The home selling process - Home Seller's Guide - A step-by-step overview.
1: Expect great result using experience of REALTOR when selling your home
2: Prepare your home to make it appealing to buyers.
3: Strategically pricing your home to get top price.
4: Effectively marketing your home for all it’s worth – what you need to know.
5: How to Set the stage for your home to sell – target for good first impression and showings.
6: Successfully negotiating the deal - We can successfully negotiate the best deal for you.
7: From contract to closing we will be at your side until your property is sold.
1: Expect great result using experience of REALTOR when selling your home:
Expect the best from us! As your listing agent, we use our experience and knowledge of real estate market to get the best price for your home. Our thirty years of experience, knowledge of today's market, and marketing expertise is unparalleled. We stay abreast of market changes and adhere to strict and rigorously enforced codes of Ethics and current real estate contracts and forms. We truly are experts in the local real estate market and communities of Austin, Texas, as well as masters of property marketing, networking, and negotiation. As your REALTOR®, we provide the following comprehensive seller services:.
Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive, high-quality service. So, when you decide to sell your home, we hope you take advantage of our knowledge, experience, marketing expertise, and professionalism in Austin, Texas. Let us serve you! Please contact us to sell your home; we can answer any questions you might have when you are getting ready to sell your home.
2: Prepare your home so it’s more appealing to buyers.
When presenting your home to prospective buyers, first impressions are crucial. Buyers begin judging a home the moment they see it online. In general, buyers prefer homes that are well-maintained, clean, and clutter-free. Unless the potential buyer is looking for a fixer-upper or bargain deal. Depending on your home’s condition, there are three kinds of improvements that will impress buyers and help you sell your home for top market value:
We have outlined a few proven, cost-effective ideas that will help your home look its best and help you get the top market price for your property. As experienced real estate professionals, we know what today’s discerning buyers are looking for and can provide more ideas that will maximize your home’s appeal. Sometimes a small investment in time and money can give you a big edge over your competition and generate a faster sale at a higher price. Contact us when you decide to sell. Let us help you decide what is most cost effective for getting your home ready to sell.
Renovations – which ones are market-smart? Usually, few homeowners renovate their homes to sell because they know they won’t recoup the full cost of the renovations in the sales price. However, in some cases, minor renovations can improve the overall impression of a property’s character and can add value to it. In cases like these, renovation will more than pay for themselves. Below are a few of the market-smart makeovers you might consider:
When considering renovations in anticipation of selling, there are two important rules: don’t over-renovate, and be careful not to make renovations which pleases you personally, but which might turn off otherwise interested buyers. Both scenarios will cost you. As experienced real estate professionals, we can counsel you on which renovations are likely to be good investments regarding your overall plan. Contact us; we are delighted to come over and help you in this process.
Upgrades and repairs - preparing your home, so it’s more attractive to buyers - Small upgrades and repairs can make a big difference. There are few things that put buyers off more than viewing a home that screams of being uncared for. If you want to maximize your chances of getting top dollar, you might need to make some minor upgrades. Leaving aside major structural and functional matters, here are a few relatively minor upgrades and repairs that can go a long way to improving how buyers perceive your home:
Exterior - Fix or replace anything damaged or worn, such as patio and deck, gutters and eaves, windows, shutters, screens, storm doors, light fixtures, porches, steps, walkways, and fences
Interior - Fix or replace cracked molding or floor tiles, leaking taps, toilets, loose door knobs, squeaky door hinges, closets or screen doors that are off their tracks, bathroom lighting and hardware, toilet seats, loose caulking or grout.
• Fix and touch-up walls, ceilings, windows, etc.
• Brighten interiors with a new coat of paint in light neutral colors.
• Shampoo carpets and rugs, replace if necessary.
• Make sure major appliances are in good working order.
• Replace switch and outlet plates and register vents with more elegant ones.
• Add closet organizers or shelving to make closets more functional and spacious looking.
• Add organizers or shelving for basement and garage.
• Clean and paint concrete floor and walls.
• Clean water heater, drain sediment and change furnace filter.
• Buy the furniture you planned for the new house to improve the look of this one.
Reorganization and maintenance - the obvious improvements that need to be done. Just like the necessary repairs, basic reorganization and maintenance tasks are “must-dos.” While buyers might not notice such work when it is done, they’re sure to notice when it isn’t. This impression of neglect will make it more difficult for them to comfortably imagine themselves living in your home. Here are a few reorganization and maintenance tasks that can improve your home’s curb appeal and inside desirability.
• Mow and rake the lawn, trim hedges and shrubs, weed and edge gardens.
• Clean sidewalks and driveway, remove any litter.
