Selling your home can be an overwhelming task, and that is why many people choose to use a licensed real estate professional to assist them. A realtor® can make this a much simpler journey. From giving you advice on how to make your home more appealing to a buyer and helping to negotiate with offers and finalize the sale, a realtor® is there to assist and advise.
Deciding on a Real Estate Professional to assist you in pricing your home is the first step. A Realtor® will give you advice based on information from a comparative market analysis of similar, recently sold properties in the area and their experience with how the list price affects the ultimate sales price. They will also offer suggestions for making your home more appealing to potential buyers. Once offers are made on your home, your real estate professional will negotiate with buyers to obtain the best price and terms for you, their client.
Once you are ready to sell your property, you will sign a listing agreement with a real estate agent/broker to list your property within the guidelines you will discuss and market your property to potential buyers. In the agreement, the terms for commissions paid will be addressed. They will also address time frames for marketing and other pertinent information, such as what appliances, if any, will be included with the sale and what items will be excluded from the sale.
A seller's disclosure is also part of the listing agreement and must be filled out by the seller to the best of their knowledge. Some items covered are the condition and age of the roof, appliances, heating and cooling units, and any known defects in the structure, including but not limited to the roof and foundation. Flood plain maps and insurance claims for any damage to property are also on the form, along with many other areas. As the seller, you should fill this form out as completely and factual as possible. Any defects or deficiencies should be reported. This is the best course of action rather than something that come up during an inspection by a potential buyer.
Don't feel that you must know about or investigate everything about the property's condition to fill out this form. If you really have no idea about an issue, for example, whether your smoke detectors meet the legal standards, you can, in those instances, check "Unknown."
Also, if your house was built before 1978, you must complete a disclosure regarding lead-based paint and your knowledge of its presence.
Now that part is complete, the house is listed for sale with your chosen real estate professional, and there is an offer made for your property. Your real estate professional will present the offer to you and assist you in understanding the offer, the terms, and the process. Your real estate professional will negotiate to help you get the best price the market will support for your property.
Once all parties have signed, and the contract is executed, it will be sent to the title company as indicated on the contract, and the buyer's "option time" will begin. During the option time, the buyer has the right to have inspections performed on the property by licensed inspectors. This is why it is best to reveal any known defects to the property in the Seller's Disclosure. Any questionable items found during the inspection can be brought back to the seller for renegotiation of price or repair. Your real estate professional will guide you through this and advise you as to your options in each scenario.
Inspections are complete, negotiations are finalized, and then the waiting begins. If this is a buyer with cash, the closing can take place quickly, so you should have a course of action ready for you to be moved out of the property in the time frame allotted in the contract. If there is a lender involved, the process usually is a little lengthier, but you will still need to have a course of action ready.
Closing day has arrived, and your real estate professional will be with you at the closing table to answer any questions that might arise. Paperwork signed, keys surrendered, and now it is time to move on to your next real estate adventure.