Last week, we dove into the home buying process and discussed several reasons why you should choose one of Our Executives to help you with your home purchase. We cleverly called that post Home Buying 101. Today we discuss selling your home, which, just like buying a home, is often a stressful, emotional, and confusing process. We’ve named that post…wait for it…Home Selling 101.
Generally speaking, there are five phases in the home selling process: Price, Prepare, Market, Contract, and Close. Understanding this basic framework will help you realize that there is a lot more to selling a home than simply sticking a sign in the yard and showing up to closing. Acknowledging the intricacy of a well-executed real estate transaction is important, and it will hopefully help you realize just how much of an asset a real estate professional can be.
Not surprisingly, price is the most important factor in selling a home. It is imperative that you price your home correctly from the start. Overpricing is the most common mistake as marketing and advertising can only do so much to overcome a high price. Likewise, underpricing your home can be equally disappointing.
Our Executives are skilled at pricing homes right – the first time. We always complete a thorough competitive market analysis in order to arrive at an appropriate price for your home. Of course, if you need to sell your home in a hurry, or if you can afford to be patient, our suggested price can be adjusted up or down. But keep in mind that if your home is not priced competitively, it may never sell at all.
If you attempt to sell your home yourself, it’s worth noting that according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) data, homes that are sold without the assistance of a Realtor® are sold for nearly 15% less than those sold with the assistance of a Realtor®.
The next step is to prepare your home to attract a qualified buyer. Obviously, you should clean, take out the trash, and cut the grass, but you may also want to consider “staging” your home. “Staging” is the act of preparing your home for sale. The goal of staging is to make the home attractive to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby leading to a quicker sale for more money. At Realty Executives of Cape County we have an Accredited Staging Professional on staff, so be sure to ask your Executive about our free staging consultation.
Once you arrive at a price and have prepared the home for sale, it’s time to start your marketing campaign. These days, there is a lot more to marketing than sticking a sign in the yard, doing an open house, and hoping for the best. You will need to develop a clear marketing plan that will attract the largest number of buyers.
Our Executives use a wide variety of marketing tools. These include yard signage, advertising in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), ads in the newspaper and real estate magazines, direct mailings, open houses, and agent tours. We also have many contacts with referral and relocation organizations and local corporate entities that frequently bring in new employees. But perhaps the most unique part of our marketing plan is our cutting edge technology, which includes the use of quality photography, high definition video, and the Internet.
The latest NAR and Google research shows that 90% of home buyers start their search online. Our blog post last week detailed the power of our Property Search, but our website is just one of the avenues which may lead a buyer to your home under our marketing plan. The local MLS system syndicated information about your property to as many as 900 other websites. We also recently added a YouTube channel featuring our high definition videos of properties for sale. Many real estate videos you see out there are just slideshows of grainy photos set to generic music. Our videos are fully narrated, HD video walkthroughs that are sure to catch a buyer’s eye.
Another advantage to listing with an Executive is that you personally do not have to be available at all hours of the day to show the property and weed through potential buyers. A full team of real estate agents will be showing your home and qualifying buyers for you, so you won’t have to spend time interacting with potential buyers at all hours of the day. You also won’t have to wade through the various scams and safety concerns commonly associated with selling your property “by owner.”
At this point, you’ve attracted a qualified buyer and they have made an offer. This is when stress and emotion may begin to overwhelm you. It’s also when your Executive can step in and help you agree to the best deal, and not just the fastest deal.
Working with an Executive means that you have access and guidance through all of the contract and related riders and notices necessary to close the transaction. This is important because selling a home is not like selling a car or furniture. Not only is the financial obligation much larger for the buyer, but there are also disclosure obligations and legal ramifications for the seller if the contract is not written properly. Unless you are a real estate professional or attorney skilled in drafting real estate contracts, you may end up having your transaction fail, or end up with unintended legal liability.
Your Executive will guide you through all of the contingencies, disclosures, inspections, financing options, and title review. There is no way around it: This is a very complicated process. Neglecting to get professional guidance from a real estate agent or attorney during this period will likely cost you a lot of money down the road, not save it.
Assuming the buyer is satisfied with inspections, title report, and loan terms, the last step is to review and understand the closing statement and other documents before you close on the sale. Your Executive is here to help you through this process too.
Realty Executives Can Help
As you can see, selling your home is not something that should be taken lightly. If this all sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. Our dedicated Executives can help guide you every step of the way. Call us in Cape Girardeau at (573 335-8111 or in Jackson at (573) 243-2555!