Work With A Real Estate Professional
Selling real estate is a complex and major transaction that involves many details. An experienced real estate agent can guide you through the process and help you avoid costly mistakes. A Seller's Agent is the one who represents your needs in the transaction. Most likely the buyer will have a Buyer's Agent to represent them.

Determine The Asking Price
Obtain a "Comparable Market Analysis,". This report will show you homes in your area that are similar to yours that have sold or are currently on the market. Before you determine a price, decide first how long you are willing to wait before you get an offer to purchase from a buyer.

The price you pick will strongly influence how long your home is on the market. The first question a buyer should ask prior to making an offer is," How long has the home been on the market?" The other issue is that you don't want to put yourself in a position of needing to sell. Approximately 80 percent of your showings will be during the first 3 weeks on the market. So pricing is very important and you should base it on the following:

Current Overall Market Conditions
Your Competition
Recent Sales
Your Motivation

The Listing Agreement
The Listing Agreement is an agreement between you and your real estate agent that allows the agent to represent you as your exclusive Seller's Agent. It covers the services to be performed, the fiduciary duties, the length of the agreement, the listing price and terms, inclusions, exclusions, any special instructions you might have as far as showing your home, or special needs for your animals while your home is on the market, etc.

The Marketing Plan
The objective will be to sell your home for the highest price in the shortest possible time. In order to achieve this objective, consider the following:

Establish a realistic listing price for your property based on the Comparable Market Analysis.
Prepare your home for showing -- do any repairs, replace, paint, and clean if necessary.
Gain maximum exposure by placing your home in the Multiple Listing Service.
Determine all possible avenues of advertising to gain maximum exposure locally, regionally, nationally, and worldwide: newspaper, magazine, and placements in numerous locations on the Internet, with pictures of the inside and outside.

Preparing and Staging Your Home
To ensure success you must prepare your home for the sale. It is important to view your home objectively if you want to maximize your profits. First impressions are lasting impressions. The exterior of your home often determines how the buyers will view the interior, so make sure your front entrance is clean and inviting. Paint or replace your front door if it is faded or worn. Paint any shutters, trim, or any other outside features showing signs of wear.

Buyers often see the surface condition of your home as a sign of what's underneath, so keep windows and floors clean. Refinish or replace worn woodwork. If you can, repaint any colored walls with a neutral color. Check and replace caulking in bathtubs and showers. Accentuate the positive, open draperies and curtains to let in the most light, and remove all unnecessary clutter. This will make your home appear larger and it will be easier for the buyer to visualize their things in your home.

It is very important if at all possible for you to be gone when there are showings. This will allow the buyer to feel more comfortable and they will spend more time looking. It is important to have a place for your animals during the showings.

If you happen to be there when the buyer and their agent come, do not discuss the price, terms, possession, or other factors with the buyers.

If there are any major issues you are concerned about, it might be a good idea to have a professional Home Inspector come out and give any recommendations before starting to market your home. This will put your mind at ease.

Getting an Offer and Negotiation
The Buyer's Realtor will bring the offer to your agent who will present it to you. It is recommended that your agent inquire about the current status of the Purchaser's loan and other financial information to help you make a decision.

You can either accept, reject, or counter the offer. Once you have accepted an offer, a formal contract of sale will be negotiated and signed to form a binding agreement. Your home will then be put "Under Contract." You may continue to show the home if you wish and take back-up offers.

Buyer's Home inspection
The buyer of your home will probably want to hire a Property Inspector to inspect the condition of your home. The contract will state how long the buyer has to complete the inspection and inform you of any unsatisfactory conditions. Allow about 2 hours for the inspection. It is better if you leave while the inspection is taking place.

The Buyer's Agent will assure that your home is secured after the inspection. There are sometimes some items the buyer will request you to take care of prior to closing. You will have to come to an agreement with the buyer to keep the contract in force.

The Title Insurance
The contract states that the sale is subject to a clean and marketable title. Sunset Title Agency will review the title work and you should have an attorney review the title report to see if there are any problems that arise regarding the condition of the title.

The Title company will also provide the buyer with a set of covenants, if there are any, and a Tax Certificate will be provided by the title company on your behalf showing the status of all property taxes.

It is your responsibility to provide the buyer a clean and marketable title and therefore any liens, judgments, payoffs, unpaid bills etc' have to be settled prior to or at closing.

The Appraisal, Survey, and Final Loan Approval
The buyer's lender will order an appraisal to determine the value of your home. The appraiser will measure your home and take pictures of the exterior, front, and back. The appraiser will need to come inside to measure rooms and will look at the condition of your home.

Your real estate agent will be present when the appraiser comes to answer any questions he might have regarding current sales in your neighborhood. Your agent will provide him with these comparable sales before he comes.

The appraisal is a cost paid for by the buyer or buyer's lender on their behalf.

All mortgage lenders require a survey of the property prior to closing. The survey will confirm that the property's boundaries are as described in the purchase and sales agreement. The surveyor will not normally need to come inside your home; he will be able to do all his work from the outside. He will then issue a certificate based on his finding. This will also show if you have any encroachments of any kind. The survey is the buyer's responsibility to pay for.

Once these items are complete, the lender will then issue a final Loan Commitment Letter as stated in the contract.

The Final Walk-Through and The Closing
The buyer and their agent will do a final walk through either the day of closing or the day before. This is so the buyer can make sure everything is in working order and in the same condition as when the contract was signed.

At closing, the closing agent will:

Receive and disburse funds.
Prepare and deliver documents.
Notarize and record documents.
Overnight your mortgage payoff and update addresses.



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