The Major Steps In Selling Your Home
- When To Involve A Real Estate Agent
- Selecting The Right Estate Agent
- Listing Agencies
- What’s Your Property Worth?
- What’s Included In Your Sale?
- Developing A Marketing Plan
- A Property That Shows Well, Sells Well
- So You’ve Found A Buyer – What Now?
There comes a time in life when you need to move on.
Whether you are making a job change, retiring, or just need a change of scenery, one thing
is certain – your main objective is to determine the best and most realistic price for your
property and to achieve it in the least expensive and quickest amount of time.
You may think selling a home is easy; but ask yourself how many houses did you look at before
you bought the one you own at present? How many other people do you suppose went through
those houses before a buyer was found?
WHEN TO INVOLVE A REAL ESTATE AGENT
The best time to involve the agent is ideally when you are making the decision to sell your property.
Once you have made the decision to sell then the sooner you get your property on the market, the more opportunities you will have to sell. New buyers enter the market every day and yours may be just the home they are looking for.
SELECTING THE RIGHT ESTATE AGENT
- Do they place importance on high, ethical standards?
- Are they well trained in sales skills, negotiation and marketing?
- Do they have a wide range of marketing options?
- Do they have a good knowledge of the local market place?
- Does their company have significant sales activity?
- Have they the ability to present your home to a wide market place?
- Are they considered a market leader?
- Are you comfortable with them?
When you do decide on an agent, you will be asked to sign an Agency Agreement which will contain the fees you can expect to pay the agent when your home is sold. This is important because it will help you determine a proper budget for selling your property.
Method of Sale:
There are several ways to market your property and real estate agents will willingly tailor one to meet your needs. For example:
Exclusive Agency Agreement:
An Exclusive Agency Agreement covers a set period with one real estate company and allows the agent to concentrate all their efforts into the sale of your property.
General Agency Agreement:
You can sign this kind of agreement with a number of agents. The agent who introduces the purchaser and holds the deposit is entitled to the commission. However, it must be pointed out that quite often you may not get the same amount of service from agents on a General Agency Agreement and therefore it may take a longer period to sell your home.
If you submit your property for Auction this means that prospective purchasers will bid against one another at a date and time suitable to you.
You can set a reserve price which is the minimum you will accept and once bidding has passed that level, you know you have a sale as it will be unconditional and a predetermined deposit must be paid on the day.
A tender programme offers most of the benefits of an auction, but gives you complete privacy in respect of your home sale price. There is no auction day and offers may be conditional.
Sale by Private Treaty will mean that you will set a price, or price range, at which your property will be marketed to the public through the marketing plan agreed to by yourself and the agent.
WHAT IS YOUR PROPERTY WORTH?
One of the major decisions to be made is what price to put your home on the market.
It is vital that a sound, realistic strategy is provided in setting a price that can ensure you of two things:
- Obtaining your asking price or very close to it; and
- Getting the sale sooner.
Pricing for the Market
If your price is too high, you could shut off the most important ingredient of real estate selling – a constant flow of qualified, prospective purchasers who are looking for homes in the price range you establish.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN YOUR SALE?
It is important to determine from the outset what is to be included in the sale of your home. It is also important to make sure everyone is clear on what is included BEFORE your home is put on the market. Any exclusions need to be noted.
DEVELOPING A MARKETING PLAN
Selecting the best marketing plan to ensure your home is exposed to the maximum number of buyers is important in achieving the best price.
It is important to select the correct medium for advertising and target areas which contain the most potential buyers for your type of property. Research indicates that a large proportion of homes are sold to buyers in the immediate areas
- The first item on the list will be a signboard.
- The next part of the marketing will be the advertising. Local newspapers usually form the largest part of the mix.
- Real estate magazines are another tool and are sent to potential customers as well as being available from the agent.
- A relatively new and innovative tool for exposure is the internet.
- Open Homes are an essential way of marketing your property.
Remember you can’t sell a secret!
A PROPERTY THAT SHOWS WELL, SELLS WELL
Creating an atmosphere
- Try to make your home as warm and inviting as possible by using some of the tips detailed under the general interior impressions.
- Paint-work in good repair-discuss with sales consultant
- Letterbox in easy to see position and tidy
- Spouting cleaned and in good repair
- Garage/carport clean and tidy
- All rubbish cleared away
- Any cracked or broken windows repaired
- Hedges and shrubs trimmed, edges and lawns cut
General Interior impressions
- All paint repairs, cracked plaster repaired, wallpaper tidy
- Door, window, cupboard latches all open and close easily
- Lights all work – if necessary leave some lights on to create atmosphere
- Heat the home in cooler weather
- Ensure halls/stairways tidy and clear
- Drapes should be open, carpets freshly vacuumed
- If possible have cut flowers in various rooms
- Ensure the entrance way is clean and tidy and that the doorbell works (first impressions are very important)
- All surfaces – mirrors, fixtures, taps, cleaned and polished
- All taps in good order
- Seals around bath and basin in good repair
- Cupboards and cabinets neat and tidy inside
- Sinks dry and taps cleaned and polished
- All appliances cleaned
- Small appliances should be put away to avoid a cluttered look
- Benches cleaned and polished. Cupboards and pantry neat and tidy
- Jewellery and valuables locked away safely or taken with you
- Valuables such as art, vases, figurines, mementoes, should be safely situated or locked away
SO YOU’VE FOUND A BUYER – WHAT NOW?
The agent will present any offer in writing at which time you have the right to accept the offer or you can counter the offer at a price acceptable to you.
When considering an offer, take the following into account:
- Suitability of the deposit
- Terms of finance (either cash or subject to finance being arranged)
- Settlement date
Once you have agreed on the price, the contract which had been initially drawn up can now be signed. Normally a 10% deposit will be paid by the purchaser with the balance due on the settlement date agreed.
The deposit will be held in trust by your agent.
In the case of purchase at auction, the deposit must be paid and contract signed on the day of auction.
It will be a normal process for the agent to deduct the commission and any advertising costs (if applicable) from the deposit. The balance will then be forwarded to your solicitor prior to settlement.
Once the contract is exchanged, it is a legally binding document. Normally a solicitor will handle the sale.
Settlement day is the point at which the keys are handed to the purchaser and the property becomes their responsibility. It is important to note that up until that date the property is still legally yours and therefore such aspects as insurance remain your responsibility.
CONGRATULATIONS ON SELLING YOUR HOME!