• Remove unnecessary items from the exterior of the house.
• Power wash the porch, siding, deck, and patio.
• Clean off your outdoor furniture and remove any in poor repair.
• Clean your air conditioner.
• Clear out the garage of everything but cars. If yours has become a two-car attic, throw out all unnecessary items, and then thoroughly organize and clean everything that remains. If you have a pool, make sure it’s clean and functioning well or properly closed in the off-season.
• Clean and tidy the entrance, clear stairs, and halls.
• Create space by storing all excess furniture
• Remove from closets, cabinets, and shelves any clothes and other items you won’t need until after moving. Pre-pack and store, if possible.
• Organize kitchen counter tops, removing some appliances if necessary, to make them look as spacious as possible.
• Thoroughly clean everything in and out of sight.
• Remove all odors and add air freshener, dishes of potpourri, etc. for scent.
• Throw out any unnecessary items in an unfinished basement, and then thoroughly organize and clean everything that remains.
Clutter can give buyers a bad first impression. For most buyers, cluttered homes tend to appear smaller, less full of air and light, and somehow requiring more maintenance. Clutter-free homes seem brighter, and more open and spacious. Clutter-free homes make it easier for buyers to visualize their own interior design ideas, as well as the placement of all their belongings. While you may have many beautiful and meaningful belongings, they might make it more difficult for buyers to see themselves in your home. We can help, as an experienced REALTOR® we provide you with impartial feedback and help you get your house ready so that you get the best price for it. Let us help you; contact us today.
3: Best strategically pricing your home for today’s market to get the best price.
Determining the best asking price for a home is one of the most challenging and most important parts of selling your home. In fact, it’s a balancing act. You don’t want to set a price that’s so high that it discourages showings and serious offers from the qualified, motivated buyers. At the same time, you do not want to underprice your home and leave money on the table. This is where we, as your REALTOR®, can help you determine the best price for your house using market data and comparables.
We will provide you with extensive market data and use comparative market analysis to compare your house to similar homes that have recently sold in your area. To be specific, the comparative market analysis will take into consideration the location, size, features, condition, and price of other homes in your area before determining a final listing price for your home. If you are interested in learning what your home is worth in our fast-moving market, we are happy to provide you with a Free Market Evaluation or “mini-CMA” of your home. The extensive market analysis is one of things which will help you study what has worked in your area and what hasn’t. Also, it will help you strategically price, position and stage your property so that it sells for top dollar in a reasonable time frame, with the least inconvenience to you. Let us help you when you start thinking of selling your home.impact how many buyers, showings and offers you attract, as well as how easily it sells, as depicted in the Pricing Pyramid diagram
We will help you price your home to sell when its market exposure and buyer interest are highest. In a pure numbers sense, how you price your home will directly impact how many buyers, showings and offers you attract, as well as how easily it sells. As depicted in the Pricing Pyramid diagram (from National Associate of Realtors) below, the percentage of home buyers increases when your house is priced in the market.
However, the practical dynamics of attracting those qualified, motivated buyers who will pay top market value for your home is a little more complex. That’s because experience shows that you’re far more likely to get top market value if you sell your home during a certain “golden window of opportunity” during the listing. In short, timing is crucial. Our goal is to use our extensive market data, and marketing plan to you get the best price for your home in the shortest time possible. We will put our valuable marketing expertise to work for you.Contact us,
The successful marketing of a home, like that of any good or service, is a multi-faceted process that includes nearly every activity involved in getting it sold. In fact, marketing encompasses just about every topic covered in this guide – home preparation, pricing, presentation, and even negotiation, as well as strategic advertising and networking. All these activities have one aim: to maximize your home’s market exposure and with it the number of showings and offers you get so that you ultimately sell your home for top market value. As experienced real estate professionals, we have the knowledge, expertise, and resources to implement a plan that will effectively coordinate these activities to make sure you get top price for your home. To maximize the impact of the preparation and pricing strategies, your home needs to be effectively exposed to the marketplace through a variety of advertising media. We use a variety of sources to get maximum exposure, including online marketing to more than 300 portals including MLS, Realtor.com, Austin real estate, KW.com, google, yahoo.com, royarealty.com, real estate professional websites, social media, blogs, etc. and virtual tour specially designed for your home. We stay in direct contact with REALTORS® and their buyers to market your home. Other sources are yard signs, open houses, newspaper, and real estate magazine ads.
