Sellers Information

5 Steps to Selling Your Home

beachsideThere are a few steps involved when selling a home and dealing with a knowledgeable and local realtor and attorney can help you have a smooth transaction. Following are the 5 steps to selling your property:

1. PREPARING – There are some 5 million existing homes sold every year, and while every transaction can be different, every home owner wants to get the most amount of money with the least amount of hassle which is why you should consider dealing with Susan Ochsner. One of the most important factors in selling your home besides choosing your realtor is getting your home ready to go on the market. I tell all our clients that if you are going to ask “top dollar” then your home needs to be in “top shape”. First, it is always a good idea to pay for a home inspection to be done on your property because you would probably be surprised about a lot of things not right with your home. It could be electrical or wood rot, but whatever the case, you should fix it now instead of later. Next, if you have any painting, carpeting, cleaning, or throwing out, take care of it now. Your house needs to be clean. Think of yourself as the “purchaser” and what you would like to see in a home.

2. CHOOSING A REALTOR – A REALTOR is a member of the National Association of Realtors which adheres to strict Code of Ethics, Training, and Education. It is also important for a REALTOR to be a member of their local Association. Some people may choose to speak with one realtor or some may choose to speak to several agents. Ask them about the services they offer. A REALTOR will discuss the list price of your property based on recent sales and comparable properties currently on the market. You may receive different estimates, but that is okay. Make sure you understand their opinion of why they think your house would sell for a certain amount. Ask a REALTOR about their fees. Usually fees are established by the marketplace and not set by law and regulation. A listing agreement is a contract that shows the broker’s obligations and outlines the terms under which your home is being made available for sale. A listing term is usually 6 months to a year, but always negotiable. Allow me to put my knowledge and international expertise to work for YOU.

3. SETTING THE PRICE – List price is key in selling your home. I always tell my clients that list price should be based on comparable properties, but also based on your motivation. A REALTOR will usually have your home on REALTOR house tour, a day where all the agents come to your home to see it for potential clients. This is time where you can receive feedback on your home. In most markets, you will know in 30 days if you need to reduce your price.

4. MARKETING YOUR PROPERTY – It is important to choose a REALTOR that knows how to market your home, and more importantly, who to market it to! Some marketing tools are to either have digital streamline video or virtual tour done of your property. These videos are then attached to your home so potential buyers can review it online whether it is on realtor.com or a realtor’s own website. Make sure your REALTOR has a website like this one. The internet is one of the most important marketing tools for Sellers and Buyers. Now, most REALTORS have more than 1 website. See the other websites your property will be featured. Direct mail is another important marketing strategy. I usually send out “Just Listed” post cards, flyers, and monthly community updates featuring many properties. It is important to have a flyer/brochure on your property so make sure your REALTOR plans on having one. Local advertising is important, and I have many marketing tools for this venue.

5. SELLING AND CLOSING – Once you receive an offer on your home, you and your REALTOR need to review the contract and the terms to decide if you need to counteroffer in price or maybe just the terms of the contract, or both. In a strong real estate market when the supply is low, demand is high, a seller may receive multiple offers. Sometimes the contract offering the most money is not necessarily the best offer. It may be best to accept an offer that is lower, but has no financing contingency. There are many issues to consider which is why it is best to let a REALTOR negotiate the best offer for YOU, the SELLER. Once you reach an agreement and have a fully executed contract, it is time to choose an attorney to represent you. Again, ask your REALTOR for recommendations. After choosing an attorney, if it is in your contract, you (the Purchaser) will hire a licensed Inspector to perform a home/villa inspection to insure that all heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical systems, fireplace, appliances, pool and spa are in good working order and that the structure is reasonable sound and the roof free of leaks at the time of closing. Once all the repairs are agreed upon and the loan commitment letter has been received, a Wood Infestation Report (CL-100) is provided to the Purchaser’s attorney no less than seven (7) days prior to closing. The CL-100 is usually done at the Seller’s expense but not necessarily anymore, and it determines if there is any wood destroying infestation, termites, or structural problems. Once you have reached an agreement on all repairs and the CL100, and the purchaser has insurance, you are ready to close on your property. At the Closing, it will be determined what payments and credits the owner should receive and what amounts are due from the purchaser. For example, if the owner prepaid their taxes a few months in advance, then the owner will be compensated. In South Carolina, the Realtors do not have to attend the closing, and in most cases the buyers and seller do not need to attend since the process is so computerized and automated. Once all the necessary paper work has been signed & recorded with the local property record offices, title has been transferred from the Seller to Purchaser, and the Seller has been paid for the home, keys are then given to the Purchaser, and the Seller is on their way to their new home or destination.

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