So, You want to sell your home?
Let's see how...
My promise is to be Truthful with you. What do I mean by being Truthful? I will be brutally honest and tell you what you need to hear about your home and the possibilities of selling it. I understand that many people may not want to hear the truth but I am not one to sugar coat the issues. I may not be the most politically correct person but I speak in plain English and am not afraid to spell it out like it is. If you will listen to me and follow my advice, we can work together to get your home sold in the quickest possible time frame.
As a trusted Realtor I will work with you and for you to get the best price for your home with the most favorable terms in your favor in the contract. My aim is to help alleviate the stress and frustration that often comes with dealing with the public in real estate.
Enough about me.
People search for homes by Price. They are looking for the most house at the least they have to pay. The principle of substitution simply put says "Why should I pay more for your house when there is one just like it around the corner for less money?" Market value is determined by what someone in an arms length transaction would be willing to pay for a home in a certain condition.
Appraisers always look at comparable properties and make adjustments to determine value. We too will look at the comparables in your area. This research might be by subdivision, school district, city, zip code or other criteria where we can find ones with which to compare.
We need to look at the active competition in your market area and set the sales asking price where it will fall below the local competition. This method gets your house noticed. If we price it too high, we will always be chasing the curve in a declining market and be above the competition.
We also will look at listings that have expired or have been withdrawn for whatever reason. Listings expire mainly because the public was not willing to pay that much for that particular home. I understand that many homeowners are over their head in debt and may have borrowed against the equity in their home in order to make short term purchases. They are just plain upside down in what they owe on their home vs. what the home will bring in this market. Numerous sellers have had to come to closing with a check in hand just to get out from under a mortgage. The listing may have expired because they could not come up with the money needed to close.
Sold data is where we really need to concentrate. This data tells us what has sold recently in your area and how long it took to sell. Simply put, we need to be at a competitive price point relative to the recent solds.
Don't necessarily get hung up on how much you originally paid for the house. This price may not be realistic now. How long do we have to sell your home. A forced or distressed situation demands a lower price. Getting you full asking price may take some time.
Terms in the Contract
Price is only one consideration. Read and let me help you understand the terms in an offer for purchase of your home. The buyer may have put in some unreasonable contingencies. If they must sell their home prior to buying yours, ok, but we will need to counter with a 3 day kickout. This kickout means that is someone else comes along and wants to buy your home, the original buyer has 3 days to accept the contract as it is written or we can void it out and can accept the new offer. Everything in real estate is negotiable. If the buyer sees your new plasma screen TV, they may ask for it to be included for free. Make sure the closing dates and choice of closing attorney suit you.
They may want a home inspection and their lender will most likely want an appraisal. If we supply the buyer with a recent appraisal, the buyer knows that the house is worth their offer price and the bank's appraiser should agree. A pre-listing home inspection report can be presented to the buyer and you can show that any findings have been remedied. We can also offer a one year home warranty to alleviate any fears. These are cheap.
The old adage "Location, Location, Location" still applies. There is not much you can do now about where your home is located. We can, however, play up to its strong points like its closeness to shopping, services, interstates, schools, and other amenities. Local public transportation can be a draw for some buyers and a deterrent to others.
A well maintained home conveys a sound investment free of structural defects. Buyers are looking for move in ready homes. They do not want to have to paint and replace floor coverings immediately. A neutral palate where they can add their own accents shows best. You may just dearly love the loud bold colors. Enjoy them while you live there. When it comes to selling your home, others may not appreciate them as much as you do and can possibly limit your potential buyers.
Buyers can and will be picky. They will use anything and everything they can find wrong with your home to try and get a price reduction. The home needs to be perfect. This is where Jim and his brutal honesty come in to play. Yes, I talk about myself in the third person... It may seem to only be a trivial defect, but the buyer will notice it and demand a triple price reduction. I will look through the buyers eyes and let you know what I see.
You have to live there while your home is on the market, but it can't look like you live there. Your home must be spotless. No dirty dishes, beds made up, floors swept and vacuumed. De-personalize and de-clutter your home. Get ready to move. Pre-pack the family pictures and all of the nic-nacs you have collected over the years. Clean out the closets. The buyer must be able to imagine placing their belongings into the home.
If there is not a place for them to hang their coat in the front closet, it conveys the message that there is not enough storage. People are naturally nosy, and yes, they will look in every closet and every drawer that is not furniture.
If you haven't used it in 6 months, consider donating it to charity and taking the tax deduction. Bless someone else with it. Make a list using a program like "It's Deductable" and have the same person that signs your receipt at the donation center sign your detailed list so the IRS has no doubt of what you donated and the value. For those items that you absolutely must keep, temporarily rent a storage warehouse to get the clutter out of the home. The buyer must feel that there is ample room for their stuff.
