HELPFUL CHECKLIST: MOVING
The job of a full-service real estate agent is to represent your best interests through every step of the sales process. Your agent should listen to your needs and understand the market in which you are selling a home. They should be experts in marketing, negotiation, transaction forms, and finance options, as well as have an understanding of technology and how it can enhance the marketing of your home.
Determining the right price is hands-down the most important part of achieving the highest return in the least amount of time. There are a lot of factors that go into determining a home's market value, such as the sales price of nearby homes that have recently sold, the listing price of similar homes that are currently on the market, as well as the condition and location of a home. In order to determine pricing, your agent will provide a comparable market analysis which walks you through what your home is worth and why.
First impressions are key when selling a home, so before the 'for sale' sign goes up, put in the time to make sure it's in ship shape. Fresh paint, clean closets, and cheery flowers- there's a lot you can do to make even the most humble of abodes look like a million bucks.
Creating a plan to market your home will help attract the interest of the right buyer. Today, the vast majority of homebuyers use the internet in their home search, so your marketing plan should include focused online activities, in addition to open houses.
Showings are an inconvenience, yet necessary part of the home selling process. When your home is on the market it has the potential to be shown at any time, so it's important to maintain a certain level of cleanliness. See our Home Staging Tips to help you prepare for showings. It's also a good idea to clear out; it makes buyers uncomfortable to tour a home when the owners are in the next room, so for the sake of your sale, vacate your home for showings.
Whether you're a buyer or a seller, negotiation is the key to getting the best deal. Negotiations can involve everything from settling on a sales price to concessions and financing. Agents are expert negotiators whose job it is to represent your interests during the give and take of a real estate transaction.
PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT
Once an offer on a property has been made by a buyer and accepted by the seller, they enter into a legal contract known as a Purchase and Sale Agreement. This document outlines the specific terms and conditions of the transaction and is acknowledged by both parties by the signing of the document.
Once a buyer and seller reach mutual acceptance on a property, a home inspector is hired to investigate every nook and cranny to determine if the home is in need of any repairs. An inspector will check items, such as the roof, basement, heating system, water heater, air-conditioning system, structure, plumbing, and electrical. Afterwards, buyers will have a chance to negotiate with the sellers to cover the costs of certain repairs or to ask for concessions.
Once the offer is accepted and a closing date agreed upon, escrow allows the buyer and the seller to have an outside party ensure all parts of the contact are complete. Your agent can help coordinate the completion of all forms to the escrow company and monitor the escrow process until the completion of the transaction.
At closing, all the paperwork is signed by the buyer and seller, both parties pay any settlement fees and the documents are officially recorded. Prior to closing, you'll receive a settlement statement outlining any fees which may apply to you.