Learn About the Process of Selling Real Estate
What happens after you’ve made the decision to sell your property in Sequim or Port Angeles? It’s time for Spring Cleaning no matter what time of year it is. These are the basics of getting your property ready and what happens when an offer is accepted. It would be a great idea to use a calendar during this time because many items are deadline oriented and you wouldn’t want any reason for the transaction to falter because of a missed date.
First things first. Clean, pack, repair. Now is the time to start packing up personal items, photos, cleaning closets, etc. Also, time to fix things that may be brought up in an inspection report or that would affect curb appeal. Show that the home has been cared for and it will help justify a higher selling price. When it comes to vacant land consider having an area “parked out” (cleared) for a potential home site to make it easier for a buyer to vision where a home might be built.
Here’s what to expect from Brody and his partners:
He will visit your home and research & prepare a market analysis which will include a recommended listing price. It should be priced correctly, right from the start, and will take into account your current situation and goals. If you are interviewing other agents, pay attention to the time they take with you and if they are genuine about determining the best price for you.
When you’re ready, he will prepare listing documents to be signed including the agreement and listing input with details of the property and its features. We understand that in order to produce the best results, each property must be unique in its description and potential value to buyers. This includes so much more than “a 3 bed, 2 bath rambler on a quiet cul-de-sac”. You won’t see this type of wording in our remarks but instead we pull out the best reasons for living in your home, on that lot, in that neighborhood, and the best of things to do and see close by. Our marketing reaches far too many people to just reiterate what can be found in the general details.
We hire a professional photographer because pictures are most often the first impression a potential buyer has. We are careful to schedule a time when the property will present best; where is the sun? is the water view clear? can you see the mountains? did you have time to prepare? Ultimately good pictures will result in more showings and they may be the reason someone will choose, or not choose, to look any further.
Once the listing is live, our marketing plan ensures that the property is Premium, Featured, and/or Enhanced on Realtor.com, Zillow.com and Trulia.com as well as over 70 national websites. There is only one other agent in all of Clallam County who pays for this comprehensive marketing. We fully cooperate electronically with all of the major franchise websites allowing them to market our properties. Optimal marketing is part of what has made Brody the top producing agent in Clallam County for the past 10 years.
Realtor® Tour ~ once the listing is active your agent will turn in an application for your home to be featured on the Sequim or Port Angeles Association of Realtors® Tour which is held weekly. We offer cash drawings as incentive for agents to come pre-view the home. This gives all member agents a chance to see the home first hand. After the tour is over your agent will give you their feedback.
While your property is listed it is our goal to maintain consistent contact with you. We will call or email every two to three weeks with an update on our marketing efforts. After each showing we will immediately email you feedback we are provided. We also will periodically reassess the market and how it relates specifically to your property and start a conversation with you about price or marketing adjustments. If local zoning is changing, a purchase or sale occurs that may impact your home’s value, etc. your agent will call you to discuss any effect it may have.
Maintain a ‘show ready’ home. A buyer wants to be able to visualize his or her own belongings in the home, so neatness is the key. We also have a professional home staging consultant on staff.
Why should you stage your home?
Proven Return on Investment. A recent survey reported a 1000 percent return for sellers who spent 1 percent of their home’s value in staging. Because of a higher perceived value it’s also been reported that a properly staged home can sell for 17 percent higher than an unstaged home. In this context, staging can mean renting pieces of furniture and design accents or simply using what you have already in the best manner.
Competitive Edge. When your home outshines others on a buyer’s list it will garner at minimum a second look. A home that shows it has been well taken care of will appeal to many more buyers and will have the perception of higher value. There is competition out there and a staged home will sell faster.
Less Distraction. This helps both buyer and seller. As a seller it helps you begin packing which allows the home’s features to become more evident. Clutter can make a home look too small and a buyer won’t be able to get past all of the ‘stuff’ to envision the home as theirs. If you will be moving out of the home prior to it becoming live on the MLS and have questions about what’s appropriate to leave behind (if anything), talk to your agent.
Agents will begin contacting you or your agent to show your home based on the listing instructions. It’s best to be as accommodating as possible and to leave the home for a while and let the buyers’ agent conduct the showing with their client. Very often calls can be last minute if a buyer is only in town for a day or two.
Each time an agent arrives they’ll use the key box, even if you are home. It’s the best way to track who has been in your house even though they will leave a business card. Your agent is able to see the activity and will follow up to get feedback which is especially important if the home is vacant. He will send any comments to you so that you are always up to date.
When it comes to viewing land, what we provide is a plat map and directions to the property through the MLS but most often an agent offers to meet a buyer and/or his agent to walk the property and point out any important selling features. In this area there are foothills, valleys, waterfront, mountain and city lots – all of which come with their own challenges. Of course land listings are distributed to the top land websites including Land and Farm and LandWatch with the added benefit of being a Featured Property.
Once an offer is received your agent will call right away to set up a time to review the contract with you. At that time decisions will be made about a counter offer, contingencies, financing, homeowners warranty, etc. There are addendums that apply to a variety of circumstances and each one has an impact on your course of action.
Negotiations continue until a final agreement is reached and all documents and addendums have been signed by both the buyer and seller. There may even be multiple offers which your agent will help you navigate through. Just because there is a higher offer doesn’t mean it’s the right scenario for you because of contingencies that might be part of the agreement.
As the seller, you will be required to fill out a Sellers Disclosure answering questions about the property and its systems. Then, over the course of the next few weeks, inspectors and the lender’s appraiser will need access to the home for their reports. Your agent will be at the house to represent you and guide you through any issues with their findings.
Your agent will help prepare a response to the buyer’s inspection report where they may, or may not, request certain items be repaired or addressed before moving forward with the transaction.
Schedule a septic inspection if necessary. He will recommend whether or not the system needs to be pumped. The septic system must be inspected within a year of it legally changing ownership.
The escrow officer prorates taxes and utilities which will show on the final closing statement, however, the seller is responsible for commission, excise (sales) tax, and 50% of the escrow fees. Your agent can prepare a Net Sellers Report for you showing the projected net proceeds from the sale.