The home selling process can be a long one, and sellers will want to make sure to find the right real estate agent to serve their best interests.
Being able to sell your home quickly is a matter of competitive pricing. There is a fine line between pricing low enough to sell versus pricing just above market value. Your listing agent is responsible for conducting market analysis to recommend the best possible listing price to help your property sell within a reasonable amount of time.
A good listing agent will present to you a concise marketing strategy, such as listing on the MLS, hosting open houses, and sending out targeted campaigns. However, sellers should participate in the marketing process, such as opting for a virtual tour or tapping into their networks to find interested buyers. Owners should strongly consider hiring a professional photographer (if your agent doesn't offer you one). When buyers browse a new home online, they might pass your house on a negative first impression because you took amateur photos that didn’t do the home justice. This means you might be putting off buyers who would pay for the asking price or those who would bid higher.
Although you may love your property the way it is, new buyers will be looking for a fresh face. Spend time preparing your home for sale by conducting a deep cleaning and refresh its appearance by providing a fresh coat of paint (things to consider).
The great thing about selling a home in a seller’s market is that there is often room for negotiation. If your property is in a desirable location and is priced well, you will most likely have several competing offers. Work with your agent to negotiate on your behalf to make and accept the best possible counter-offer.
Once a seller and buyer have reached a purchase agreement, they will enter into a period called escrow. During this time, the buyer and seller will await the closing and move-out date and address duties such as ordering a title report, scheduling an appraisal, and conducting a property inspection.
The buyer’s prospective lender will typically require a property appraisal to make sure that the negotiated purchase price is fair and parallel to the actual property value. Be sure to keep your property clean and organized before the appraisal appointment, and be sure to cooperate fully with the appraiser. Be sure to ask your agent regarding your rights if the buyer chooses to back out based on appraisal results.
In today’s day and age, property inspections are an oft-opted for purchase agreement contingency. Inspections help buyers confirm that they are purchasing a home that is truly in the condition for which it appears. Suppose the property inspector discovers a serious underlying issue, ranging from cracks in the foundation to plumbing that needs replacement. In that case, the buyer reserves the right to back out of the deal if they are not comfortable with the results. Once all contingencies are met, be sure to ask the buyer to lift contingencies in writing.
Both home buyers and sellers can start breathing sighs of relief as they cross off their checklists and approach the closing date. Your listing agent should prepare you by walking you through all the documentation and paperwork you will read and sign during the closing meeting.