One of the biggest stories of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US has been its impact on residential real estate markets of all shapes and sizes. From in-town neighborhoods to outer suburban enclaves,
Selling your Home? Here are the Key Steps in the Process
Dated: February 5 2021
There has never been a better time for home sellers! With inventories in short supply and interest rates at historic lows, sellers are pulling maximum equity out of their properties.
If you are thinking about selling in 2021, here are the steps in the process:
1. Choose a Listing Agent
A listing agent will represent you, negotiate on your behalf and must maintain a fiduciary duty in looking out for your best interests. Interview several agents and select one based on their market knowledge, what marketing services they provide and their transaction experience. Negotiate your listing agreement, including the length of time the home will be listed and commission structure. Commissions are always negotiable, but industry standards range from 5-6% of the home’s sale price. The listing agreement’s commission is split between the selling agent representing the buyer and the listing agent representing the seller.
2. Find Out How Much Your Home Is Worth
The biggest mistake a seller can make is overpricing their home. Zillow’s Zestimate and Trulias “What’s my Home Worth” utilize automated valuation models (AVM) which rely on algorithms. This method of home valuation is often inaccurate based on the AVM not being able to factor all property characteristics. I recently refinanced my home and for fun went to Zillow and Trulia to see what the AVM would come up with. When the appraisal came in it was significantly lower than the Zillow and Trulia estimates, but I already knew that based on having performed a market comparison. Price your home based on similar sold homes identified in a comparative market analysis report provided by your agent. Factor your market condition and price your home accordingly.
3. Prepare Your Home to sell
When preparing your home to sell, you should clean, declutter and improve your exterior and landscape “curb appeal”. Consider hiring a professional staging company to stage your home or ask your agent for ideas. Make any repairs that may be “called out” in the home inspection report before selling. Protect your privacy while your home is on the market by controlling and scheduling when your home can be shown, but be sure not to be too restrictive. Most sellers who work during the day will allow liberal showings while they’re away from home and limit scheduled showings after 5:30 PM during the week. Weekends are busy with agents and buyers touring homes for sale. Try to be accommodating with showings. Remember, the more showings your property receives, increases the pool of potential buyers and the possibility of getting multiple offers.
4. Market Your Home
You and your agent should identify the major selling points and choose descriptive advertising words to sell your home. Approve your agent’s marketing campaign. Hire a professional photographer or virtual tour company to take quality photographs and add a virtual tour to your listing’s online presence. This is especially true for higher end homes. Adjust marketing to increase traffic and showings. Confirm that your listing is posted online. Your agent should make sure your home is listed on the Regional Multiple Listing Service, major real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.Com, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…
5. Show Your Home
It’s a best practice to allow a lock box vs. only appointments, you’ll get more showings with a lock box accessible home. Home sales occur year round, but your home will typically show better in the spring, summer and fall seasons. Selling during the holidays could extend your home’s time on market. Most buyers are inactive during the holiday period for obvious reasons. The saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression”, definitely applies during the all important listing period. Try to keep your home clean and tidy. Secure your pets and if at all possible, try not to be present during showings. Run an errand, do some shopping or take a walk. Let the buyers view your home with their agent privately. Prepare and schedule an open house. The first open house, if marketed properly, is usually the most effective and should be done the first or second weekend after it goes on the market. Open houses are effective as long as they are used sparingly. Ask for buyer feedback so you can make adjustments accordingly (price, condition or marketing campaigns).
6. Receive Offers and Negotiate
If you receive a lower than acceptable offer, negotiate by issuing a counter offer. You shouldn’t ignore offers. Ask for a “first right of refusal” if the buyer’s offer is contingent upon selling their home. Consider making a counteroffer contingent on you buying another home, if market conditions warrant. Market conditions may warrant a full price counter offer, if your property is priced competitively. If your home is priced right, prepare yourself to review multiple offers. Your agent will assist you with determining which offer is the strongest.
7. Open Escrow and Order Title Report and Insurance
Your agent or transaction coordinator will open escrow and order a title policy. Coordinate a closing date based on the contract and when the buyer’s loan is expected to fund. Coordinate your move and any other sale related obligations.
8. Schedule Appraisal
The lender will typically schedule your home for an appraisal to determine the current appraised value. Clean the house the day before so the property shows well for the appraisal appointment. If your appraisal comes in low, ask your agent about alternatives which could assist in closing the transaction. You can request a copy, but are not entitled to receive a copy of the appraisal if you did not pay for it. If the buyer decides to cancel the contract based on the appraisal coming in lower than the agreed sale price, ask your agent about your rights and strategies to close the deal.
9. Cooperate with buyer’s request for a Home Inspection
The buyer typically pays for and schedules a home inspection. Ask your agent to provide you with a home inspection checklist so you’ll know which items are typically inspected. Prepare the attic and basement for inspection. Also, prepare for the buyer’s final walk-through inspection which typically takes place the day before, or the morning of closing.
10. Deliver Seller Disclosures
It’s a legal requirement for Sellers in Nevada to disclose any major repairs and material facts that they know or should’ve known which could affect the property’s value. Homes built before 1978 are subject to lead-based paint disclosures. If you are aware of material facts relating to the property, you must disclose to the buyer through the Seller’s Real Property Disclosure form also known as SRPD. If applicable, your title company should provide CC&R’s to the buyer. It’s customary for the seller to pay costs related to providing the buyer’s copy of CC&Rs.
11. Negotiate Requests for Repairs
Sellers don’t have to accept a buyer’s request for repairs; however, buyers can cancel the contract for a seller’s refusal to make requested repairs. Sellers are entitled to a copy of the home inspection report if the buyers request repairs. Sellers can also give the buyer a credit at closing to pay for repairs if agreeable to both parties.
12. Signing Close of Escrow Documents at Title
In Nevada, you will sign final escrow documents near the closing date, usually the day of or day before. Always be sure to bring a valid photo id.
13. Close Escrow
Your property deed, re-conveyance and deed of trust will record through the county recorder’s office. The title company or your agent will notify you when the deed is recorded and property has been conveyed. Buyer’s possession rights should be specified in the contract and typically occur upon recording of the deed.
For a complimentary listing consultation, call or text The Jory Team at (775) 525-0560.
Jennifer and Michael are the Broker/Owners of Haute properties NV a boutique real estate company specializing in representing buyers and sellers with residential real estate, including lots & land, cu....
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