When it comes time to sell your home, it is usually one of life’s bigger decisions. The reasons vary from having to move for a job or deciding it’s time to buy that dream home, anywhere from where you are now.
The process begins by looking for a real estate professional to help you along the way. But what do you look for when you are a stranger to real estate sales? You want to be sure that an agent is going to have your best interest at heart.
I cannot speak for the entire real estate industry, but I can give some ideas of what to look for in an agent and tell you what I have done in the past. The most important thing to look for in my opinion is whether your listing agent has a fiduciary responsibility to you as his or her client. What does fiduciary mean?
From Google I found: “A fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties.” Choose an agent who will represent you truthfully and honestly in all matters that may arise during the selling process.
So how does this selling process begin? I start by doing a Customer Marketing Analysis (CMA) to help the seller decide on a listing price. It’s really important to understand the real estate market where your home is located. A seller’s market rather than a buyer’s market can greatly influence the asking price. What is the supply vs. demand ratio?
Mortgage rates are another important issue to look at when determining an asking price, and lastly, what is your time frame? How motivated are you to move?
I know you love your home along with all the treasured contents inside and outside. However, not everyone is going to have your taste. Your job is to remove as many personal items as you possibly can so that your home could be anyone’s dream home. I once looked at purchasing the former home of a taxidermist. I couldn’t get past all the visions of critters on the walls, tables, and mantels to see the house. I had to leave. Don’t be like the taxidermist. Potential buyers want to envision themselves in your home.
Can’t sell the house if no one knows it’s on the market. We know that 95% of all real estate purchases today start with an Internet search to see what is available. Besides listing your property in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), I also want to be sure that your home is linked to Realtor.com and Zillow.com, the two largest residential real estate search engines. Additional links are created to social media and key words are used to target different search engines used by large web browsers like Google, for example.
To begin the marketing process a professional photographer is hired for a photo session, and a graphic designer is used to set up PR information for your advertisements. My database of clients is sent an email introducing them to the new listings that I have, broker’s tours are scheduled, and open houses are conducted. My clients receive feedback from all these marketing efforts. Feedback helps to identify how quickly the property is going to sell, and price adjustments, if any, need to be made.
In a hot seller’s market like the one we have now, offers can come in fast and furiously. It’s important that my sellers receive them in a timely and professional manner. I let the sellers know as soon as possible that an offer is coming in, and once received I present it to my clients for their feedback and direction on how to proceed.
This is similar to a buyer closing in the sense that closing will take place:
- Once funds have been transferred to the seller’s account and
- Ownership by way of the deed is transferred to the new owner.
Of course, there are inspections along the way and contingencies to be removed. I have highlighted some of the more important milestones of the selling process of residential properties. Hope you have found this article useful. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact me through my personal information on the site.