Yard signs have much more impact than most sellers realize. Buyers who call on a yard sign already have convinced themselves that they like the town, neighborhood, street - even your front yard. This same “qualification” is present when people call about your home after finding it online. The internet is revolutionizing real estate advertising. That is why Roya Johnson uses her Computer Science degree to extensively and efficiently market your property online to target the most possible buyers. Here’s what internet buyers look for most on real estate websites:
• Property photos (plenty of them): 98 percent
• Detailed information about properties for sale: 98 percent
• Virtual tours: 78 percent
• Real estate agent contact information: 78 percent
• Neighborhood information: 78 percent
These statistics are the reason we expose your property to over 300 portals/websites throughout the internet. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 90 percent of buyers search online for a home. That is why we focus on online marketing, with lots of photos and a well-written description. We hire a professional photographer to take stunning photos of the interior and exterior of your home to market on the Internet. We ask you to help us to write a great description of your property, including the location and features. We use your input and highlights of your home to write a great description to attract the most buyers. Contact us to help you sell your home.
To effectively market your home, we create virtual tour information-rich sites that offer lots of property details and photos with community and school reports plus mapping. In this market, we know it is imperative that your home is advertised to its fullest over the Internet, and that inquiries about it be handled in as close to real-time as possible. Effectively reaching and responding to more of these Internet buyers can increase the demand for your home and, in turn, its value. We market your community as well as your home. The neighborhood quality is the most important reason why homebuyers choose where to live. In fact, experience shows that buyers usually “buy” an area first, and are often willing to pay a premium for homes for their community of choice. That’s why it’s crucial to highlight your community’s amenities - like proximity to quality schools, restaurants, shopping, local parks, and attractions, as well as other benefits that impact lifestyle. We also have extensive write-ups, photos, and amenities of your community outlined in our site. We have access to the kinds of detailed community and school information that today’s buyers are looking for, and our website and team can portray the relationship between the value and benefits of your community and home together.
While the Internet is now the real estate information source of choice, if you want to maximize the number of serious buyers, showings, and offers, it is necessary to employ a broad spectrum of advertising in a coordinated manner. As real estate professionals, we have a wide range of marketing for maximizing a property’s exposure to the marketplace. We use following resources to promote your property:
• Multiple Listing Service (MLS): Generates worldwide exposure where your home listing information is permutated to thousands of sites for REALTORS® and buyers to see.
• Websites: Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, KW.com, homes.com, move.com, relocation.com and more.
• A website for your home, complete with its own domain name and virtual tour.
• Company and personal website(s): kw.com, kwluxuryhomes.com, royarealty.com, royajohnson.com searchlistingsinaustin.com.
• Social media sites like Facebook®, Twitter®, Craigslist, and more.
• Local Real Estate Newspaper.
• Notifying potential buyers and referral sources in their database.
• REALTOR® Open houses and public open houses (if proper for your type of home).
• Direct mail and email campaigns to buyers, REALTORS®, and the community.
• Your home highlight info to all agents in their company’s local offices.
• Notifying the area’s top real estate professionals who have sold homes in your area.
• Real estate professional tours and information sharing meetings, like to our office of over 680 agents.
• For sale sign, directional signs and open house signs.
• Networking within the local community.
• Real estate search mobile applications to make it possible for buyers to search and review your home online.
• Professionally-designed custom brochure to hand out while showing your home and for distribution.
Such extensive market exposure will not only generate more interest from motivated buyers it will also ensure that you don’t sell your home to just any buyer but to the right buyer - the buyer who fully appreciates what they’re buying and will pay top dollar for your property.
Most buyers go online to view your home and then use their agents to make an appointment to view your home. To get your home the exposure that it deserves, we provide professional photos and create professional virtual tour for buyers to view online. These important tools can assist buyers in making the decision of whether to tour your home and ultimately make you an offer. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 45 percent of buyers visit open houses during the search process. Depending on price of your home and neighborhood, we can help you decide if holding an open house is a valuable tool to get your home exposed to the most buyers possible Contact us.
Having invested in some of the effort and expense of preparing your home to sell, you’ll certainly want it to take full advantage of it when you open your property to prospective buyers and real estate professionals during REALTOR® open houses, agent tours and showings. During these showings, make sure your property looks its very best. Keep in mind, as real estate professionals we continually, through education, working experience, and daily exposure to the market have mastered the art of home staging and exposing your home the best way possible. We bring our skills and experience to work for you. We help to create that “buying feeling” in your home. Here are a few ideas that will help you maximize your home’s attractiveness to buyers:
• Ideally, you should be absent, so buyers feel comfortable making comments.
• Make sure your home highlight sheets are easily visible.
• Open all drapes and shades during daylight hours to let in as much light as possible, but screen out unappealing views
• Light the whole house, especially dark corners, and hallways.
• Light (or turn on) the fireplace, if possible and depending on season.
• Showcase your home’s best features.
• Turn off the television. Play quiet background music.
