Selling Your Home
In order to sell your home quickly and with the best possible terms, it is necessary to prepare your home for the market. This process includes:
The Price is Right
A key part of selling your house is setting the list price. If a home is priced too low, you won’t benefit from the optimal profit. If a home is priced too high, potential buyers may be turned off. To determine the best asking price review the sales price of recently sold homes, evaluate the current homes you will be competing against and study marketplace trends.
As a CENTURY 21 All Islands agent, I am trained to use this information to help you reach the right asking price. 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 buyers.
Negotiating the Offer
As your real estate agent, I will immediately present and explain all offers to you. You will be able to accept, reject, or counter any offer presented. During the negotiation process, I will leverage my experience and skills to advocate your interests by:
Throughout the negotiation, I will provide you with a professional, objective point of view, but the final decision of accepting an offer is yours.
Your home is in escrow, and the buyer has scheduled a home inspection. A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of the home and property. The process usually takes two to three hours, during which time the house is examined from the ground up. The inspection includes observation and, when appropriate, operation of the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and appliance systems, as well as structural components: roof, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors, and windows.
It’s important to remember that a home inspection does not detect every conceivable flaw. It is an inspection of those areas and items that can be seen. Home inspectors cannot see through foundations, floors or walls, and cannot inspect areas or items that are inaccessible.
A pre-sale inspection enables you to attend to problems before the house is put on the market. It also removes any questions about the condition of your home for you and a potential home buyer. Buyers are positively influenced by a professionally produced home inspection report, which improves the speed, price, and likelihood of a sale.
Some home sellers elect not to correct every defect reflected in the inspection report. Instead, they acknowledge the defects to buyers and explain that the asking price has been adjusted to reflect the estimated cost of repairs. In addition to facilitating the sale of a home, an inspection can add to the required seller’s disclosure statement and helps the homeowner comply with state disclosure requirements. By disclosing the condition of your property, you are less likely to overlook a defect or material fact for which you later could be held liable.
Qualified inspection companies will provide a sample report to substantiate that they abide by industry standards. One of the key standards is that ethical inspectors neither perform repairs nor refer clients to repair companies (thus avoiding a conflict of interest). Obviously, inspectors who make repairs on homes they inspect are more likely to "find" defects.
Once you or the Buyer has arranged for a home inspection, plan to accompany the inspector for the entire procedure. You have the right to be there, and leading home inspection companies will encourage your presence. It helps you to better understand the findings in the report, and will reduce post-closing hassles. Don't forget your list of questions and items of concern. A thorough home inspection covers more than 1,000 items, everything from the foundation to roof and takes two to three hours depending on the size of the property. The report should reflect the condition of about 400 items.
After the Offer is Accepted
Once an offer is accepted, I will manage all the details to make the process as stress-free and efficient as possible:
The closing process is completed in two steps:
Signing and verification of all the paperwork and submission of funds by the buyer and the buyer’s lender to escrow.
Recording of the property with the appropriate government office and final transfer of funds. This is generally two to three days after signing. It is at this point they buyer receives keys to the property and the sellers receives their proceeds and any seller mortgages or liens are paid.
Closing is essentially where the closing agent (the party who conducts settlement) takes in money from the buyers, pays out money to the owner and makes sure that the purchaser's title is properly recorded in local records along with any mortgage liens. All papers have been prepared by closing agents, title companies, lenders and lawyers. This paperwork reflects the sale agreement and allows all parties to the transaction to verify their interests. For instance, buyers get the title to the property, lenders have their loans recorded in the public records and state governments collect their transfer taxes.
The closing agent reviews the sale agreement to determine what payments and credits the owner should receive and what amounts are due from the buyer. The closing agent also assures that certain transaction costs are paid (taxes and title searches).
Closing is also the time when "adjustments" will be made. For instance, suppose you've pre-paid taxes four months in advance. In this case, the closing agent will compensate you for the prepayment at closing by having the buyer pay you the correct prorate share.
It could also work in reverse. If you are behind on property taxes, the closing agent will reduce the money due to you at settlement by the amount of the unpaid taxes.