Selling a home isn’t quite as simple as sticking up a ‘for sale’ sign and waiting for the buyers to come to you. As you prepare to sell your home, we appreciate the opportunity to assist you. Most real estate professionals offer one level of service. We believe you should expect more.
Our team prides ourselves on our reliability, professionalism, and commitment to comprehensive service that exceeds expectations. Our goal is not simply to sell your house, but to help you realize the best possible price. Once you list with The Colarusso Group at RE/MAX Town Centre and select an agent, he or she will begin managing the sale of your home. The relationship between you and your agent is key to the successful sale of your home. Because your home and your needs are unique, your agent will not use a predesigned plan. Rather, he or she will listen to your goals, address your concerns, and use his or her knowledge and experience to create a customized plan.
Your agent will explain every aspect of the home selling process to you. Here is a quick overview of the various steps involved in selling a property:
Step 1: Reason for Selling
DEFINE YOUR NEEDS! It is often more emotional to sell a home than to buy a home, and the reason for selling your home may be a determining factor in the urgency of the sale. The urgency may also have an effect on the price of the property.
Write down all the reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. For your goals, write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. Work with your real estate agent to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale. It is important to take the following factors that can influence the sale of your home into consideration:
- Reason for selling
- Condition of property
- Design / style
Step 2: Selecting Your REALTOR®
Here are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing an Orlando Real Estate Listing Agent:
- Experience and Expertise.
- You should choose a full-time agent who is familiar with the Central Florida market, and with the type of property you intend to sell. Does he or she employ a diverse range of marketing and advertising strategies? How tech-savvy is your agent? What kind of support team does your agent have?
- Availability and Commitment.
- Your agent should be capable of prompt and decisive action during the course of selling your home. Do they make it a point to keep in touch with you constantly? Can they easily be contacted in case of emergencies, or even for the simplest questions?
- Do they take the time out to listen to your goals and clarify your needs? Can they understand your unique situation and be genuinely concerned about the outcome of the process? When selecting The Colarusso Group, they will be your guide every step of the way, providing you the support you will need, during this crucial decision.
Step 3: The Cost of Selling
It is very important to first calculate the expenses that may be incurred while selling your home. This knowledge is absolutely necessary because it helps you to determine a good price for the house, as well as the potential profit that you can realize.
The cost of selling your home may include things like commission to be paid to the agent, taxes, advertising costs or specific reports, such as a property inspection, appraisal, and closing costs, repairs, etc.
Step 4: Price
The most important factor when putting your home on the market to sell is setting the right price. The price at which your property is marketed can make or break the deal. Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. You will need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area. Your agent will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done. This typically costs a few hundred dollars. Remember: You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.
Over-pricing of the property may result in:
- A smaller buyers’ pool
- A prolonged stay on the market that will result in lower offers being submitted
Under-pricing of the property may result in:
- You losing money on your investment
- A buyer offering an even lower amount due to a negative perception of the property or area
It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so your real estate agent’s expertise is invaluable at this step.
Step 5: Location
Although you cannot do anything about the location of your property, it plays a very important part in the marketability of your home. So, it is important to take the following into consideration:
- Is your property priced in relation to other offers in your area?
- What type of neighborhood is your property located in – well-established, up-and-coming, transitional?
- Is your property located in an urban or rural area?
Step 6: Condition of Your Property
The condition of your property is always a factor in how quickly your home sells. It’s a fact: acquiring the highest market value and elevating your home above the others in the same price range often comes down to first impressions. Here are some inexpensive ways to maximize your home’s curb appeal:
- Keep the grass cut and yard clutter to a minimum.
- Apply fresh paint to any wooden fences and your front door.
- Clean windows inside and out.
- Wash or paint your home’s exterior.
- Ensure gutters and other exterior fashions are firmly attached.
Step 7: Accessibility
Accessibility is a major issue in many parts of the world. Again you cannot do anything about your home’s accessibility to specific things, but it does play a role in the price of your property. Your agent will work with you to highlight the places of interest that are most accessible to your home.
Here are a few important areas to think about:
- Public transportation
- Main roads
- Shopping centers
- Schools and other educational institutions
- Outdoor areas – public pools, parks, playgrounds
Step 8: Staging
Prepare your home. Most of us don’t keep our homes in “showroom” condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. It’s time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tip-top shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important.Did you know well-placed furniture can open up rooms and make them seem larger than they are? Or, that opening drapes and blinds and turning on lights make a room seem bright and cheery? It’s true, which is why staging your home to look its absolute best is an important factor in the selling process. Your real estate agent can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers.
Here are some inexpensive ways to highlight your home’s best features:
- A home with too much “personality” is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized decor such as excessive wall hangings, furniture and extra personal goods. will help buyers visualize the home as theirs.
- Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression.
- Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed all knick-knacks from your shelves and cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.
- Clean or paint walls and ceilings.
- Clean all flooring and fixtures – lights, fans.
- Turn on all lights and open the drapes during the daytime.
- Play quiet background music and infuse your home with a comforting scent.
- Vacate the property when and if it’s being show to prospective buyers.
Step 9: Get the Word Out
Now that you’re ready to sell, your real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including:
- The Internet
- Yard signs
- Open houses
- Media advertising
- Agent-to-agent referrals
- Direct mail marketing campaigns
In addition to listing your home on the MLS, your agent will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. Your agent should structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest.
Step 10: Receive an Offer
When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or pre-approved to buy your home. If so, then you and your agent will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:
- Legal description of the property
- Offer price
- Down payment
- Financing arrangements
- List of fees and who will pay them
- Deposit amount
- Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
- Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing
- Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home
- Settlement date
At this point, you have three options: 1) accept the contract as is, 2) accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or 3) reject it.
Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with your real estate agent right away.
Step 11: Negotiate to Sell
Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Your real estate agent is well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Your agent also knows what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items:
- Closing costs
- Appliances and fixtures
- Move-in date
Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, your agent will prepare a contract.
Step 12: Prepare to Close
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Your real estate agent can spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue.
If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing. Important reminder: A few days before the closing, you will want to contact the entity that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date. Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so.
Step 13: Close the Deal
“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. Your agent or an assigned representative will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, he or she can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. After the closing, you should make a “to do” list for turning the property over to the new owners. Here is a checklist to get you started:
- Cancel electricity, gas, lawn care, cable and other routine services.
- If the new owner is retaining any of the services, change the name on the account.
- Gather owner’s manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances.