There are eight crucial steps in the home selling process. Today I am sharing them all with you.
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When selling your home, it is important to have an action plan in place to ensure that you achieve your goals. This is why I have prepared this brief overview of the process for selling your home in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Choose an agent. It is very likely that you know a couple licensed real estate agents.If you plan on listing, realize that just because someone has a license to sell homes, it does not mean they will able to effectively sell yours. For this reason, it is essential that you interview at least two or three Realtors to ensure that you are making the right decision. When you do interview agents, consider their track record, pre-sale preparation plan, marketing strategy, and negotiation strategy. Prepare a list of questions so that you can make an informed decision for you and your family.
- Preparing your home for sale. Many people, homeowners and agents alike, get caught in the trap of thinking it is a hot seller’s market and they don’t have to do any work to the house and people will buy it as is. This logic, however, is detrimental to a homeowner who is looking to maximize their sale price. This is because buyers tend to amplify the costs of repairs and upgrades. The work may cause a buyer to offer less money or even eliminate them. You do not need to spend a lot of money to remodel a home. To know how to properly prepare your home, you can watch this video.
- Disclosures and inspections. You must provide buyers with disclosures stating everything that you know to be wrong with the property if you are a seller. In our market we also provide buyers with presale home inspections and termite inspection reports. By providing this information to the buyer, the goal is to receive an offer that is not contingent upon inspections and also reduce your liability in case something goes wrong with the house after the sale.
- Choosing a listing price. In our local market, the listing price is more of a marketing strategy than anything else. By listing a property for 10% lower than we believe it should sell for, we will bring more buyers with potentially multiple offers. This creates a bidding war. To choose a list price, review recent sales of comparable properties in the area and look at what is currently for sale.
- Marketing. After setting a list price and completing inspections, your home is ready for showing. Photography and marketing materials should be ordered, the home should be added into the MLS, and open houses will be scheduled. The goal is to get your home seen by as many potential buyers and their agents as possible.
- Offers and negotiations. Usually you want to set an offer date within the first two weeks of being on the market. It is at this time where you will either accept or counter offers and negotiating is done. Although the goal is to get multiple offers, all it takes is one offer at the right price and terms.
- Escrow periods. Once you have accepted an offer and the contract has been ratified, we begin the escrow period. The buyer will complete inspections and investigations as well as work with their lender and bank underwriters during this time. Issues sometimes arise during this time with either buyer financing or discoveries from inspections. However, the goal is to have the buyer adequately qualified and present inspections and disclosures beforehand to ensure a smooth, problem-free escrow.
- Closing escrow. About a week before the scheduled close, an escrow officer will arrange for all parties to sign the closing documents. This can either be done in office, or with a mobile notary. Once the escrow company receives the final loan documents from the lender and all parties have signed, the escrow officer sends them to the County Recorder and escrow will be closed and the sale final.
If you have any additional questions about this or are interested in buying or selling, please feel free to contact me by phone or email. I look forward to speaking with you soon.