Selling Your Home
We Understand What Goes Into Selling Your Home
When selling your home, there are no guarantees that a buyer will simply walk through the front door. In many cases, you have to bring the home to the buyer. Effective marketing will help ensure that your property receives maximum exposure to attract a ready, willing, and able buyer. When working with StoneGate Realty, we will analyze the current market conditions, recent sales, and expired listings to give you a realistic assessment of your home's value, and we will recommend some proven strategies for preparing your home for sale.
Setting Goals for Selling Your Home
Before you put your house on the market, it is a good idea to sit down and clarify your goals and draw up a basic time frame for the selling process.
Why Are You Selling Your Home?
Are you selling to find a larger property, or do you plan on moving to another neighborhood, school district, city, or state? Are you being forced to sell due to financial issues? Clarity about your intentions and needs for selling will make it easier for us to determine the best option for your specific financial, lifestyle, and real estate goals.
When Should You Sell?
Establishing your time-frame for selling is an important part of pricing your home for the market. If you need to sell quickly, then we can speed up the process by giving you a complete market analysis and an action plan to meet all of your goals.
What is the Market Like?
When you work with us, you can be sure that you will have our knowledge, expertise, and negotiating skills at work for you to arrive at the best market prices and terms. We will keep you up to date on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and conditions of competing properties.
Why Choose StoneGate Realty?
You may opt to sell your property independently. There are many excellent reasons, however, to choose StoneGate Realty to assist you in this important undertaking. We will ensure that you maximize your opportunities in the current real estate market. With our extensive contact networks that we have developed through the years, as well as our current and past clients, we will employ the most-effective marketing and advertising strategies for your property.
We will guide you through the complicated paperwork involved, from the initial agreement to the final closing documents. Without a professional agent, independent property sellers tend to overestimate the value of their home, and then it remains on the market longer than other properties that have been priced competitively. One reason for this is that sellers use Zillow or other websites that provide out-of-date property information. As a professional real estate group, we have the most up-to-date information and a direct reflection of the current market climate through the use of the MLS system. We pay for those services and provide the benefits to you as a seller. Our professionals are educated in the real estate industry and have advanced training that places them among the top agents in this business. We follow our Code and Ethics (pdf) and provide you with the service that is representative of our commitment to the Real Estate Industry.
What You Need To Do To Prepare Your Home For The Market
You can do a lot to prepare your property and increase its marketing appeal for a lasting impact on potential buyers. The following items are some important factors to consider when preparing your home for sale:
- Curb Appeal - Keeping your landscape maintained and groomed will create an immediate impact on potential buyers or those who pass by and see the "For Sale" sign. Overgrown grass and trash in the yard will turn off potential clients from entering the premises.
- Property Repairs - Simple upgrades go a long way. Upgrades such as window repairs, polishing wood floors, repairing nail cracks, fixing leaky faucets, or even a fresh coat of paint in the most frequently used rooms will instantly brighten up the property and serve to engage potential buyers walking through the door.
- Cleanliness and Staging - This perhaps may be the single most-important recommendation of them all. Keep your property uncluttered, sweet smelling, and well-lit from top to bottom. The closets are not safe. People love storage and want to see inside closets and cupboards of all types. Piling lots of junk in the closet to clear out a room will have an adverse effect. If you have too much stuff, and not enough space, then perhaps temporary storage is the answer, or you can donate some of the furniture you know you're not going to take with you. Pay attention to details: clean kitty litter, fresh flowers near the entryway, have the carpets cleaned, wipe down the baseboards. Your agent will scan the property before it is listed for sale to see how you can improve the staging of your property.
- Disclosures and Inspections - We are familiar with the legal procedures involved in disclosures and are ready to help you develop a thorough disclosure statement beneficial to both the seller (you) and the buyer. We also suggest home improvement measures before placing your property on the market. Purchasing a home warranty that will cover repair expenses while your property is listed, for a small deductible, is a great way to save money and address any repairs that may arise on the buyers home inspections. This warranty can also be extended to the potential buyer as purchase incentive.
- Showtimes - Presenting your property for sale to potential buyers is a job that we will take care of for you. Buyers feel more comfortable discussing the property with an agent if you are not there. Moreover, as your agent, we know what information will be most useful in representing your interests when speaking with prospective buyers.
