Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Selling Property – Tips

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SELLING TIPS:

Time Becomes Money

It’s a good idea to place your home on the market as far in advance as possible of purchasing a new one. If you find a new home first and then try to sell your present home, you may wind up with two mortgages.

Keep in mind that when people move, sell and buy, there usually is a domino effect. Closing and moving dates have to be coordinated, and the more firmly everyone commits to a window of dates and sticks to them, the better for all involved. Put all agreements about dates in writing, and protect yourself by negotiating financial penalties for failure to comply.

Check Your Curb Appeal
A home that’s visually appealing and in good condition will attract potential buyers driving down the street. Use this checklist to view your property through an outsider’s eyes.

· Are the lawn and shrubs well maintained?
· Are there cracks in the foundation or walkways?
· Does the driveway need resurfacing?
· Are the gutters, chimney and walls in good condition?
· Do the window casings, shutters, siding or doors need painting?
· Are garbage and debris stored out of sight?
· Are lawn mowers and hoses properly stored?
· Is the garage door closed?

On the Inside

Strong curb appeal will lure potential buyers inside, where you have to live up to their expectations. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy improvements you can make to your home’s interior without spending a lot of money. Cleaning is No. 1. Your windows, floors and bathroom tiles should sparkle. Make sure you have clean heating and air conditioning filters. Shampoo dirty carpets, clean tubs and showers, repair dripping faucets and oil squeaky doors. Keep your home neat, clean and picked-up at all times. It may not seem fair, but a peek in the oven may be the hallmark by which a buyer judges how well you have kept up your home.

Remove unnecessary clutter from the garage, basement, attic, closets and straighten stored items. Also remove any items that might make a statement that would be offensive to others who may not share your same views, beliefs or sense of humor. If your home is crowded with too much furniture, consider putting some things into storage. If a room needs a fresh coat of paint, use a neutral off-white. Think, too, about how your home smells. You may be used to the smell of a pet or cigarettes, but such odors can be a strong turn-off to others. Finally, set a mood for the buyer. Make your house homey with live flowers and fresh guest towels in the bathroom. Place scented potpourri around the house or, on the day you’re expecting a potential buyer, pop a batch of frozen cinnamon rolls into the oven for a welcoming aroma.

Go It Alone – or Choose an Agent?

Some homeowners decide to sell their homes themselves in order to save the commission charged by a real estate agent. The commission rate may vary, depending on where you live or what agency you choose. However, handling your own sale means you will be responsible for placing ads, answering phones and showing your home to strangers. What’s more, buyers who know you are saving on an agent’s commission may offer less for your home, wiping out the financial incentive to do it all yourself.

However there are some benefits of going through professional real estate agents:

· They will help you establish a fair asking price for your home.
· They will promote your home to other agents and list your property in multiple listing services. A multiple listing service is a book or computer database that all real estate agents who subscribe to the service can access. Your home will get exposure to all those agents, one of whom may have the perfect buyer.
· They will create, pay for and place advertising for you.
· They will schedule appointments to show your home to prospective buyers even when you are not there.
· They can weed out buyers who will not qualify for a mortgage.
· They can refer you to sources for insurance, inspections, legal counsel and financing.
· They will help you negotiate with the buyer.
· They can make suggestions to help make your home more attractive to a potential buyer.

Setting a Fair Pricez

Naturally, you want to get the best price for your home. But, at the same time, you don’t want to scare off potential buyers with a price tag that’s too high. Setting an artificially high price may cause your property to languish on the market for months. Reducing your asking price later on may lead buyers to wonder if there is something wrong with your home. Here are some of the factors to consider in pricing your home.

· Your location
· Economic conditions
· Supply and demand in the local housing market
· Seasonal influences
· Local schools
· Average home prices in the neighborhood
· Your home’s extras – pool, fireplace, central air, etc.

To determine the value of your home, you probably will want the advice of a real estate agent or appraiser.

