Once you have decided to list the property, you sign a listing agreement, that agreement means we are working together, and you have put your trust in me to market and sell your home for the highest price in the shortest time possible. Disclosures on your property's condition, and a form which states what items are staying will be filled out at this time also. We will then take pictures for use in marketing, install a post sign on your lawn, and put a lock box on your door, which will have a key in it to facilitate showings.
The MLS is the professional site that can be accessed by only licensed realtors, it makes your property information, pictures, and disclosures available to all realtors. The real estate websites, like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com also access the information from the MLS and use the data to expose your property on their websites.
Getting The House Ready
It is recommended to declutter as much as possible, including removing personal photos and nik naks from all surfaces. Buyers like to see as clean a slate as possible. This exercise also gives you the opportunity to get started on the task of packing for your inevitable move. At this point, your listed home should be viewed less as the family homestead and more like a product that you are marketing for sale.
Once your home is listed on the MLS, any agent, with a client wishing to view the property, can request showings online. Those showing requests will go directly to you and me, via text and/or email. Once the request is received, I encourage my clients who are living in the property while it is being marketed, to confirm the requests themselves or we can discuss a more suitable way to handle those requests. You should accept any and all showings, and always be ready for them.
This can be frustrating at times, but the home will not sell without being seen. No one should be home; the buyers and their agent need the freedom to walk around the home, and have a discussion without the homeowner or their agent there. The buyers need to be able to comfortably look at the house and talk openly with their agent. In addition we may get requests for other agents to “preview” the property, this typically means the agent is coming to the house alone and is previewing it to see if the home could meet the criteria of one of their buyer clients. In my opinion, this is a good thing, any exposure is good exposure and while they are not bringing a buyer at this time, they may have someone interested in the future. Mindset should be you will have a showing every day.
Any offers received from other agents will be reviewed together as quickly as possible.
The price, the financing, and possession terms will all factor into our discussion, the highest price is not always the best offer. A cash offer with a quick closing may be better than a slightly higher offer, that won’t close for 60 days due to financing, or if you need the time, the reverse may be better for you, the point is, all aspects of an offer are considered. I will provide a “net sheet” that will give the total amount you will receive after all fees are paid, so we have as accurate information as possible to make the right decision.
The seller pays most of the fees in a real estate transaction. Fees include the realtor, state and town conveyance taxes, attorney and recording fees, and if your home has a septic system, you are responsible to pay for the pumping to facilitate the inspection. All these fees will be discussed, and reconciled on the net sheet, so you know what the net amount you will gain from any offer before it is accepted.
Once we have an offer that is accepted, the process shifts into high gear.
Typically, the buyer is given 15 days to complete a home inspection, and 30 days to receive a mortgage commitment from the bank, which will include an appraisal. While those time frames are the most common, they could vary a bit based on the offer received.
The first hurdle after we have an accepted offer, is the home inspections. Buyers are given the opportunity to do a complete inspection, at their expense, to be sure the home is in an acceptable condition for them. It is common to have some issues, often minor, that the buyer may request. Types of inspections the buyer may request include: Home Inspection Septic Inspection Water Test Radon Test Pest Inspection.
Once inspections are complete, the buyer can ask, as a condition of continuing the sale, for certain repairs to be made. Any repair requests will be thoroughly discussed and negotiated between you and the buyer client before we proceed further in the transaction. Once an agreement is in place, we move on to the…
If financing is involved, the buyer’s lender will have an appraisal done on your house to be sure the amount they are loaning is consistent with the value. In most cases this is not an issue, but there are times when an appraiser's value does not match the sales price. The appraiser will also look at the condition of the house, make sure it is code compliant, and meets any criteria the lender may have. This is the last hurdle before we move to the…
The closing is the day you transfer the property to the new owners. The closing is scheduled and handled by the attorneys representing each party. This when all the money is reconciled, and you receive your check and the buyer’s have formally purchased your home. It is typically held at the buyer's attorney’s office but this could change based on logistics between the parties involved.