Once a house is on the market, a showing may be scheduled with little notice. So make sure it’s always ready for each showing. Here are some tips to get you started.
Full disclosure during the sale of the home is required by law. Failure to disclose any known issues or problems with the house or property can result in legal action from the buyer. This includes previous damage from a fire or natural disaster or broken heat and central air systems. To avoid this problem, standard practice during a sale is to complete a home inspection. While buyers may complete their own inspection, it is best for you to have the home inspected before it hits the market. This gives you a chance to fix all problems before listing the house, affecting its value and attractiveness to potential buyers.
When attempting to price a home, the first step is obtaining a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from a REALTOR. This provides you with more information on how much similar homes have sold for in the neighborhood. You can also ask your REALTOR for a listing of nearby open houses so you can go independently and see how your home stacks up.
Making your home look as beautiful as possible is one of the first things to take care of as a seller. Make your home as clean as possible on both the inside and outside. Then, ask your REALTOR to help identify the aspects of your home that will photograph the best and make it stand out to potential buyers. Photographs of the home give you and your REALTOR another opportunity to showcase the home online.
More and more buyers take the first step in home shopping by looking online. Some tips REALTORS often give new sellers include adding a floral arrangement to an otherwise dull room, and taking the photographs in the spring or fall when the landscaping is still in bloom.
As always, make sure the home is as clean and clutter-free as possible. Visitors want to envision themselves in the space, not look at pictures of the previous owner. Plus, don’t forget to take care of the following matters:
Finalizing and negotiating an offer is just as tough for the seller as it is for the buyer. REALTORS are here to make the process flow as smooth as possible.
First, it is important to establish a timeline and goals as the seller. Inform the buyer of this information up front. That way, both parties stay on the same page throughout negotiations.
When it comes to the first offer, many times buyers will submit a low-ball offer in an effort to get the best deal. This is nothing personal, but rather a negotiating tactic, so treat it as such. Emotions are running high during this time, but it is important not to let them take over. Plus, as the seller, you have the final say.
Whether it’s a quick close or the highest dollar value that is needed, make sure to stay true to the goals outlined during the start of this process. Still, flexibility is important during this time. Not everything needs to go exactly according to plan. Certain dates may, for various reasons, be delayed or even sped up. Take it all in stride.
Finally, as the sale enters the final stages, make sure every detail from dates to price to what stays with the house is clearly defined and in writing. Leave the surprises for a birthday party.
Now it’s finally time for the closing of the sale. There you will sign the necessary legal paperwork and transfer ownership to the buyer. Also present at the closing will be several other parties, including:
Closing documents the seller will need to complete the sale include:
Once everything is signed, the seller is cleared of ownership of the house.