Listing your house can be an intimidating process. Your home likely contains the majority of your wealth, and you need a real estate agent who can maximize your home sale equity. As the largest independent real estate agency in Denver, each agent at Your Castle knows the local market like the back of their hands, so you can rest assured knowing that they’ll negotiate for you, making the process seamless and profitable. Below is our 6 Step Guide to selling your home.
Step 1: Are You Ready to Sell?
You are ready to sell when: you have completed your fact-gathering process, you are confident that your interests will be represented to your advantage, you are comfortable with the agent you have selected to work with, and the selling plan you have developed meets your needs. Putting your home on the market is a complex process requiring market expertise.
Step 2: Select an Agent
In Colorado, a person must be licensed in order to sell Real Estate. Standards set by the state cover the minimal education, examinations and experience needed to become licensed. After receiving a real estate license, some agents also join the "National Association of Realtors”, the world’s largest professional trade association, and become Realtors. Others do not. It depends on their individual goals, as well as their level of investment in the industry. Many non-Realtor agents are still very capable, but may be part time in the business, or work more with investors, and do not see the benefit in spending the extra time and money for the Realtor designation.
Either way, it is their job to get your house sold! Plus, as your listing agent, they have a legal requirement to act in your best interests.
Step 3: Determine the Listing Price
Establishing the listing price for your home is one of the most important steps you will take. If your price is set too high (even in a strong sellers’ market) you will not get an offer. If you set it too low, you will effectively be giving away your money. Establishing a price balance between these two pricing levels will be our objective. Your Agent will provide you a complete CMA (comparable market analysis) prior to establishing a list price for your home to help you decide. This report will show you sales of properties similar to yours (comps), plus it will show you what homes are currently on the market in competition with your home. You will be provided with a list of these homes, most comparable to your home in terms of square feet, year built, and condition of the home, proximity to your home, lot size, and date of sale or time on the market. When appropriate, we will set showings on homes in your neighborhood and actually visit these homes with you prior to setting your price. Your Agent will also provide guidance to establish a price point which will meet the requirements of appraisers. Remember that most buyers will have a mortgage lender who will insist on an independent appraisal prior to the sale of your home.
Step 4: Marketing Your Home
Consider the current market conditions in your area: Are home prices in your area trending upwards or downwards? Are homes selling quickly or languishing? Will your home be on the market in the spring home buying season or the dead of winter? What are current interest rates for mortgages? Will you be selling in a buyers or sellers’ market? Is the local job market strong or are employees fearful of staff reductions? How motivated are you for a quick sale? Is it necessary for you as the seller to provide “incentives” such as “pre-home sale” inspection, home buyers warranty, financing assistance or selling agent bonuses? Many of these factors will be weighed in the first step in marketing your home, and your agent will be your number one resource to help guide you through the process.
Setting the stage to sell your home: Consider what you look for when looking for a home to purchase – visual appearance, odors, and noise all factor into your impression. Imagine yourself walking up to the home as though for “the first time”. What do you notice? How do you feel about what you see? Is the home inviting? Is the home well-maintained? Would you be inclined to buy this home?
Methods used by your agent: Agents list your home in the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) within 24 hours of having a signed a listing agreement. Other methods can vary depending on how their business is structured and what tools they have available to them, but some common steps are to prepare a virtual tour of your homes, order print and/or digital marketing materials, notify your neighborhood about your home, hold open houses, notify referral companies in the area, install yard signs and/or brochure boxes, and more! A good listing agent will have numerous methods availiable at their disposal to help you sell your home.
Step 5: Negotiating and Accepting the Offer
Once you receive an offer(s) on your home, you and your agent will review all the terms and conditions of the offer with you. If any of the terms or conditions of the offer are different than the terms indicated in the MLS and/or are not acceptable to you, you have the right to counter the initial offer made with terms and conditions which meet your requirements. Through this process of reviewing, countering and/or accepting the purchase offer, your agent will work closely with you to maintain timely responses and provide answers to your questions as they come up. Once the purchase offer is countered and accepted, the clock starts running for many items needed to meet the requirements of the agreement and your protection. Your agent will immediately order the title policy to be delivered to the buyer. As the buyer completes his/her requirements, you and your agent will be sure to review the results of the appraisal and the inspection report for your benefit. If, for example, the results of the inspection objection are not reasonable, you will have the option not to perform any requested items, thereby giving the buyer the option to waive the items listed or to void the contract. Your agent will be available to advise you on all such matters along the way to closing!
Step 6: Closing and Moving Out
Closing on the property is usually handled by the tile company which issued the title policy. The seller has the choice of selecting the title company used. We will be with you to provide answers and assistance for you during this process which usually takes from 30-90 minutes. We will be sure to review all settlement statements for you as the seller for accuracy and reasonableness. Time of possession is established at the time of negotiating the original offer. In Colorado, it is customary for the buyer to take possession at closing, or up to two days after closing. If the seller wishes to stay in the home beyond these dates, this is negotiated between the buyer and the seller and involves a rental fee payable to the buyer after closing.
Then, you've sold your home! Although this process sounds complicated, your agent will guide you. A good agent will explain all the steps along the way and make sure you are meeting all the deadlines.
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