To make it easier for you to sell your home in the most strategic way, John Zeiter of Marin Fine Property has created this informative Marin Home Sellers Guide.
7 Steps to Selling a Home
1 – Select a Realtor
Perhaps your most important decision when selling your home is selecting the right person to represent you. You want someone who understands the local real estate market so that your home is priced appropriately. You want a partner you can trust to represent your needs and negotiate fairly and accurately on your behalf. Your Realtor also needs to be able to work through any complications that may come up during the sale.
If you should select me as your Realtor, I promise to be your partner every step of the way. I promise to provide honest, intelligent expertise to help you sell your home strategically and find the right buyer.
2 – Develop a Marketing Strategy
In order to sell your home quickly, with the best possible terms, your Realtor will help you determine the best time to put your home on the market. Your Realtor will also help you establish a strategic price, based on recent comparable sales, local market conditions and your motivation to sell. Your home will need to be prepped and staged to make it more appealing to potential buyers, which may include: minor upgrades, touch-up paint, freshening up the landscaping and even moving in different furniture. Staging your home is important – many potential buyers will stay in your home longer if it’s staged appropriately.
3 – Determine Closing Costs
You want to be aware of all of the costs involved with selling your home so that you are financially prepared. Closing costs may include:
- Title insurance fees depend on the sales price of the home.
- Broker’s commission is a full-service fee and will cost anywhere between 5% to 7%.
- Local property transfer tax, county transfer tax, state transfer tax, and state capital gains tax are the charges that you’ll pay for the privilege of selling your home. Credit to the buyer of unpaid real estate taxes for the prior or current year are variable and depend on when you close and when your taxes are due.
- FHA fees and costs are now negotiable between an FHA buyer and seller.
- Home inspections fees are in some circumstances paid for by the seller and include pest, radon and other inspections.
- Miscellaneous fees can accrue from correcting problems noticed during the home inspection.
4 – Market Your Property
Your Realtor will do the following to market your property:
- Order a “FOR SALE” sign to be placed prominently on your property.
- Install a lock box to make it easy for agents to show your home.
- Submit your home to the regional Multiple Listing Service for immediate exposure to the real estate community.
- Arrange for Sales Associates in the area to tour your home.
- Develop a flyer/brochure highlighting the features and benefits of your home.
- Promote your home at the appropriate Associations of Realtors for maximum exposure to other cooperating agents.
- Hold open houses.
- Feature your property on their web site.
- Ask clients and colleagues if they know of possible buyers.
5 – Negotiate the Offer
Your Realtor will immediately present and explain all offers. You will be able to accept, reject, or counter any offer presented. Your Realtor will provide you with a professional, objective point of view; but the final decision is always yours. During the negotiation process, your Realtor will leverage their experience and skills to advocate your interests, such as:
- Review the contract so that you understand your obligations before you sign.
- Explain how contingencies and release clauses work.
- Protect you from signing a “blank check” for unknown problems or repairs.
- Define legal disclosure requirements.
- Orchestrate the offer process for “back-up” offers, if necessary.
6 – Accept the Offer
Once an offer is accepted, your Realtor will manage all of the details to make the process as stress-free and efficient as possible, including:
- Staying in contact with the buyer’s agent to ensure a smooth escrow.
- Following up on the progress of the buyer’s loan, if applicable.
- Monitoring all contingency removal deadlines.
- Being your advocate and offer advice if a conflict with the buyer arises.
7 – Finalize and Close the Transaction
Finalizing the home sale includes reviewing all closing documents for accuracy and ensuring both parties have copies. When the transaction has closed, your Realtor will deliver the closing check to you, and the keys to the new owner.