When you know exactly why you are selling, then it is easier for you to set the right plan of action to get what it is that you want. This will be the single most important factor in developing a strategy to market your home.
Although it is not required, many homeowners find it helpful to obtain an appraisal for their home prior to placing it on the market. There are times when a realtor may suggest an appraisal due to the limited number of homes sold within the last three to six months, as not all homes are created equal, especially in areas where your home is not in a cookie cutter community. An appraisal will assist us in establishing a price to ensure it is not over or under priced, it will also provide insight if there are any repairs that would be necessary to repair that could be issues with an underwriter and lastly, but more importantly it could aid in the negotiating process as if an low offer were to be submitted. The cost of an appraisal is between $300 and $400, typically dependent on age and type of home. If you are interested in obtaining a pre-market appraisal, please contact me and I’ll provide you with a name of a reputable appraiser.
A home inspection requested by the seller is completely optional, however it highly recommended and is becoming more popular. A professional home inspection allows you, the seller, to understand potential repairs that could be requested by the buyer and provides you the opportunity to repair or have a professional repair any items before placing your home on the market. By being one step ahead of the buyer, it will give the buyer less to pick on when they are ready to negotiate repairs. Additionally, it always seems, that homes that have been pre-inspected sell faster than homes that haven’t been inspected.
If you are a homeowner who lives in the Austin city limits, who pays Austin Energy (City of Austin) utilities, who has not completed any energy efficient updates resulting in at least a $500 rebate and your home is older than 10 years old you may need to have an energy efficiency audit completed on your home. The intention is to disclose the energy efficiency of your home to any potential buyer so they are able to make an educated decision about purchasing your home. The audit costs between $300 and $500 depending on the company hired to complete the audit. The ordinance states the audit must be done prior to closing and disclosed to the buyer. Currently, there are not any mandatory requirements for the seller to make repairs to non-energy efficient items. However, the audit can/will be reviewed by the buyer and the buyer has the right to request the seller to make repairs in order to proceed with the purchase of the home. Before having a company come to your home to complete this audit, please speak with a Realtor. There are ways for you, the seller, to be exempt from the audit.
SETTING THE PRICE
The price is the first thing buyers will notice about your property. Setting the price too high can alienate buyers from the beginning. The asking price you offer reflects how serious you are about selling your home. The key factor in selling your home is finding just the right price. It seems when you homes are overpriced, buyers see all of your homes defects and if you’re priced at or below market, buyers see the homes attributes and feel comfortable making a reasonable offer.
Here are a few factors to take into account when determining the list price:
- Recent, comparable sales in your area (more specifically your subdivision). The market has been shifting so often lately that it is important to look at the last three months in order to get a true sense of what the market is doing.
- Location, condition and presentation of your home
- Number of competitive properties currently for sale in your area
- Days on market and price reductions of comparable homes
- Price difference ratios between original asking price and the sale price
- Comparable withdrawn and expired listings and why they didn’t sell
- Under contract sales and their days on the market
Once a list price has been established, several formal documents are required to be signed to place your home on the market.
- Information about Brokerage Services – this form should be signed at the first face-to-face meeting with your agent. It explains the relationship between you and your realtor and the differences between a client and a customer.
- Listing Agreement – this established price, the listing period, marketing efforts, etc.
- T-47 – this accompanies your survey. It states that to the best of your knowledge the survey is accurate, current and there have not been any changes. This document is only necessary if no changes have been made to your current property, not requiring a new survey.
- Sellers Disclosure – It will inform the buyer of any known defects that the seller is aware of. It must be completed to the best of your ability.
When reviewing an offer made on your home, keep in mind that you are out to the best price AND the best terms for you. If you focus solely on price, you may overlook terms. Here is how we will accomplish this:
- Review and interpret offer price AND terms
- Verify buyers pre-approval
- Review both the pros and cons of the offer
- Provide you with negotiation techniques and suggestions on countering, if necessary
Once we have an official contract, my job is not complete. The buyer still has their inspection/option period to inspect and they have a right to negotiate repairs. As a seller, you have a right to review and respond to the request in one of three ways:
- Agree to everything the buyer requests
- Agree to some of the buyer requests
- Agree to none of the buyers requests
We will discuss pros and cons of each as it relates to your transaction and situation, including if any of their request is out of the ordinary. Once thing I will guarantee you, I’ll never allow a buyer or a buyers agent try to make your home new again.
I will have consistent communication with the buyer’s agent, the lender and the title company to ensure all deadlines are met in order to ensure a flawless closing. Keep in mind; there are times when it is necessary to extend the closing date to a future date. We will review these circumstances on a case-by-case basis, if they should come up.
Prior to listing your home, I will:
- Put a electronic lockbox on the front door with a key inside only Realtors, Inspectors & Appraisers are able to access.
- Place a yard sign that displays a QR code in your yard. The QR code will allow potential buyers to obtain information about your home.
- Help you stage your home to sell, NOT to live in – there is a difference between the two.
- Take professional photos for the virtual tour and marketing pieces
- Create the virtual tour and marketing pieces
- Input the listing and save until we are ready to go live.
The first day on the market, I will:
- Make the listing LIVE in MLS, upload 25 professional photos and the virtual tour to MLS
- Promote your home to agents within my office, within my company (in Austin, in Texas and even other states)
- Submit the virtual tour to real estate websites such as Trulia, Google, Yahoo, Hotpads, etc., if I haven’t done so already.
- Schedule your home to be on the next Realtor property tour
On an ongoing basis, I will:
- Provide market and marketing updates, not less than once every two weeks
- I’ll set you up to receive listings as they appear on the market so you are able to view the list price, time on market and price reductions as they occur – it is important to be aware of your competition.
- Provide feedback from all showings each Tuesday. All comments will be placed into a spreadsheet. Any crucial information that is important to know immediately will be sent in an email with the information and I will call to discuss further. Please note, I will provide you exact comments made by each realtor/buyer as you need to hear exactly what others are saying about your home.
- Field all inquires from prospective buyers who call from advertising.