Your listing agent has a fiduciary responsibility to look out for your best interests and help you from pre-listing prep through closing. It’s in your best interest to start dialogue with your agent as early as possible so he/she can provide you with important insights.
Understand what your home is truly worth and research the area market to establish an accurate price point for your property. This is a vital step as it will help you create a winning strategy to sell your home.
Review your mortgage loan details to ensure you are aware of your payoff amount. Also be aware of any other outstanding balances such as HOA dues/fees or property taxes so you can have a better understanding of what you will net from the sale.
Meet with your agent to review and sign all of the listing documentation. This is when you will finalize the list price, and document what is included and/or excluded from the sale. Among other things, you will also need to complete a property disclosure that details any defects that are known to you.
Curb appeal and first impressions are critical. The condition and appearance of your home will have a big impact on Buyers’ opinions of your home. Your agent has the expertise to help you determine what makes sense to address prior to putting your home on the market. By completing necessary repairs and suitable updates, cleaning, and de-cluttering your home will be better positioned to sell quicker and for more money.
Once your listing is active on the market it’s important that you maintain it’s clean and inviting appearance. Showings will begin to occur during times approved by you. Your chances of increasing the number of showings, and ultimately the chance of receiving a great offer, improve the more you can accommodate buyer’s schedules for showings. So be prepared to be flexible.
Once you receive an offer, you are able to negotiate more than just price with the buyer. The length of timeframes for contingencies, the amount of the security deposit, etc. Your agent will walk through the offer with you and explain things to you so you can make informed decisions about any terms you may want to counter.
After you come to terms with the buyer and execute the purchase contract, timeframes begin. The buyer has so many days to work through contingencies such as conducting inspections, completing an appraisal, and obtaining financing from their lender. Some things such as property repairs may need to be negotiated during the contingency periods.
If the buyer satisfies all of their contingencies, you will be heading to closing. The agreed upon closing and possession dates will dictate when you need to vacate the property. Have your moving plan in place and be prepared to leave the home in broom clean condition. While you pack, be sure to set aside the spare house keys, garage door remotes, and anything else that should be provided to the buyer. Also, you will need to notify all of your utility providers of your end of service date and request your final bill.
The closing will be facilitated by the title company and is typically conducted in person, with the buyer and seller present at the same time or separately. At closing, you will sign all of the necessary documentation to convey your property to the buyer. The title company will disburse funds to pay off the necessary parties such as your mortgage lender, and of course you’ll receive the balance of the proceeds from your sale.