Selling Your Home in 8 steps
By: Elizabeth Garner
Right now, our local housing market in Texas has been shifting to a seller's market. So what does this mean for you as a homeowner? Ultimately, it means now is the time to sell your home; inventory on homes in the area is currently low, causing the homes on the market to receive multiple offers-- most of which are over the initial asking price. But how do you get started with the home selling process?
Meet With An RE/MAX Agent
First things first, meet with your local RE/MAX Realtor and get a complimentary home evaluation. This is an essential step as a seller because it will give you a better idea of your home's potential value in the current market. It will also allow you to get an outsider's opinion of what might need to be done to your home before listing, such as installing new carpets or professional cleaning.
Establish A Price
Once you and your RE/MAX Realtor have gone over your property and have evaluated the recent comparative homes that have sold in your area, they will give you a price point to start with. This is negotiable; your Realtor is there to advise you, guide you, and educate you on all your options, but you have the deciding vote on the final list price for your home. Still, I urge you to listen carefully to your Realtor. They are the experts, know the market, and know how to get your home sold quickly.
Prepare Your Home For Market
Your job here is to work on packing and cleaning your home for the upcoming showings once the listing goes live. If you're not quite ready to pack everything up yet, that's okay. I recommend removing personal items and photos where you can because we want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves in the home, and sometimes that can be difficult with someone else's wedding photos displayed prominently on the mantel. You might also talk to your RE/MAX Realtor about having a cleaning company come, and they will be able to provide you with a few company referrals. Your Realtor might also make a few recommendations when it comes to upgrading or making changes to the property before listing, such as a coat of fresh paint or maybe new carpets in the bedrooms. Again it's up to you on how much you are willing to do to get the home ready, but remember your RE/MAX Realtor is a specialist in listing homes and will only make recommendations that will help your home sell.
List Your Home For Market
Now that you have figured out a starting price and have prepared your home for the market, your RE/MAX Realtor will really get the process going by creating an MLS listing for your home that includes photos, a tour, details on the house itself like square footage, number of beds and baths, etc. Your Realtor will also need a copy of the property survey and a few other necessary documents to keep on file for buyer's agents to reference.
Offers And Negotiations
Once your home is active on the MLS, buyer's agents will now be able to schedule showings for potential buyers to come and view the home. Once offers start rolling in, your RE/MAX Realtor will review each offer carefully and then present each one to you. Please pay close attention during the offer overview with your Realtor; they will make good suggestions to you on what offer is the best for you to accept. Every offer is unique, from the type of loan, the offer amount, to any contingencies that the offer might stipulate, such as the buyers current home needing to sell to purchase your home. Once you have gone over all the offers with your RE/MAX Realtor and have chosen the offer you wish to accept, your Realtor will contact the buyer's agent with the good news, and you will move on to the next phase of the process. If, on the other hand, you would like to counter the top offer, your RE/MAX Realtor's negotiation skills will go into effect. They will submit a counteroffer for the buyer's agent and potential buyers to review. This process can take time, but in the end, your Realtor will come to an agreement with the buyer's agent, and you will then move forward with the adjusted contract.
Once your home is under contract, there are a few steps to follow. Your RE/MAX Realtor will coordinate with the buyer's agent to ensure all necessary paperwork is signed; they will also schedule a home inspection and appraisal. This is an important step in the process for both parties because it will provide you with valuable information on the home's repair needs and market value.
Now that you have finished the inspection and appraisal, the buyer's agent may wish to amend the contract based on those results. They might find some missing roof shingles and ask that you, as the seller, repair the roof or allocate funds at closing to go towards the repairs suggested by the inspector. You will also be able to review your home's appraisal with your RE/MAX Realtor. Knowing if your home met appraisal or not is crucial, as some deals can fall through based on the appraised value. For example, if your home is under contract for $350,000 and the appraisal comes back at $340,000, the buyer may request funds at closing to go towards the difference, or in some cases, the buyer will cover the difference themselves. If you are not ready to move out by closing day, you can request a leaseback as the seller. This is essentially a rental agreement that gives you an extension to continue occupying the home after closing, so you as the seller have a longer opportunity to pack and move out. Once you and the buyers have reached an agreement, your RE/MAX Realtor will draft the final contract, including the initial offer and any amendments for both parties to sign.
We've made it to closing day! At this point, all the negotiating is done. The buyers will do a final walkthrough of the home, and you will head to the title company with your RE/MAX Realtor to sign the closing documents to sell your home officially. Be sure to bring all keys, garage door openers, etc., with you to closing. Once you have signed your part of the paperwork, the title company will collect the keys to pass on to the buyers when they come to sign their part. And that's it! You have just sold your home in eight simple steps with the help of your RE/MAX Realtor.
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