Selling Guide

Selling your home can often times be a stressful situation, with scheduling appointments, having people in and out of your home, negotiating a contract, knowing who to call to get questions answered and working with lenders to get the home financed. Not to mention the cost of advertising your home for sell!

Selling your home can often times be a stressful situation, with scheduling appointments, having people in and out of your home, negotiating a contract, knowing who to call to get questions answered and working with lenders to get the home financed. Not to mention the cost of advertising your home for sell!

I can provide you as the seller with the peace of mind that your home will be shown to pre-qualified buyers , that when there is an offer presented it will be reviewed and broken down for you so that you know what to expect at closing, and that when it comes to coordinating the closing I have things well in hand, the termite report, the survey, the title and the loan approval are all taken care of.

The most important reason to hire me to sell your home? AFFORDABILITY.

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Setting the Price

Your home will have many “prices” before it’s sold, including asking prices, buyer offers, counteroffers and the final purchase price. But all of these prices are based on one amount, your home’s value, the most important factor in the selling price.

Starting to evaluate the value of your home and set a price can be difficult. The following suggestions will help:

  • Call a Realtor. Sylvia Collins will be willing to prepare a comparable market analysis (CMA) for you as a marketing service with the goal of getting your business whenever you decide to move. A CMA shows the prices of recently sold homes that are comparable to yours and the prices of comparable homes on the market. We can give you a rough idea of what your home would be worth, given its size and condition and local market conditions.
  • Get an Appraisal. Unlike a CMA, a professional appraisal is rarely free. However, the several hundred dollars you’ll pay for an appraisal, depending on size of your home and the complexity of the work, could be money well spent if you’re making a major financial decision that hinges on the value of your home. Appraisers rely on an in-person inspection of your home, recent sales of comparable homes and other data to arrive at an opinion of value. The appraiser’s report is a full-blown description of your home and the criteria used to formulate the valuation.
  • Visit neighborhood open houses. Open houses are a good opportunity to view comparable homes for sale in your neighborhood and chat with real estate professionals about the local real estate market. Remember: It’s not easy to be objective about your own home and you shouldn’t assume that the listing price on a for-sale necessarily reflects the home’s true market value. If you keep those points in mind, information gathered at open houses can be worth considering along with data from other sources.
  • Research online. A number of websites offer home valuation information free or for a fee. Search various websites to further your research and assist in selling your home.

Clean Your Home

First off, rid clutter from every area of the home — closets, attic storage, kitchen cabinets, drawers, bath vanities, and shelves — everywhere. Remember, this is no time to be sentimental: if you don’t use it, lose it. Potential buyers are seriously put off by clutter, and most of us drag a lot more things through life than we really need.

Also, don’t forget the furniture and fixtures when getting rid of clutter — most of us put too much in too little space, which makes a buying prospect think your home is too small.

Then, have a great moving sale with all the stuff you’ve collected and use the proceeds for paint or whatever other materials you need for repair projects. If you just can’t bear to part with some possessions, store them in the attic or some other place that’s out of sight to a potential buyer.

After you’ve cleared out the clutter, it’s time to really clean. Have the carpets professionally cleaned, strip and polish the floors, scour the bathrooms, go over the laundry room, polish the furniture, scour out the cabinets, wash the windows and window coverings, and clean up the ceiling fans and kitchen appliances. Basically, clean everything.

Don’t forget the exterior: paint or power-wash everything that needs the work. Remember, this is a ceiling-to-floor, roof-to-foundation clean-up project.

Repair & Renovate

Before the first buyer appears at your door, make sure it is in the best shape possible. Any imperfections are turn-offs for prospective buyers, who want nothing less than perfection in their new home.

Patch up the roof, touch up all the paint, repair the screens, spruce up the porch framing, and make your entry area really shine. Don’t forget to water the lawn and landscape beds, and take the time to trim, mow, edge and get rid of sick or dying plants. Inside, fix the grout in the bathrooms and on tile floors, adjust any doors that need it, fix any scratches on the walls, cover any stains, and be sure to fix any plumbing problems.

