1. Prepare Your Home for Sale
Whether you’re planning to sell your home in the next few months or just studying up for that eventuality, there’s no time like now to prepare.
First - watch this interview with Felicia Grady for 5 Things Home Sellers should NEVER do?
Next, here are some common steps to selling your home:
Well before you’re ready to plant that “For Sale” sign in your front yard, there is work to be done to prepare your home for sale.
UNDER THE MAGNIFYING GLASS - Remember how keen your eye was to every small detail and defect in the houses you saw as a buyer? Now that door to your bedroom that never quite closed properly or that leaky faucet that you never got around to fixing will be seen by a potential buyer with that same keen eye. Start making the obvious repairs today – even if you don’t plan to sell until a year from now. Fixing problems now may cost you less because you won't be under pressure, plus this will allow you to enjoy the results before it’s time to move out.
IN & OUT - The best place to start is where the buyers start: at your curb. That means a tidy front yard, a house with well-painted trim, and a clear, welcoming entryway. Inside, the biggest return on your investment continues to be improvements to the kitchen. And consider painting and decorating the rooms in neutral colors to appeal to the largest number of buyers. Start reducing the clutter.
TRY TO BE INVISIBLE - After you have put your home on the market and it is being shown by real estate agents to prospective buyers, try to make your presence scarce while buyers are there. It’s easier for a buyer to picture himself or herself living in the house when you’re not there. If you happen to be home when potential buyers arrive, greet them at the door then politely excuse yourself. This is your home’s time to shine.
2. Find a Real Estate Professional
If you’ve been through the home-buying process, you already know how complicated the real estate business can be. While you can opt to sell your home yourself, it can be time-consuming and often not worth the money saved on commissions.
FIRST, A JOKE - The driver was pulled over by a highway patrolman. "Let me see your California drivers license and your real estate license," said the patrolman. "Why do you need to see my real estate license?" asked the driver. "Because," replied the officer, "Not everyone has a California driver's license." (ba-dum-bum) Chances are, you have a personal friend who has a real estate license, but who will get you the most profit on the sale of your home?
DO YOUR HOMEWORK - Ask friends and family for recommendations and interview several candidates, including Felicia Grady (that's me). I look forward to meeting you and explaining exactly what I will do to market your home, as well as what I will do for you during and after the sale. My goal is to net you the highest price in the quickest, most convenient time line. When we meet, you'll learn that I offer real estate services no other Realtor can offer. You can find out a bit more about me through this website, and I welcome your call or email.
DON'T LET A "NEWBIE" PRACTICE ON YOU - When you choose an agent to list your property for sale, please take into consideration the number of years the Realtor has been licensed. There is no substitute for experience. I obtained my real estate license in 1990, and since then I have learned how to determine a prospective buyer's qualifications, such as verifying their credit, source of funds, and their ability to obtain financing for your home. This helps eliminate your taking your home off the market for a buyer who cannot perform. Also, I can tell whether a buyer is attempting to take advantage of a seller by writing a contract that appears to say one thing but actually means another. Also, over the years I've learned "tricks of the trade" to help protect you from future litigation. And finally, experience has contributed to a sense of fairness and a sense of humor that can help ease tensions that sometimes arise during a sale. Nothing can replace years of experience in a Realtor.
ASK QUESTIONS - You may assume that the person who wants to represent you actually has an active California real estate license, but if you have any doubts, ask to see a copy of it. And more, is this person just a salesperson or are they a Realtor? There is a difference: Realtors belong to the National Association of Realtors. Realtors subscribe to and live by a strict code of ethics, and are held accountable to it. Next, does the Realtor know the area? And is she affiliated with a top company that has unique marketing tools to help you in your sale? Does the Realtor sell homes full-time?
TRUST YOUR GUT - And finally, are you comfortable with this Realtor and feel they will handle your transaction with maturity and dedication? When we meet, I hope you will feel confident that I am the best Realtor for the job of selling your property.
3. Price Your Home
There are a number of factors that will affect the success of your home sale. They includelocation of your home, interest rates, economic conditions, condition of your home, curb appeal of your neighbors' homes, time of year, marketing of your home, terms of the sale and accessibility to your home.
