While every sale is unique, there are certain things you should expect in the normal progression of the selling process. Here are the general steps for every process:

  1. DETERMINING MARKET VALUE: The first step in selling your home is determining what it’s worth in today’s market. Accurately valuing your home is critical because if your home is overvalued it may not sell for a long time – if at all – even in a “hot” market. Remember, today’s buyers are well educated; they can readily see what’s available and what has sold from a variety of sources that include the internet, their Broker, and from their own house-hunting experience.
    A Market Evaluation is not the same as an appraisal. An appraiser generally looks at a more “static” value. Meanwhile, your broker’s opinion of value is much more dynamic and should reflect current trends in the market and your area in particular, as well as the current supply, demand, and pricing of comparable properties. This typically results in a more accurate determination of market value than an appraisal.
    In determining market value, comparable sales are reviewed, examined, analyzed, and compared to your house in an objective manner. Adjustments for size, the number of rooms, condition, and special amenities or features are made keeping in mind how current buyers in the market will compare your home to others.
  2. TERMS OF SALE: Once the market value has been established, the terms under which you agree to sell must be carefully considered. Common terms offered are cash (which is very rare) and conventional financing (which means a buyer obtains a conventional mortgage). Although the closing costs to a seller may be slightly higher, you may want to offer VA or FHA terms, which are often referred to as “government terms”, especially if competing properties are offering these options. Seller financing for a portion of the sale may also be something to discuss with your broker.
  3. TIME FRAMES & EXPECTATIONS: Your broker should be able to give you an idea how long similar and reasonably priced homes were on the market before they sold, and if there are any notable trends. “Days on Market” statistics are available for comparable properties in your area to help you and your broker determine a realistic timeframe for getting your home sold.
  4. LISTED FOR SALE: The work begins for you and your broker once your property has been listed for sale and all the paperwork has been signed.
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  1. CONTRACT NEGOTIATION: When someone makes an offer on your home, they do so in the form of a contract. Your broker is obligated by law to present every contract to you no matter how ridiculous it may seem. When you receive a contract, you can: 1) Accept it “as is”, 2) Reject it completely, or 3) Negotiate modifications in the form of a “counterproposal”.
    The counterproposal process is where the terms and conditions of the sale are negotiated, including price, possession dates, inclusions and exclusions, inspection time frames, closing date, etc. You are not “under contract” while a counterproposal is being negotiated and can still entertain other offers. The counterproposal process may require going back and forth a few times. You can choose to reject the offer at any time during this process and walk away without penalty – as can the buyer. You will be officially “under contract” when you and the Buyer come to terms … but even then a few steps still remain.
  2. UNDER CONTRACT: INSPECTIONS & DUE DILIGENCE: Once you are under contract, the “due diligence” period begins. This is when the buyer will have the property inspected to make sure that the home is sound and that all appliances, critical elements, and systems, including plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling, mechanical, and roofing, are in good working order. The buyer can include anything in the inspection, from crime rates to environmental conditions, and can decide for any reason to reject the property based on any subjective criteria.
    The buyer can choose to reject the property altogether or request certain repairs if there are any problems or defects in the property. As the seller, you may accept or reject all or parts of the request, and/or offer credits against the purchase price in lieu of some or all of the repairs. The buyer will also inspect the title work (called a “Title Commitment”) during the due diligence period.
  3. APPRAISAL: An appraisal value is a requirement of every lender. The lender’s appraiser will physically inspect and measure the property, compare it to similar sales in the immediate area, and determine its “Fair Market Value”. If the market value is less than the purchase price then the buyer is not obligated to pay more than the value and can walk away from the sale if a compromise is not negotiated. If there are any “conditions” to the appraisal, i.e. the appraiser requires certain items to be repaired for the loan to be made, the seller will have to comply with the appraiser’s conditions prior to closing in order to complete the sale.
  4. THE BUYER’S LOAN APPROVAL: Once the inspection issues are satisfied and the appraisal is completed, the buyer’s loan package is submitted for final approval. If the buyer’s loan is not approved or they were unable to obtain the rate and terms specified in the contract, they can still walk away without penalty. If the buyer’s loan is approved, their lender submits the final figures to the closing agent, which is usually the title company that’s providing the title insurance. The title company will tabulate all the figures and will provide the buyer and seller with settlement sheets setting forth the debits and credits, as well as other closing documents. As your broker, I will carefully review all documents and figures to ensure a smooth and accurate closing.
  5. CLOSING: The closing is where all the documents are signed, money is exchanged, and the title is transferred from you to the buyer. Closing usually takes about an hour. You can choose how you wish to receive your net proceeds: cashier’s check, money wired into your account, or a title company trustee account check. A cashier’s check or having the money wired to your account is the safest, but there is a charge for the service, usually around $25.00.
  6. SOLD: Congratulations! You have just completed the sale of your property!

As your broker, I will make sure that you are aware of and are protected through every step of the process. For my 30-Point Action Plan as it pertains to your sale, go here [link to 30-Point Action Plan]. For tips on a good showing, go here [link to Tips for a Good Showing].

For more information about the selling process or if you’re ready to sell your home, call me today: 3037598811

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