Also, it’s a good idea to get all this done before getting us to make the first listing — Sylvia Collins will advise you what needs to be done. Also, if you have friends willing to be brutally honest about what your home needs to sell, ask them to assess the fix-up needs.

There is, however, an alternative to the sweat equity you get from a total fix-up — but it carries a price. An “as-is” sale keeps you from doing all this work, but a buyer will assess about twice the price you would have paid for the repairs. Then, the buyer will deduct that amount from your asking price before making an offer.

Market the Home

After you have cleaned, shined, mowed, renovated, and generally whipped your property into shape, it’s time to attract buyers. While Sylvia will execute helpful marketing strategies, you still need to do your part.

Regardless of who markets your home, you or a broker, there are other small things you must do to attract buyers. For example, even if it’s bright daylight, open the blinds and turn on the lights. Also, open all the interior doors to make the home appear roomier. Be sure to remove all your kids and pets. In addition, make sure your pet’s litter pan is clean so the home smells clean and fresh, not like air freshener. Remember, you need to make sure your home is available to be seen by a prospective buyer with as little notice as possible. That means less than an hour, or even five minutes, if possible.

Open houses are also excellent opportunities to make your house available to multiple people at the same time. The realtor typically advertises that the home will be open for a given period (2-5 p.m. on Saturday). During the open period, the Sylvia Collins hosts the home while the owners leave for a few hours.

At the open house, the Sylvia will provide literature, maintain a visitor log and answer questions. By interacting with visitors, we will seek feedback regarding the home and opportunities to follow up with prospective purchasers.

Selling the Home

Every seller looks forward to the day they get their first offer on their home – and many sellers are a little disappointed. Chances are, your buyer’s first offer is lower than what you’re willing to accept – and lower than what he or she is willing to pay. Don’t take the initial offer personally. Chances are, you would place a low initial offer if you were the buyer.

It’s also important to remember that the offer is more than just a number. It’s a contract saying what the buyer wants to receive, what he or she is offering to pay, and what conditions must be met for the sale to take place. These conditions, called contingencies, are an important part of the process. Some of the most common ones include

After we discuss the initial offer and you consider how it lines up with your goals, we then make a counteroffer. Maybe you’re willing to split the difference between the asking price and the first offer. Maybe you’re willing to accept a little less money for the home if you can keep a favorite fixture.

While the dance of offers and counteroffers goes on, we’ll continue to show the home and court other buyers. The more people you have interested in your home, the higher your final sales price will be, and the better your chances of making a great deal.


Closing & Moving

Selling a home is one of the most important financial steps on your life. After the final offer has been made and accepted, a process called “Closing” takes place. Basically, the buyer hands over a weighty check (from their mortgage company) and you hand over the keys. The closing process can take around a month. The buyer gets the final approval on financing the house.

You have two main jobs at this point: getting ready for closing, and getting ready to move out. As your agent, I’ll be coordinating most of the closing details with the title company and other players; ideally, you simply show up and take the money. However, I’ll keep you informed throughout the process so that you know how everything is going as we prepare for the big day.

You will also need to prepare to vacate the property – after closing, it won’t be yours anymore. If you’ve already had an offer accepted on your new home, it’s time to set closing for that sales and arrange your moving date. Or, if you’re still looking for your new home, you’ll need to arrange temporary housing and storage.

There probably will be several people at closing: me, you, the buyers, their agent (if any), and representatives of the title and mortgage companies involved. I’ll be with you as you sign and initial papers and accept payment for your home; we’ll both take a look at what you’re signing to make sure it matches what we’ve agreed to with the seller. Then, once all the paperwork and checks have changed hands, you’re done.

Congratulations, your house is sold! A huge milestone in your life has been accomplished, and I would love to help you achieve this major goal. Please call or email Sylvia Collins for your realty needs.