How on earth do you begin to sell your home? I’ve broken down the process for you to make it a bit easier to understand.
Initial Real Estate Meeting
Once you’ve chosen a Realtor to market and sell your property and you’ve all signed Agency Law Disclosure it’s time for the first meeting. You want to sign this disclosure prior to your initial meeting because you’re discussing very personal information about your motivations to sell. This will make your discussion confidential whether you decide to hire said agent or not.
You’ll want to discuss the five following issues:
- Real estate needs and goals
It’s important to be very clear with your Realtor when talking about your needs and goals. Early on in the process is when your expectations and concerns should be vocalized. Take your time asking as many questions as you can think of. Playing out different scenarios and talking them out with your Realtor is always recommended.
- Time constraints
Time constraints exist in every real estate transaction but some are more serious than others. If you’ve taken a job out of state you’ll likely have a hard start date that needs to be accommodated. This type of hard deadline should always be discussed prior to listing the home for many reasons that we’ll cover in a bit.
- Relocation needs
If relocation due to a job change is applicable to your selling situation that absolutely needs to be brought up very early on with your Realtor due to very stringent rules and processes required by most relocation companies. Chances are your Realtor will need to be relocation certified; but you shouldn’t assume they have such a certification.
- Financial goals
Your Realtor can and should provide you with a document outlining all estimated expected costs you will incur when selling your home; this document will include your bottom line (take home proceeds). Ask your Realtor to provide you with multiple copies of this document with differing sale prices and seller paid closing costs scenarios, as this will give you a clearer idea of what’s on the horizon for you during the offer phase.
- Any other factors you feel could affect the sale of your property
If there are any other factors that you think might affect the sale of your home it’s in your best interest to get those out into the open in the first meeting. You may be afraid to bring up possible roadblocks but your Realtor’s job is to assist you in selling your home and you may be surprised to know that your situation isn’t unique and your Realtor has experience in handling this type of challenge.
Phew, that was the hardest part!
Qualify the Property
Now it’s time to discuss the real estate market, the condition of your property, and of course, asking price. Your Realtor should be well-versed in the current market conditions but they’ll need your help with the condition of your home. Be open and honest about any defects, needed repairs, or past problems you’ve had on the property.
The most important topic on your mind will likely be asking price so let’s get to it. To accurately determine how much to ask for your home your Realtor should provide you with a list of comps (homes that compare well to yours) that are currently for sale (active) as well as comps that have recently sold (closed). Recently is the keyword because the market changes quickly and if you’re using old comps you’re going to end up entering a market at the wrong price.
The absorption rate is an extremely important number to get from your Realtor as it gives you the odds on if you can sell and how fast you may be able to sell your property at a certain price point. The absorption rate is the rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. It is calculated by dividing the total number of available homes by the average number of sales per month. Note that different price points have different absorption rates.
A pre-inspection is highly recommended by many Realtors for many reasons but mostly because it opens your eyes to defects or issues on your property that you may not have been aware of. Finding these issues prior to listing gives you time to process the information and take necessary steps to remedy any items the inspector flags. Ask your Realtor for at least two recommendations for inspectors and make sure they are licensed. Make the necessary repairs or improvements after the inspection, as this is a great marketing piece to provide to buyers.
Now that the scary stuff is fixed let’s move on to making any cosmetic improvements we can to get your property to that show ready stage. Rely on your Realtor for staging advice but apply these two tactics as well: de-clutter and de-personalize.
Don’t forget about the exterior! Making cosmetic updates to any problem areas outside is paramount because the first photo buyers see is the front elevation. That’s your one and only shot at getting a buyer to click to see more photos. Don’t skip this step.
Determine Asking Price
Almost every client expects to hire a Realtor AFTER an asking price is determined but in reality there’s much to be learned and done prior to this step. If you’ve completed the steps above you’re now very well versed on the current market and can now make an educated decision on a realistic and competitive asking price.
List the Property
Once asking price is determined and contracts to exclusively represent you as a seller are signed your Realtor can then work behind the scenes to get your home on the market.
Want to know what to do next? Check out part two of our series on what to expect once your house has been listed.