OUT OF CONTROL - Some of the above are not within your control. The other factors are items you should discuss with me to determine what would benefit the sale of this property most.
TOO HIGH/TOO LOW - Pricing your home properly will make the difference in whether your house is snapped up within the first several weeks of listing or languishes on the market for more than a year. Obviously you wouldn't want to inadvertently set too low a price. On the other hand, pricing your home too high will cause it to sit unsold on the market for months on end, thus losing perceived value. Even if you're lucky enough to get a buyer to pay an inflated price, when the buyer's bank's appraiser comes in to verify the value, if he or she cannot justify the higher value to make the loan, then your sale falls apart. To price the home properly, you and I will study the local market, research comparable properties and consider current market conditions. I will bring comparable information with me when we meet. Based on what homes like yours are selling for, I have the experience to help you price your property at the highest possible price for a sale that benefits you.
4. Market Your Home
Products that sell well usually have a good marketing strategy. The same holds true in real estate sales.
WHAT'S UNIQUE? - What do I do to market your home, that's different from other agents? Would you like to participate in the Realty Executives exclusive 10K program, which brings more buyers to your door? When we meet, I'll explain the program to you. What if your Realtor sang a song about your home during real estate marketing meetings (yes, I do that at some of our Realtor meetings!) -- would that get your home more showings? Agents have told me, "I showed your listing because I loved the song you sang about it at the meeting," or "I showed your listing because I hated your song." Either way, you win!
WHAT'S TRIED & TRUE? - Of course, in addition to doing creative marketing, I regularly employ the more traditional marketing methods, such as print ads in real estate publications, advertising on a myriad of Internet web sites, sending direct mail, and naturally will have your home listed on the Multiple Listing Service. Here's a video clip of me marketing in a more traditional way, at a meeting attended by about 100 local Realtors:
CLICK this link: http://youtu.be/K2LTAJNeT98
NETWORKING - And I do plenty of live marketing of your home -- I get up in the mornings to network with Realtors from Realty Executives, as well as Realtors from the various local real estate companies, to encourage them to bring their qualified buyers to your home. Also, I belong to the CMA Resource real estate network group, consisting of about 60 of Santa Clarita Valley's top, ethical Realtors from various real estate companies, where we bring buyers and sellers together. I am also a member of the national Women's Council of Realtors, which provides yet another opportunity to market your home to buyer's agents. In addition, I network via email to reach hundreds of agents about your property. No one works harder for you.
5. Respond to an Offer
SORTING THROUGH - Depending on market conditions, you may receive one or more offers for your property from interested buyers. Each offer will include the proposed offer price, closing date, move-in date, financing, and contingencies that may include the sale of the buyers’ current home. Buyers may ask you to help pay their loan fees costs or ask you to include personal property, such as a refrigerator, in the sales price. Or they may offer you full price, but when we closely examine the offer, we see that there is a catch. Let me help you sort through the variables to determine whether you should accept, reject, or counter the offer.
6. Complete the Settlement
INSPECTIONS - Once you have accepted an offer to buy your house, expect to make your house available to a housing inspector, a termite inspector, an appraiser and other inspectors. After seeing the results of the inspections, the buyer may request additional work is completed before purchase, such as repairing a damaged roof or fixing a leaky faucet. You should consult with me to determine which of the buyer's requests, if any, to comply with or risk losing this buyer.
KEEP THINGS PRETTY - During this flurry of activity, try to keep your home in show condition. The deal has not closed and still may fall through, which may mean showing your home to more potential buyers.
WHERE'S THE BUYER'S MONEY? - In the meantime, the buyer is working with a lender to secure a loan for the purchase. When the buyer has written loan approval and has removed all his contingencies in writing, the odds go way, way up that the sale will close smoothly because at that point, the buyer is in danger of losing his deposit money should he decide to cancel.
WALK THROUGH - There will be a final walk-through about 5 days before you close escrow. The buyer will go room by room to check that everything is in working condition and, if you had agreed to do so, any additional work requested after inspection is completed.
CONGRATULATIONS! - Now you can prepare for your own move, notify your utility companies of the date to transfer your account to a new address and start packing. Congratulations, you’ve sold your home!
Contact me with ANY questions you may have!