions involved buyers and sellers who were related or already knew each other.
Just by reading our Services for Sellers page and the home selling process on the left, it should be clear that selling a home is complicated and time consuming, and requires extensive expertise and resources. Just as surgery is best left to doctors, selling your home is best left to trained, licensed real estate agents.
Two additional things to consider:
- The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have expanded.
- What you save in commissions may be lost by under-pricing your home. In addition, someone buying an FSBO home will try to get you to lower your asking price since he knows you aren’t paying a commission. Finally, if your buyer is represented by a broker, that broker won’t work with you since she is paid out of the selling agent’s commission.