So you are ready to sell your house? Below is a list of steps to guide you from the preparation of your home for sale to finalizing the deal:
1. First and foremost, interview real estate agents:
Finding an experienced agent that you trust is the best place to start. Who you choose to list your home could make the difference between selling quickly at a good profit and settling for a low-ball offer. Once you have selected your agent, they will help you to decide what home preparation is necessary, help you to obtain bids for work, and manage the timeline of preparing your house for market. Thus it is important to interview agents and have them provide you a plan for marketing your property. Here are some questions you might ask potential real estate agents. If you are thinking of selling your home in the San Francisco East Bay, I am happy to sit down with you for an interview. Just drop me a line in the contact box to the right.
2. Prepare your home for market:
Your real estate agent should assist you in deciding what improvements/ repairs are going to result in the best offer for your property. Once you and your agent have developed a plan of action and a timeline, your agent should be able to assist you with referrals to other professionals, and manage the preparation work for you. Ask your agent to provide you with a calendar detailing what tasks will be completed when. Here is a great checklist of steps to prepare your home for sale.
3. Establish and implement a marketing plan with your real estate agent:
Your real estate agent will assist you in developing a comprehensive marketing plan. One of the most important decisions you can make is establishing the price at which to list your property. Your real estate agent will provide you with comparable sales, market data, and timing considerations in order to determine the best listing price for your home. Once the price is set, your agent will develop with you a plan for marketing your home. The plan may contain mailings, open houses, advertisements, broker’s open houses, newspaper advertisements, and social media amongst other things. Once the plan and timeline are established, your agent will implement the plan and guide you through the process.
Your agent should also guide you through preparing a comprehensive and exhaustive disclosure package. Disclosing all material facts you know about the property is key to preventing future buyer claims against you, the seller. A good agent can take you through how to make the best disclosure package possible.
4. Negotiate the offer:
Here is another area where it pays to have a great real estate agent. Your agent should explain the ramifications of not only the price offered,but all of the terms as well. If you have multiple offers, your agent will help you decide which offer is most likely to close and which offer will net you the most money for your home. Be sure to consider not only the price offered, but also any credits detailed in the offer, length of the escrow period, contingency periods, financing sources, home warranties, and who is paying for what in the offer. An experienced agent knows what is conventional in your area and can guide you in making a decision about which offer to accept.
Now that you have accepted an offer, your agent will guide you through the steps necessary to close the deal. There may be more negotiation at once the buyer has completed their inspections (although a comprehensive disclosure package will make these additional negotiations less likely). Your agent will coordinate your signing the Grant Deed in escrow and assuring that all of the funds are transferred to you in a timely manner. Likewise your agent should be able to assist you in finding movers, locating another house to purchase, or provide you with referrals to other real estate agents if you are moving out of the area.