Eight steps to selling your home
- Define your needs. Write down all the reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. For your goals, write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. Work with The Carol Team to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.
- Prepare your home. Most of us don’t keep our homes in “showroom” condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights and doors or windows that stick. It’s time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tip-top shape. The condition of your home will directly affect how quickly it sells and the price a buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important. We are professional stagers and are former design/build contractors. The Carol Teams understands today’s buyer and knows exactly how to prepare a home for sale.We will help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to make it more appealing to buyers. A home with too much “personality” is harder to sell. Simple things, like removing family photos, mementos and personalized decor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs. Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed knick-knacks from your shelves and cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible. You will also want to make minor repairs and upgrades. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression. We know which upgrades to make so you will get the most “bang for your buck”—it is easy to over improve and we will help you avoid spending needless money on changes that give a poor return on investment.The goal is to increase the sale value and to sell more quickly.
- Name your price. Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from buyers. You will need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for and the overall market conditions in your area. It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so The Carol Team’s expertise is invaluable at this step. We will know what comparable homes are selling for and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. Remember: You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. When this happens, sellers often have to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, more reasonably priced listings.
- Get the word out. Now that you’re ready to sell, we will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including: The Internet (we syndicate to over 1200 websites), Yard signs, Open houses, Mass media advertising, an Interactive voice response system, Agent-to-agent referrals and Direct mail marketing campaigns. We will also list your home on both of Atlanta’s Multiple Listing Services along with the Keller Williams Listing Service (a unique service that advertises your home to over 120,000 Keller Williams agent worldwide). In addition, your home will have an Address Specific website dedicated solely to your home.We use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home and will structure our plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest. We call it a Selling Plan, because that is exactly what we are going to do.
- Receive an offer. (all offers we receive will be presented to you) When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, the first step is to confirm that the individual is actually qualified to buy your home. We will then review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following: Legal description of the property, Offer price, Down payment, Financing arrangements, List of fees and who will pay them, Earnest money deposit amount, Inspection rights and possible repair allowances, Who will handle the closing, Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home, Settlement date and Contingencies. At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the agreement becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with us right away.
- Negotiate to sell. Most purchase offers will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. The Carol Team is well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. We also know what each contract clause means, how much you will net from the sale and the areas that are easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items: Price, Financing, Closing costs * Repairs, Appliances and fixtures that will remain, Landscaping, Painting, and Move-in date. Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, it is called Binding Agreement and the countdown to final sale begins.
- Prepare to close. Once you accept an offer to sell your house, there is a list of things you and your buyer must do before “closing,” the final transfer of ownership. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. We will spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale will continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing anyway. There will be a lot of paperwork flowing between/buyer/seller/closing attorney and we will keep track of it all for you.Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move, if you have not already done so, and schedule the shut-off of utilities, lawn care, pest control and other routine services.
- Close the sale. “Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. Carol and/or Mick will review all the documentation in advance and will be present during the closing to guide you through the process. By being present during the closing, we can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise and make sure everything goes as planned. In Georgia, an attorney is required to handle the closing process.If a loan is involved, this attorney represents only the lender, but is obligated to treat all parties honestly and fairly.If you desire to have an attorney represent your interests, it is allowable and we can recommend several.
A 9th step would be to move into your new home and start the next chapter of your life!