Last week I wrote a post, How My Clients Buy a Home, and so this week, I thought I would write a similar one about how I work with sellers.
When someone contacts me about selling their home, our first step is to sit down and discuss their objectives. I also provide them with information about me, my background, my techniques and local market data.
Often, we do a 'walk around,' so that I can get a sense of the property at the same meeting.
Once I have been given the listing, we do a more detailed walk through so that my client has a solid list of things to get done to prepare their home for the market. The preparation process can take anywhere from a week to several months. I often do these meetings 6 or 7 months in advance to allow time to find and hire contractors and to get the work done.
It is critical that a property be ready to present to the pubic when it goes on the market. Buyers see value in well maintained and updated homes. I am not advocating major remodeling, but getting a home up to neighborhood standards is important. My sellers have often been in their homes for 10-20 years and may not have been worried about what their neighbors were doing to their homes. Now is the time to take that into consideration or ask a reduced price. One of may favorite sayings is an old toothpaste commercial saying (Ultrabrite, mabye?), 'you never get a second chance to make a first impression.' This is very true in home selling!
We will do a final walk around to make sure everything looks great and then we will get photographs and floor plans done. After this, it is a matter of keeping the property looking good for potential buyers.
Once the home is on the market, I work with my sellers to make the home as available as possible. Listing your home is not convenient, but not allowing appointments might very well mean that the buyer goes on to the next house and never comes back. Hopefully, the listing period is a short time. I encourage my sellers to make some sacrifices in order to get their home sold as quickly as possible. There are times when they simply cannot have people in, but flexibility is key here!
Once we find a buyer and negotiate a contract, I help my sellers through the process of removing contingencies. Some of the ones that we have on many of our contracts include:
- Home inspection
- Radon inspection
- Home Owners Documents
There is also a home pest inspection that most lenders require, but it is not a contingency. In other words, it is required and the seller is required to make any necessary repairs if there is any resulting pest damage.
This is not intended to be all-inclusive list of things that sellers must do when selling their house. The list of things that must be attended to while selling goes on and on as we approach the settlement date. Many are administrative in nature and can be done from home or work (as appropriate). This is more of an overview of what to expect.
When you are selling your home, understanding the process and having a partner to guide you through it makes all the difference!
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A GREAT Real Estate experience.
If I can help you, your friends or family buy or sell their next home in Northern Virginia, please let me know!
If you need help with a home outside of Northern Virginia, I have an extensive network of referral agents and will make sure you are working with the best!
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