1. Define your needs.
Why do you want to sell your home? Write down all the reasons you are selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell now and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. Define your goals. Do you need to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin? Work with a real estate agent to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame to sell your home.
2. Price to Sell Your Home
Determine the best possible price to sell your home. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. It is important to take consider the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area when setting the price to sell your home.
It’s very difficult to be unbiased when putting a price on your home, so that is why my expertise in real estate and current market conditions will be critical at this step. I know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home is on the market for too long, potential buyers few the home as “shop worn” and may think there is something wrong with the home . Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
3. Prepare to Sell Your Home
I know I don’t keep my own home in “showroom” condition. We all tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. Now is the time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tip-top selling shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important.
As an agent, I will help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers. A home with too much “personality” is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized decor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs. Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression. Clutter is a big turn off to potential buyers. Remove all knick-knacks from your shelves and clear all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.
4. Get the word out.
Now that you’re ready to sell, I will put my experience to work for you by setting up a marketing strategy that is specific to your home. There are many ways that I get the word out: The Internet , Yard signs, Open houses, Media advertising, Agent-to-agent referrals, Direct mail marketing campaigns. Listing your home on the MLS is only one piece of the overall marketing strategy. I use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home including hosting a well marketed open house. My marketing structure is designed to bring out the most potential buyers during the first 3-4 weeks on the market.
5. Receive an offer.
When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, I will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then you and I will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, will likely include the following: legal description of the property, offer price, down payment, financing arrangements , list of fees and who will pay them, who pays for the survey, deposit amount, inspection rights and possible repair allowances, method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing, appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home, settlement or closing date, and any contingencies.
At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding.
6. Negotiate to sell.
Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Since I am well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in Texas, I will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining process. I also know what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, I will finalize the contract.
7. Prepare to close.
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, there will be a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property will likely need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. I will coordinate these tasks and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers.
Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away or open a new round of negotiations or simply proceed to closing.
8. Close the deal.
“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer at the title company. I will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, I can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. An attorney is not required to attend closings in Texas . In Texas, the sale is final when the funding of the home is complete. This can be the on the same day you sign the closing paperwork or the next day. When the transaction is funded, the buyer officially owns the home.