Qualifying a Buyer
Either you or your agent will want to quickly weed out potential buyers who cannot really afford to purchase your home. A number of factors will help determine whether or not you are wasting your time negotiating a sale.

· The buyer’s current income and employment.
· The buyer’s cash position and availability of a down payment.
· The length of time the buyer needs before closing on your home.
· How interested the buyer appears to be in your home versus others.

Seek Legal Representation
When selling your home—particularly if you are selling on your own—it’s a good idea to be represented by an attorney. Look for an attorney with expertise in real estate transactions. When a potential buyer puts an offer in writing and you accept it, the signed acceptance becomes the sales contract. Your attorney will be present at the actual closing to protect your interests and can assist you with the following elements of a sales contract:

· The sale price.
· What is included in the sale price — draperies, carpeting, light fixtures, heating oil, etc.
· The amount of the down payment.
· The date of settlement and possession date.
· Contingencies to the sale–inspections (e.g. structural, lead-based paint, radon), required improvements, legal review of the contract by the buyer’s or seller’s attorney, etc.
· The amount and length of the mortgage loan, interest rate and time limits to secure the loan.
· Determining which closing costs are to be paid by the buyer and which by the seller.

Seller Tips in general

Selling Your Home:
· Getting the Highest Price in the Shortest Time
· Making a Good First Impression
· Know Why You are Selling
· Setting the Price
· Plan of Action
· Finding the Right Agent
· Considering Offers
· Insist on a Home Inspection

Getting the Highest Price in the Shortest Time

In order to get the highest price in the shortest time, you need to know how to market your home. The better you market your home, the more offers you will get. And the more offers you get, the more choices you have to get the price and terms you want.

The most important factor of marketing your home is pricing it right. Your price should be adjusted to reflect the market, and the property’s worth. The key is to get many people checking out your property at a fair price instead of having no buyers because your price is set too high.

Another important factor is the condition of your home. Make sure that your home looks ready to be sold. Fix any defects (peeling or faded paint, cracks, stains, etc.) Condition alone can sometimes prompt fast buying decisions. Not only should you fix any defects, but consider upgrading your home by making major repairs and cosmetic improvements before selling. A nice looking home triggers the emotional response that can lead to a financial response.

Learn how to negotiate the best terms for all parties involved. Terms are another factor which may be adjusted to attract buyers. If you insist on getting your asking price, think of what you can offer to the buyers, for example, improvements you’ve made, or even offering seller financing at a lower than market interest rate on a portion of the sale price. Convince them why they should be paying the price you have set.

Lastly, get the buzz out about your home. List your house with a hot agent that ensures your house is listed on the MLS and on the Internet. On your own, get the word out. It should be visible to passerby’s that your house if for sale, whether it be signs, local advertisements or you telling friends, family, and acquaintances.

Making a Good First Impression

If you want buyers to be interested in your home, you need to show it in its best light. A good first impression can influence a buyer into making an offer; it influences a buyer emotionally and visually. In addition, what the buyer first sees is what they think of when they consider the asking price.

A bad first impression can dissuade a potential buyer. Don’t show your property until it’s all fixed up. You do not want to give buyers the chance to use the negative first impression they have as means of negotiation.

Ask around for the opinions others have of your home. Real estate agents who see houses everyday can give solid advice on what needs to be done. Consider what architects or landscape designers have to say. What you need are objective opinions, and it’s sometimes hard to separate the personal and emotional ties you have for the home from the property itself.

Typically, there are some general fix ups that need to be done both outside and on the inside. As a seller, you should consider the following:

· Landscaping – Has the front yard been maintained? Are areas of the house visible to the street in good condition?
· Cleaning or Redoing the driveway – Is your driveway cluttered with toys, tools, trash etc.?
· Painting – Does both the exterior and the interior look like they have been well taken care of?
· Carpeting – - Does the carpet have stains? Or does the carpet look old and dirty?
Know Why You are Selling
If 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.

