After your Buyer’s Agent arrives, take him/her on a tour. Show your agent the special features that you have enjoyed about the home, and features or benefits that originally attracted you to the home. Features that helped you to make your original decision to buy the home will probably be similar to features that may attract the next buyer. The associate can use all of this information not only under remarks in the multiple-listing computer printout that goes to cooperating REALTORS®, but also in any written ads on the home. Tell your agent about the neighborhood, the ages of children around the area, the closest shopping, schools, and other features that may not be readily visible. This neighborhood information might be the important factor that sells the home. Since the right location is always at the top of a buyer’s list of wants, you want to tell your agent why this location is a good one.
WHAT PRICE TO SET
Pricing is always a variable that will determine the final net proceeds you get for your home, but it’s not the only one. If you are able to provide seller financing, have your loan assumed, give quicker possession, or give more extras with the home, these features and others will determine your final net proceeds.
Where do you start? Ask questions. Ask your realtor for a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which will include a list of properties similar to yours which have either recently sold, are pending sale, or have expired in your area. Although currently listed properties and listings that expired will also help, the only real determining factor for pricing is what actually sold. The strange thing about pricing is this – it doesn’t really matter what either you or your realtor thinks the price should be. All that matters is what actual buyers have paid for that type of property, with similar amenities, in that neighborhood, at this time. You know yourself that if you sell the home 10 years from now it will probably be worth more, or if the home was in a totally different location, it might be worth more or less.
The important thing is to ask questions. Examine each comparable sold listing, and look at its features, the date it sold, and other details. Then review the other factors, such as financing options for your buyers and inclusions in the sale of your house. Together set a realistic price that will get you the highest possible dollar amount in the shortest period of time. Remember that overpricing hurts your chances for the best net proceeds. After you have established the optimum price, have your realtor prepare a net proceeds sheet. This page lists the various closing expenses and gives you a good idea of what you will net from the sale of the house.
HOW MARKETING SERVICES HELP YOU GET THE BEST PRICE
Review with your realtor the total marketing plan on your house. Such things as open houses, tours or caravans by the entire staff, exposure to buyers, and the entire marketing plan should be presented in detail. Then, look at the marketing program in its entirety. Have the realtor explain what he/she will do personally and again ask questions. We think our realtors are the best trained and most well prepared anywhere in the country. They know marketing, qualifying, legal documents – everything. Draw on their experience and let them tell you what comes next.
THE SIGNED DOCUMENTS
An offer to purchase, or contract to purchase agreement will be written by your realtor, another realtor with the company, or a cooperating realtor within the multiple-listing system, and then presented to you through your listing agent. Ask for a sample blank contract at the time of listing so you can review the paragraphs and ask questions. Once the offer is presented, it covers the areas of down payment, price, financing, inclusions, exclusions, and closing date. After you review the entire offer you have to decide to either accept the offer by signing the purchase agreement or change some part(s) of the offer and send back a counter-offer. Although you may also reject the offer outright, it’s usually better to counter the proposal if the terms are not acceptable. By countering the offer, you are able to let the buyers know in writing exactly what you will accept. A warning – if the offer is similar to your expectations you may want to accept the offer rather than counter. Any changes, no matter how small, allow the buyers to rethink their entire decision on the purchase of your house. Sometimes when buyers receive a counter back on what they consider to be an excellent offer, they psychologically refuse to sign an otherwise good counter.
After you have received a copy of the completed agreement, there is still a lot of work to be done to assure you top net proceeds.
THE FOLLOW UP
After the buyer applies for a mortgage, an appraisal is done on your house by an appraiser, usually hired by the lender to assure value in the house on which they are giving a mortgage. Title search, and sometimes, other inspections are then requested. Review the net proceeds sheet with your realtor to become aware of which costs the buyers assume. Just before closing, the buyers will probably have a final walk through for inspection of your property. This is a time when you want everything to look just right. If you have already moved and taken your furniture and other belongings from the house, take a couple of extra hours to clean up, fix up, or otherwise repair. Some buyers have second thoughts about new and higher payments or just feel the trauma associated with change and are looking for flaws. Your extra clean up and concern at this crucial time reassures the buyers of your sincere concern for their family.
At closing, the sellers usually give the keys to the buyers and receive a check for the entire net proceeds. At this time, review and ask questions about anything you may not fully understand so this settlement is a rewarding and pleasant experience. The monies you receive can then go to the purchase of your next home or for any purpose you want.
Closing is a great time for both buyers and sellers, because the buyers gain possession of their new home and sellers get the net proceeds to use as they wish. We want this final step to be wonderful, and through good consumer knowledge and an associate who cares, it will be.