Pay attention to your curb appeal. A well-groomed and edged lawn is inviting. The outside light and doorbell must work! Consider adding a brass kick plate on the front door and have potted plants on each side of the door. We can and will talk in depth about staging your home.
Many people see us in a declining (Buyer's) market at present and for the foreseeable future. So What!!! We have a once in a generation opportunity to appreciably gain equity. Interest rates are at all time lows, home prices are bottoming out, and a multi year supply of homes is on the market. So, how exactly do we pick up more equity? We may have to give up some on the sale of your home, but as long as we are moving up, we can make it up on the buy. For example, suppose your home is worth $250,000 and you have to give up 6% in closing costs to sell your home, or $15,000. On your new home for $350,000 you make the seller pay closing costs of 6% or $21,000. You just picked up $6,000 in equity. We may not be able to control the market, but we can sure take advantage of it.
There is more to selling a home than just putting a yard sign in your front lawn. In fact, your could do this yourself. What you miss is getting the exposure for your listing on the Multiple Listing Services to which I subscribe and all of the popular web sites where your listing gets propagated.
I will ask you questions about your home and will want you to point out the custom features and improvements of which you are most proud. We can use these to make your listing stand out and target the right audience.
Go ahead and dig out your paperwork where you originally purchased the property. The legal description of the property is found here along with information about whether your mortgage can be assumed and if it has a prepayment penalty. Make a file folder where you will keep the most current utility bills, the property tax bill, and the insurance bill. If there are any liens against the property, please let me know up front. It will come out when the title search is done and will have to be paid at closing.
If there is a homeowners association or condo/townhouse association, have their information available to include: bylaws, monthly fees, financials and any special assessments.
I will provide you with a Sellers Disclosure Statement for you to fill out. the buyer will ask for it and we will require that they sign it a closing. This multi page document goes through everything you have ever done or repaired on the property. Be honest in your answers so you do not libel yourself. Yes, they can and do sue. If you say it is sewer connected, be sure it is. FHA loans will require that if there is a sewer in the street that the home be connected prior to closing.
Showing your home
I will try to give you as much advance notice as possible for a showing, but you must always be ready to show your home on a moment's notice. Turn on all the lights and open all of the curtains and blinds. Turn off the Television and radio.
I do not want you there when your house is being shown. Get out of Dodge! Take your pet with you. The buyer should not be aware that you even have a pet other than a goldfish. Leave or it will cost you equity. As the buyer is looking in each room the buyer's agent will be asking you questions like: "You have such a lovely home, why are you selling it?" If your answer that sounds remotely like it has the words being transferred, lost job, divorce, etc., they will see the words DESPARATE tattooed on your forehead and will use this as part of their bargaining technique. .
"How did you arrive at your selling price?" Be careful. Can you really explain it to their satisfaction?
"Have you already closed on your new home?" any affirmative answers says "Stuck with 2 house payments"....DESPARATE again...
Your answer to any question asked is "Please talk to my agent, Jim."
In some areas an open house will attract buyers and other agents, and other areas will only attract thieves that just want to see what they can come back and steal. Let me put a Supra GaMLS Compatable lockbox at your front door. Only a licensed agent with an Ekey device can access the keys. I get a message indicating who showed your home when. I then get to call the agent asking for feedback or an OFFER!!!
Let me do my job as your agent. Forward me the name and number of all buyers or agents that "just happen to be in the neighborhood and noticed your home for sale."
Metro Brokers Financial is in the business of helping people achieve the dream of homeownership. Whether you're buying a first home, second home or a special home away from home, they can help.
They have a wide variety of loan programs to fit your needs. Their friendly, helpful loan officers shop lenders for the best rates depending upon each borrower’s unique situation. Call 404.847.2525.
Metro Brokers Insurance is one of the largest homeowner’s policy writers in the state of Georgia.
Since they only do business with the nation’s best A-rated insurance carriers, they get you the best Atlanta insurance rates by shopping around on your behalf.
They offer a wide range of policies, including automobile, renters and life insurance; and we give you discounts for multiple policies. All of this with the convenience of local customer service and claims support. Call 678.587.3434.
Title / Closing
Metro Title Trust, well known in the legal community for honesty and integrity, has attorneys from Raymer Law Group who specialize in Atlanta real estate closings (for both residential and commercial).
Closings are conducted in the familiar surroundings of a BHGRE Metro Brokers branch office. Homebuyers can review closing documents or check the status of their closing through an online, password-protected network that can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.
To schedule a closing, call 678.443.6100.