If you are a seller who needs to close a sale as quickly as possible, then you should know that getting the highest price possible is not one of your priorities. It does not mean that you won’t or cannot get the highest price, but it means that the price is not the deciding factor. A buyer who can give you a quick closing time will appeal much more to you than a buyer who can offer you more money but the negotiation and closing time drag on.

It’s always good to know how low you will go, in terms of selling price. This will help to eliminate some of the offers that you find simply offensive or ridiculous. Even though you should consider all offers seriously and take into consideration the terms of each offer, sometimes, if you know the bottom line and are strict about it, you can save yourself time.

Once you know what your limits and reasons are, discuss them with your agent so that they can help you set your goals realistically. If you decide to list your home on your own, make sure you do research on the current market, and you get the proper advice you need in terms of legal issues, etc. The key is to be realistic and to know what your goals are so that they can be met.

Setting the Price

The price is the first thing buyers notice about your property. If you set your price too high, then the chance of alienating buyers is higher. You want your house to be taken seriously, and the asking price reflects how serious you are about selling your home.

Several factors will contribute to your final decision. First, you should compare your house to others that are in the market. If you use an agent, he/she will provide you with a CMA. The CMA will reflect the following:

· houses in your price range and area sold within the last half-year
· asking and selling prices of houses
· current inventory of houses on the market
· features of each house on the market

From the CMA, you will find out the difference between the asking price and selling price for all homes sold, the condition of the market, and other houses comparable to yours.

Also, try to find out what types of houses are selling and see if it applies to your area. Buyers follow trends, and these trends can help you set your price.

Always be realistic. And understand and set your price to reflect the current market situation.

Plan of Action
Analyze why you are selling – If you understand your motives, you will be able to better negotiate and to get what it is that you want, whether it be a quick sale, high price, or somewhere in the middle.

· Prepare your home for the buyer – Maximize the strengths of your property and fix up it’s weaknesses. You want the buyer to walk away from your home with a lasting good impression.

· Find a good real estate agent that understands your needs – Make sure that your agent is loyal to you, and can negotiate to help you achieve your goals. In addition, they should be assertive and honest with both you and the buyer.

· Be prepared for negotiation – Learn and understand your buyer’s situation; what are their motives? Can you demand a big deposit from them? Try to lock in the buyer so that the deal goes through.

· Negotiate for the best price and the best terms – Learn how to counter offer to get more from every offer.

· Make sure the contract is complete – Be honest with your disclosures; you do not want to lose the deal because you were lying or diminishing your home’s defects. Insist the buyers get a professional inspection. This will protect both you and the buyer.

Finding the Right Agent

Not all agents work the same way. The most important attribute of an agent is that he/she is well connected to the real estate industry. He/she should know the market and provide information on past sales, current listings, his or her marketing plan, and at least 4 solid references. In addition, you also want to look for an agent that is honest, assertive, and one that best understands your needs.

Try to go with a local agent. They can better serve your needs; they are familiar with what the local market condition is, the local prices are, and what’s hot or not in your community.

Considering Offers
When reading an offer, keep in mind that you are out to get the best price AND the best terms for you. If you focus solely on the price, you may overlook terms that could be favorable to you as a buyer.

Some terms that may work in your favor:

· higher-than-market-interest in a second mortgage for your home
· the buyer will pay for most or all of the closing costs
· the buyer will take care of any repairs
· quick close – the buyer is pre-approved and ready to close in a time that best suits you
· all-cash deal

When reading through offers, remember to look at the whole package. Take the time that you need to assess what is being offered and if it meets your needs.

Insist on a Home Inspection

A professional home inspection protects both you and the buyer. It allows both you and the buyer the opportunity to learn about the property’s defects.

A home inspection usually covers the following:

· Plumbing conditions - if there is leakage or clogging
· Roofing conditions – the extent of deterioration, if there is leakage
· Electrical conditions - if there are inadequate circuits or potential fire hazards
· Structural problems - if there are problems with the underlying foundation of your home

As a seller, the home inspection reports protect you because it establishes the actual condition of the property at the time of sale.

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