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Home Seller Guide
Here is what we bring to the table when you hire us to help you sell your home:
- We understand the complex procedures and paperwork involved in selling a home.
- We can help discern serious buyers from those who are simply looking.
- We know the market and understand trends which can help your bottom line.
- We have the negotiating skills to help you get the best price possible for your home.
- We have many contacts with other realtors and with contractors, inspectors, landscapers, etc. and can help you find a solution for any problem you may encounter.
- We are staging experts and will help you stage your home to appeal to buyers to sell more quickly and for more money.
Before listing your home it is important to have your home looking it’s best. Here is how we will assist you prior to listing your home.
Staging- here are some tips to get your home ready to sell quickly:
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- Boost curb appeal.
This is something you always hear for good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside.
- Welcome visitors with an inviting porch.
Even if you have only a tiny stoop, make it say 'welcome home' with a clean doormat, potted plants in bloom and, if you have room one or two pieces of neat porch furniture. Keep your porch lights on in the evenings, in case potential buyers drive by. Illuminating the front walk with solar lights is a nice touch too, especially if you will be showing the house during the evening.
- Get your house sparkling clean.
From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. You may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house.
- Clear away all clutter.
If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story. It's not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble.
- Strike a balance between clean and lived-in.
Think vases of cut flowers, a basket of fresh farmer's market produce on the kitchen counter or a bowl of lemons beside the sink.
- Rearrange your furniture.
In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area.
- Open the closets.
Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage by giving excess stuff away. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.
- Beware of pet odors.
Really, this can be a big one! If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces.
- Stage the outdoors too.
Even if your condo has only a small postage stamp-size balcony, play it up with a cute cafe table and chairs, a cheerful tablecloth and even a little tray of dishes or a vase of flowers. When people look at this scene, they won't be thinking 'small,' they will be thinking, 'What a great spot to have breakfast'!
- Get an optional pre-listing home inspection.
Also consider getting a pre-listing home inspection to avoid complications during your sale. The buyer of your home will get an inspection, but discovering problems during a pre-listing home inspection allows you to have more control over how to handle them. If your home inspection does uncover problems with your home, we will help you understand your state’s disclosure laws to avoid future litigation.
Here are the steps we will take in selling your home when we put it on the market:
Select a listing price.
We have to be careful not to overprice your home to avoid a stale listing which could lead to a lower final sales price. We will provide a comparative market analysis with an estimate of value that should be used as a tool to price your home but in the end the market determines the sales price. In pricing your home we will consider the various attributes of your home and the area: location, schools, housing market, construction, special amenities and home prices in the neighborhood.
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We will market your home on the MLS where most buyers are found as well as utahrealestate.com, saltlakeopenhouse.com, facebook.com, realtor.com, trulia.com, ksl.com, zillow.com, craigslist.org, youtube.com and many other sites. We also provide a photo and/or video tour of your home with the listing which greatly helps our marketing efforts. If you don’t have good photos, most people will not make an appointment to see your home!
If determined to be in the right location for open houses, we will also hold open houses at your home. Only 1-3% of homes sell from an open house but it can be effective if your home is in a high traffic area or fast moving market.
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What's an acceptable offer?
We will help you navigate this process and advise you in decision making when an offer is received. Several factors determine whether a buyer's offer is acceptable.
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- Is the offer at or near the asking price? Is the offer above the asking price?
- Has the buyer accepted the asking price or something close but then then buried thousands of dollars in discounts and seller costs within tiny clauses and contract additions?
- What is the alternative to the buyer's offer? If a home has not had an offer in months, then sellers need to determine if a better deal is possible -- recognizing that each month costs are being incurred for mortgage payments, taxes and insurance. As your listing becomes stale, you may get a lower price in the end.
- Do you have enough time to wait for other offers?
- What if several offers are received? Do you choose the high offer from the buyer with questionable ability to qualify who may not be able to close, or a somewhat lower offer from a buyer with pre-approved financing and a high down payment?
Getting to closing.
It might seem as though an accepted contract means that the selling process is complete. Not only is it not over yet, but some of the most complex and stressful aspects of a real estate transaction now begin.
An accepted purchase contract sets a purchase price for the home, but also a series of terms and conditions.
- Contracts routinely depend on the ability of a buyer to obtain financing, which is why most sellers prefer buyers with preapproval letters from lenders.
- A growing number of sales involve a home inspection. A home inspection can reveal problems in your home that would cause a buyer to back out of their contract or cause them to renegotiate their price or ask you, the seller to make repairs to the home.
- Lenders will ask for conditions before approving a loan. They will want a title search and an appraisal to assure that the home has sufficient value to secure the loan.
We will arrange the required inspections with the buyer and help you prepare for closing.
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What happens at closing?
Closing, or "settlement" is a meeting where the escrow officer at the title company takes in money from the buyer, pays out money to the owner and/or owner’s mortgage company and makes sure that the purchaser's title is properly recorded in local records along with any mortgage liens.
The escrow officer reviews the real estate purchase contract to determine what payments and credits the seller should receive and what amounts are due from the buyer. The escrow officer also assures that certain transaction costs are paid (taxes and title searches). Once closing is complete the ownership will be transferred to the buyer and the seller can move!
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