Set Your Goals
First, ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” If you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin, write it down. You and your real estate agent will map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.
Name Your Price
Your real estate agent will work with you to set the price for your house. You will see more activity from other agents and buyers if it is priced correctly from the beginning. To determine the correct price, the following will be taken into consideration:
- The condition of your home
- What comparable homes are selling for
- The state of the overall market in your area
It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your own home, therefore your real estate agent’s expertise is invaluable at this step. You’re always better off listing your home at a fair market price. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. In contrast, if your home sits on the market for too long, buyers tend to think there is something wrong with it.
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 affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important. Your real estate agent can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it even more appealing to buyers.
Receive a Purchase Offer
When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will find if the individual is pre-qualified or pre-approved to buy your home. If they are, you and your agent will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. 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 document becomes legally binding.
Negotiate the Sale
Most Purchase Offers will require some negotiating. A good agent will be familiar with the contracts used in your area. It is their job to protect your interests. Your agent also knows what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas should be negotiated.
Prepare to Close
Once you accept an offer to sell your house, the property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected and/or repaired. Your real estate agent will spearhead the effort and be your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. When each procedure is completed, as defined by the contract, the sale proceeds to the Closing.
Close the Deal
“Closing” refers to the meeting where the property is legally transferred to the buyer. In New York, there will be two attorneys present – one each for the buyer and seller. As the seller, you are not required to be at the Closing.
Once the closing is scheduled, we will help you make a “to do” list for turning the property over to the new owners.
- Transfer electric and gas services to the new owner.
- Cancel lawn care, cable and other routine services. If the new owner is retaining any of the services, change the name on the account.
- Gather owner’s manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances.
Selling or buying a home does not have to be a stressful experience. A little preparation and the right agent to guide you through the process makes all the difference in the world!