- The Price is Not Always Right -"The higher the price, the better the offer." Do not be deceived by this popular misconception. The price is not always right, nor is it a determining factor when accepting an offer for several important reasons: the initial offer is usually not final, and there are a number of terms and conditions that may influence the final outcome of a price. You can trust our professionals to help you thoroughly evaluate every proposal without compromising your marketing position. We take the ethical responsibility of fairly negotiating contractual terms very seriously. It is our job to find a win-win situation that is beneficial to all parties involved. It is also important to have multiple offers to consider before ratifying the one you judge to be suitable for you. As your agent, we will guarantee a thorough and objective assessment of each offer to help you make the right choice.
The Initial Agreement and Deposit
An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential purchaser and the property’s seller. Laws vary from state to state, but in order to be a legally binding agreement, the agreement may require consideration. This consideration (initial and additional deposit) is to be held in the closing agent’s escrow account pending the fulfillment of conditions or contingencies in the effective agreement.
Some important tips to keep in mind to streamline the process even further:
- Keep Written Records of Everything - For the sake of clarity, it will be extremely useful to transcribe all verbal agreements including counter-offers and addendums, and convert them to written agreements to be signed by both parties. We will assist you in drafting all the paperwork for your sale and make sure that you have copies of everything.
- Stick to the Schedule - Now that you have chosen your offer, you and the buyer will be given a timeline to mark every stage in the process of closing the real estate contract. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations and also ensures that each party involved is not in breach of their agreements. During the process we will keep you constantly updated so you will always be prepared for the next step.
Inspection and Appraisals
Most buyers will have the property inspected by a licensed property inspector within the time-frame that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase. Some buyers will have several different inspectors inspect the property if they wish to obtain professional opinions of inspectors who specialize in a specific area (e.g. roof, HVAC, structure). If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution via third party. This is done so that the lending institution can confirm their investment in your property is accurate. A buyer of a commercial property may also have a complete environmental audit performed and/or soil test, if required by the lending institution.
The Closing Agent
Either a title company or attorney will be selected as the closing agent whose job is to examine and insure a clear title to real estate. After researching the complete recorded history of your property, they will certify that first your title is free and clear of encumbrances (e.g., mortgages, leases, or restrictions, liens) by the date of closing. Secondly, all new encumbrances are duly included in the title.
A contingency is a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding. For instance, a buyer will usually include a contingency stating that their contract is binding only when there is a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified inspector. Before completing the purchase of your property, the buyer goes over every aspect of the property, as provided for by purchase agreements and any applicable addendum.
- Obtaining financing and insurance
- Reviewing all pertinent documents, such as preliminary title reports and disclosure documents
- Inspecting the property (the buyer has the right to determine the condition of your property by subjecting it to a wide range of inspections, such as roof, termite/pest, chimney/fireplace, property boundary survey, well, septic, pool/spa, arborist, mold, lead based paint, HVAC, etc)
Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:
- Either each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the closing, OR
- The buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price). How do you respond objectively and fairly to the buyer when a renegotiation is demanded, while acting in your best interests? This is when a professional listing agent can make a real difference in the outcome of the transaction. Having dealt with various property sales in the past, we guarantee our expertise and total commitment to every customer, no matter what their situation is.
Loan Approval and Appraisal
We suggest that you accept buyers who have a lender’s pre-approval/approval letter, or written loan commitment, which is a better guarantee of loan approval than a pre-qualification or no documentation from a lending institute. Accept an appraiser from the lender’s company to review your property and verify that the sales price is appropriate.
If you have come this far, this means that it is almost time for a congratulations, but not yet. Do not forget to tie up these loose ends:
- Final Walk-Through Inspection - More of a formality than anything else, the final inspection takes place the day before, or the day of the closing. The buyer visits the property to verify that all is in working order, that everything is the same as when the buyer last viewed the property, and that there are no extra items left behind.
- Cancel Home Services and Utilities - We will provide a list of useful numbers for the termination of home services and utilities after the closing occurs.
- Be Prepared - We are ready to assist you should an unforeseen glitch pop up, even at this last stage. If something at the property breaks down or the buyers’ loan does not pull through on time, there is no need to worry. We have encountered these problems before so we know how to handle them efficiently and in a stress-free manner.
The closing agent will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process. The buyer(s) will sign this statement, and then you will sign, as well as the closing agent, certifying its accuracy. If you are unable to attend the scheduled closing, then arrangements can be made depending on the circumstances and the notice that we receive. If you are receiving funds from the transaction, you can elect to either have the funds wired electronically to an account at your financial institution or have a check issued to you at the closing. The seller should arrange to have all property keys and any other important information for the new purchaser at the closing, so that the purchaser may receive these items at this time.