When selling your home, there are no guarantees that a buyer will simply walk through the front door. In fact a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) of 7800 homeowners shows that only about 7% of homes were sold through an open house. Due to technology home searches over the internet have increased from 2% in 1995 to 82% at present. Effective marketing on the web is a must to help ensure that your property receives maximum exposure to attract a ready, willing and able buyer. The Sarasota Home Buyers Guide website was built to accomplish just that. It is straight forward, easy to use, clear and concise. It offers buyers a chance to view both the MLS and our own listings without having to sign in, which through research we found was a big hindrance for users. This is not to say we will not do any open houses or newspaper advertising if we do not already have a buyer for your property through this site, it’s just to point out where the majority of buyers are spending their time and thus where the majority of the advertising budget is spent.
The Nuts and Bolts of Selling Your Home
The following is a checklist of our services to help walk you through the process:
Know your property. If you do not already, we will research many facts about your property, such as property taxes, zoning, lot size, square footage, etc. We will look at the terms of your existing loan and try and discover things that may not be noticeable right off the bat but are unique and make your home special. We want our buyers to know everything about your home. For example: If you went through the trouble of adding new insulation they should know it. If someone designed a special cabinet in the garage it should be pointed out. You never know when it will strike a cord in someone.
We will research the current market and property laws in your area. How much are properties similar to what yours is selling for? What are the terms of the sales? What property disclosure laws do you need to take into consideration?
Set the price. Once we know the specifics about your home and have checked out what similar properties in your area are selling for, we set a realistic price.
Perform a “walk-through” of your property. Although this is recommended some folks prefer to sell their home as is. It may not sell for as much, and the time to sell may be longer, but ultimately you will have to be the judge of how much you would like to do.
We look at it from the perspective of the buyer. We take notes on all items that need to be repaired or replaced. Things to consider include:
- From the street, is the house appealing? This is called “curb appeal”.
- Does it need a new coat of paint (either because the old paint is obviously cracked or faded, or because of an uncommon choice in color that might turn off prospective buyers)?
- If a house with a yard, is the lawn and landscaping attractive and well-kept?
- If it is a condo, you can’t do much about the building, but is the front door (and balcony, if there is one) appealing?
- Are the windows and doors attractive and in good condition?
- Are the roof (and the gutters) in good condition?
- Is the grass nicely cut, are the hedges trimmed, and are the leaves swept up? Are all toys put away such as bikes, scooters, etc.?
- Are the interior paints and finishes in good condition (recently updated), or do they need to be freshened up? This is one area with the best ratio of least expensive to most desired. For a minimal investment, you could possibly make or break a sale by having your home look well-kept and inviting.
- Are the appliances in good working order and of recent vintage?
- Are the plumbing and electrical systems fully functional?
- Are the carpets or other floor coverings clean and in good condition? Like the paint, are they attractive and well-kept? Floor coverings are worth paying for so that your home makes a good impression.
- Are the sealants (sink, shower, tub, windows) in good condition?
- Are all light fixtures working properly, and is there good lighting in each room so that prospective buyers won’t think you’re hiding something?
Know your neighborhood. Most prospective buyers will want to know about the local schools, shopping, parks, transportation, etc. Let us know these things so that we can knowledgeably answer questions.
Once we have an offer for you, it’s time to negotiate. Leave your emotions behind when you enter negotiations. You never want to get angry or give away the fact that you’re overly eager.
Negotiate final terms of the sale. Buyer(s) need to come to an agreement (in writing) regarding the following:
- Inspection contingencies
- Financing terms
- Date of closing
- Date of possession if not at closing
Final walk-through – Either the buyers or the buyers representatives will want to schedule a final walk-through before you complete settlement in order to determine that the property being conveyed meets the expectations of all parties involved. Any disputes will have to be resolved before the transfer of title.
Find and make arrangements for the home you will be moving to. Unless you have already built or bought a new residence, you’ll need to be the “buyer” for a new property while simultaneously being the “seller” for your current one. If possible, schedule both transactions to close at the same time, or else close your purchase shortly before closing your sale. You need to be moved out before the new owners take possession and remember we are experts at what we do and it is our job to be sure that is transition runs smooth for you.