|Get Home Ready for Sale
Figure Out How Much Your Home is Worth
- Prepare your home for sale by cleaning, decluttering and improving curb appeal.
- Hire a professional stager to stage your home, or ask your real estate agent for help in staging.
- Make repairs before selling.
- Protect your privacy while your home is on the market.
Market Your Home
- A seller’s biggest mistake is to overprice.
- Price your home in line with sold homes identified in a comparative market analysis report.
- Consider whether your market is hot, cold or neutral, and price according to the market temperature.
Show Your Home
- You or your agent should identify the selling points and choose advertising words to sell.
- Approve your agent’s marketing campaign.
- Follow the top 10 home marketing tips for selling your home.
- Hire a virtual tour company to take quality photographs and put a 360-degree virtual tour online.
- Tweak marketing to increase traffic and showings.
- Post internet listings online. Your agent or you should saturate the internet with photographs and a description of your home.
Receive Purchase Offers and Negotiate
- You’ll get more showings if you let agents use a lockbox.
- Your home will show better if you are selling in spring rather than the winter.
- Selling during the holidays will likely result in a lower sales price.
- Follow the top 10 home showing tips. You’ve only got one chance--and sometimes only 3 seconds--to make a good first impression.
- Prepare for an open house.
- Ask for buyer feedback so you can adjust your price, condition or marketing campaigns accordingly.
Open Escrow/Order Title
- Make certain that buyers use the right form for writing a purchase offer.
- Even if you receive a low offer, negotiate by issuing a counter offer. Don’t ignore offers.
- Ask for a kickout clause or first right of refusal if the buyer’s offer is contingent on selling a home.
- Consider making a counter offer contingent on buying a home, if market conditions warrant.
- Don’t be afraid to make a full-price counter offer, if you are priced competitively.
- If you are priced right, prepare yourself for multiple offers.
Schedule Appraiser Appointment
- Your agent will open escrow and order a title policy.
- Write down the contact information for the closing agent.
- Select a date to close based on when the buyer’s loan will fund.
- Ask for a receipt for the buyer’s earnest money deposit.
Get Your Home Ready for Inspection
- Clean the house the day before the appraiser arrives.
- If you receive a low appraisal, as your agent about alternatives.
- You are not entitled to receive a copy of the appraisal because you did not pay for it.
- If the buyer decides to cancel the contract based on appraisal, ask your agent or lawyer about your rights.
Obtain Seller-Required Inspections
- Ask your agent to provide you with a home inspection checklist so you will know which items an inspector will want to see.
- Expect that an inspector will want access for an attic inspection and will look for a wet basement; prepare those areas for inspection.
- Prepare as well for the final walk-through inspection.
Deliver Seller Disclosures
- If your contract calls for a roof certification, hire a reputable company to conduct the inspection.
- States that allow for termite/pest inspections make these reports public records.
- The fees for all inspection reports, even if seller-mandated, are negotiable.
- If your home was built before 1950, a sewer inspection might call for a new sewer line, but trenchless sewers are less expensive to install.
Negotiate Request for Repair
- All homes in the US are subject to lead-based paint disclosures.
- If you are aware of material facts, disclose them.
- Your title company should provide CC&Rs, but if you belong to a homeowner association, additional documentation will be required.
Ask Buyer to Release Contingencies
- Ordinarily, sellers do not need to accept a buyer’s request for repair; however, buyers can generally then cancel.
- You are entitled to a copy of the home inspection report, if the buyers request repairs.
- If you do not choose to make repairs, a buyer might instead accept a closing cost credit.
Sign Title/Escrow Documents
- In California contracts default to 17 days, at which time, the buyer must release contingencies.
- If you do not demand a release, buyers are not obligated to provide it.
- If buyers do not provide a release, sellers have the right to cancel.
- Bring a valid picture ID.
- Your property deed, reconveyance and deed of trust will record in the public records.
- Title will notify you and your agent when it records.
- Depending on the buyer’s possession rights specified in the contract, you may be required to move on the day it closes.
For Questions Contact Martha