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Lex Spaeth

Important Steps in the Home Selling Process!

The home selling process is the same whether you are selling for sale by owner or hiring a listing agent. Certain details may vary slightly among the states, but I will use California as the example since the state usually sets the standard for much of the country. Some jurisdictional differences include the seller hiring a real estate lawyer rather than an agent and the buyer submitting an “intent offer” prior to executing a purchase contract.

To sell your home:

1) Choose a Listing Agent

  • A listing agent will represent you and have a fiduciary responsible for looking out for your best interests.
  • Interview agents and meet with at least three real estate agents. Try to hire experience.
  • Ask questions about your listing agreement, including the length of time the home will be listed.

2) Find Out How Much Your Home Is Worth

  • A seller’s biggest mistake is to overprice a home.
  • Price your home in line with sold homes identified in a comparative market analysis report.
  • Consider whether your market is hot, cold or neutral, and price according to the market temperature.

3) Get Home Ready for Sale

  • Prepare your home for sale by cleaning, decluttering and improving curb appeal.
  • Hire a professional stager to stage your home, or ask your real estate agent for help with staging. Sometimes you can use your own furniture.
  • Make repairs before selling.
  • Protect your privacy while your home is on the market.
  • If you’re selling a home where pets live, make alternate plans for your pets.

4) Market Your Home

  • You or your agent should identify the sizzling selling points and choose advertising words to sell.
  • Approve your agent’s marketing campaign or figure out how to advertise your house for sale yourself.
  • Follow the top 10 home marketing tips for selling your home.
  • Hire a virtual tour company to take quality photographs and put a virtual tour online.
  • Tweak marketing to increase traffic and showings.
  • Confirm that your listing is posted online. Your agent or you should saturate the Internet with photographs and descriptions of your home.

5) Show Your Home

  • If you’re wondering about lockbox vs. appointments, you’ll get more showings if you let agents use a lockbox.
  • Your home will show better if you sell in spring than sell in winter.
  • Selling during the holidays could likely result in a lower sales price, regardless of what agents tell you.
  • Follow the top 10 home showing tips. You’ve got only one chance — and sometimes only 3 seconds — to make a good first impression.
  • Prepare for an open house and use the approach sparingly.
  • Ask for buyer feedback so you can adjust your price, condition or marketing campaigns accordingly.

6) Receive Purchase Offers and Negotiate

  • Make certain that buyers use the right form for writing a purchase offer.
  • Even if you receive a lowball offer, negotiate by issuing a counter offer. Don’t ignore offers.
  • Ask for a kickout clause or first right of refusal if the buyer’s offer is contingent on selling a home.
  • Consider making a counter offer contingent on buying a home, if market conditions warrant
  • Don’t be afraid to make a full-price counter offer, if the price is competitive and warranted.
  • If your home is priced right, prepare yourself for multiple offers.

7) Open Escrow and Order Title

  • Your agent or transaction coordinator will open escrow and order a title policy.
  • Write down the contact information for the closing agent.
  • Select a date to close based on when the buyer’s loan will fund.
  • Ask for a receipt for the buyer’s earnest money deposit.

8) Schedule Appraiser Appointment

  • Clean the house the day before the appraiser arrives.
  • If you receive a low appraisal, ask your agent about alternatives.
  • You are not entitled to receive a copy of the appraisal because you did not pay for it.
  • If the buyer decides to cancel the contract based on an appraisal, ask your agent or lawyer about your rights.

9) Cooperate with Home Inspection

  • Get ready for the home inspector.
  • Ask your agent to provide you with a home inspection checklist so you will know which items an inspector will want to see.
  • Prepare the attic and basement for inspection, too. Move stuff away from the walls in the garage.
  • Also, prepare for the final walk-through inspection which takes place a few days before, or the morning of, closing.

10) Obtain Seller-Required Inspections

  • If your contract calls for a roof certification, hire a reputable company to conduct the inspection.
  • States that allow for termite or pest inspections make these reports public records.
  • The fees for all inspection reports, even if seller-mandated, are negotiable.
  • If your home was built before 1950, a sewer inspection might call for a new sewer line, but trench-less sewers are less expensive to install.

11) Delivery Seller Disclosures

  • All homes in the United States are subject to lead-based paint disclosures, not just those built before 1978.
  • If you are aware of material facts, disclose them.
  • Your title company should provide CC&Rs, but if you belong to a homeowner association, additional documentation will be required.

12) Negotiate Request for Repair

  • Ordinarily, sellers do not need to accept a buyer’s request for repair; however, buyers can also cancel the contract.
  • You are entitled to a copy of the home inspection report if the buyers request repairs.
  • If you do not choose to make repairs, a buyer might instead accept a closing cost credit.

13) Ask Buyer to Release Contingencies

  • In California, for example, contracts default to 17 days, at which time, the buyer must release contingencies.
  • If you do not demand a release, buyers are not obligated to provide it.
  • If buyers do not provide a release, in California, sellers have the right to cancel the contract.

14) Sign Title and Escrow Documents

  • In southern California, you will sign escrow documents shortly after opening escrow.
  • In northern California, you will sign escrow documents near closing.
  • In other states, it is common for everybody to sit around the table, all buyers and sellers, so ask your agent for the norm in your state.
  • Bring a valid picture identification.

15) Close Escrow

  • Your property deed, re-conveyance and deed of trust will record in the public records.
  • The title company will notify you and your agent when it records the deeds.
  • Depending on buyer’s possession rights specified in the contract, you may be required to move on the day the home closes or prior.

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About Lex Spaeth

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Lex Spaeth


916-527-8700916-527-8700 main

NewVision Realty Group

951 Reserve Dr, Suite 140 Roseville CA 95678


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