Deciding to sell your home is one of the most important decisions in your life. Whether it’s to move to a larger home because you are expecting a child, or transitioning to a smaller home because the kids are grown and on their own, or any situation in between, you’ll need help along the way.
THE HOME SALE PROCESS
The first step in selling your home is determine how much your home is worth. If you’ve lived there for some time, odds are your house is worth more than you paid for it. But how much more is it worth?
That’s where a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) comes in handy.
The CMA is an in depth report and comparison of your home to others in the neighborhood. It also shows you market activity in the neighborhood, and helps to establish a solid price range your house should reasonably sell for in the current economy.
Any Realtor can provide this for you FREE of charge. Be wary if they try to charge you a fee. The CMA is something they should all provide as a courtesy.
5 DANGERS OF OVERPRICING
1. Many potential buyers won’t even look, thinking it’s out of their range.
2. Those buyers who do look are shopping by comparison, and looking at your home may convince them to make a bid on different property.
3. Since an appraisal is often required in financing a property, it’s futile to price a property for more than it’s worth.
4. Often the first question buyers ask is, “how long has it been on the market?” Properties left on the market for extended periods of time usually become “shopworn” which causes many to believe something’s wrong with it.
5. Overpricing tends to dampen the other salesperson’s attitude, making it less likely to be shown. Overpricing lengthens marketing time, and invariably results in a lower selling price than would have been otherwise obtained.
MARKETING YOUR HOME
After you’ve determined your home’s value and have selected the price, it’s time to put it on the open market.
I tell all of my clients once the for sale sign is in the ground you temporarily no longer live there. By that I mean your house is no longer YOUR house. It now becomes a product. And the goal of marketing is to make your house become someone else’s house.
Marketing is where you separate the good agents from the bad agents. The key to a successful marketing campaign is not to show the house to as many buyers as you can, but to show the house to as many qualified and motivated buyers as possible.
It does you no good to have an agent that shows the house to 1,000 people who can’t afford it or aren’t ready to move. Better to go with the agent who show’s the house to only 3 people who are preapproved for the mortgage and need to move in the next 30-60 days.
GOING UNDER CONTRACT
Once a buyer has been located, interested, and has made an offer that you would like to accept, you then go “Under Contract.” This is where the real work begins.
Throughout the contract process, there is a steady stream of people coming through your house. From contractors and vendors to appraisers and inspectors. This is an especially stressful time because not only will your life be temporarily disrupted by the people coming through the house, but also because you will likely be trying to find another house to move to and all while trying to pack and move your things.
A skilled agent will help you navigate through all of the stresses that come with this, coordinate all of the people, dates, and deadlines, and help you manage and minimize the stress as much as possible.
CLOSING THE DEAL
Closing tends to be bittersweet. Bitter in the sense that all of the memories of the good times in the old home come to the surface. Sweet because of the anticipation of the new memories and adventures that await in the new home.
At closing your Realtor will help guide you through the paperwork, make sure all of the numbers are correct, and ensure you get the proceeds to your bank account.