• If you’ve repainted in neutral tones, add bold splashes of color (with throw pillows, crockery, pictures, etc.).
• Place fresh flowers where they’ll stand out.
• Open all doors between rooms to give an inviting feeling.
• If possible, open windows beforehand to circulate fresh air.
• Pick up toys, remove all clutter, ensure beds are made and put clothes away.
• Floors should be clean, carpets and rugs vacuumed.
• Trash and recycling bins should be tidy and odor-free.
• The kitchen and bathrooms should sparkle.
• If possible, bake cookies or put a pan of cinnamon in the oven to create a warm and inviting aroma.
• Ideally, pets should be unseen. Pet areas should be clean and odor-free. Not everyone may share your love of animals, and some may be allergic to them.
• Lock away and hide all cash, jewelry, and small valuables.
Important: keep your home available and ready for showings, particularly during the first two weeks after you list your property. It is especially important during this window of opportunity, when interest is at its highest, that you make your home available for showings, preferably at the time requested by the buyers’ agents. Setting the stage to sell - our goal will be for perfect showings. Occasionally, this may pose an inconvenience for you, but you’ll certainly want to maximize the number of qualified, motivated buyers who see your home.
In most cases, if you’re not home at the time of the showing, we will meet the buyer and buyer’s agent at your home and tour the property with them. Depending on your community and common practice in your neighborhood we might recommend a lockbox to put on the property to give access to other REALTORS® to show your home to potential buyers. We have your best interest in heart and will make a recommendation to best serve you to help to sell your home. A lockbox is a device that enables the buyer’s agent to enter a specified code in the lockbox to get access to the key to open the door. This system registers the agent and sends us their contact information, giving us chance to follow up and get feedback regarding the showing. Along these lines, you should do your best to ensure that your home is ALWAYS ready to be shown. You never know when the right person is going to look at it.
When a buyer, typically with the help of a real estate professional, makes an offer on your home they’ll do so using forms that have been created by Texas Real Estate Commission, Texas Association of Realtors and Austin Board of Realtors. These forms enable the buyer to set a sale price and include many clauses for specifying various terms of purchase, such as the closing and possession dates, the deposit amount, and a variety of other conditions.
After we receive the offer from the buyer(s), we will review it to make sure it includes all the needed paperwork, including buyer pre-approval letter from their lender. We prepare a net sheet to be presented to you that will help you make an educated decision to accept the offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process. We will present all the offers to you and help you to review every detail of the offer(s) with you. We will address all your questions about the offer and the process itself. We help you with successive counter-offers, deadlines for responding, and meeting various contingencies and special conditions (like option period, buyer’s final financing approval). Here is outline of some customary seller's closing cost for your review. Contact us - we can help to answer your questions.
Our goal is to help you keep the crucial aspects of your selling situation (like your finances, why you’re selling, the urgency) as concealed as possible from the buyer and buyer’s agent. Remember, it’s the job of the buyer’s agent to get the best deal they can for their client, so any vulnerability you show could end up compromising your position and costing you thousands of dollars. At the same time, we will help to express your priorities very clearly throughout the negotiations. As your real estate agent, it is our responsibility to make sure the buyer and buyer’s agent only know what they’re legally entitled to know and, beyond that, what you want them to know. We will do our best to understand and respect the buyer’s priorities during the negotiations. We believe understanding the buyer’s priorities will help us get the best price for you.
We will help you focus on your priorities and respect the buyer’s and not let small things get in the way of your or their better judgment when selling your home. We ask you to disclose everything you know about the property. It is smart and proactive to go above and beyond legal necessity to disclose all known defects to your home to buyers when filling out the needed disclosure forms required by the state. As your real estate professionals, we will help you understand the forms and which forms to fill out.
We always work to create win-win situation and be your sounding board- our job is to take the pressure off your shoulder and make selling your home enjoyable. If small issues get in the way of big ones, we help you focus on results. Sometimes it might be best to meet halfway for small items. At the end of the day, if there are disagreements about relative small expenses, split the difference and make it work. Our task is to help to take care of all contingencies. When you and the buyer agree, and the offer becomes a contract signed by all parties, we will date the contract, that date becomes the execution date of the contract which is a very important date. Except for removing any contingencies, the contract is a binding contract between you and the buyers. After that, we will take over and work with the buyer, buyer agent, title company, buyers inspector, buyer’s lender and lender's appraiser to make sure the transaction moves smoothly to closing. We make sure to represent your best interests every step of the way. Your success is our success, contact us to help with selling of your home.
The reality is that most negotiations proceed without much problem. Our job is to take the transaction from escrow, inspection, repair negotiation, settlement to closing. A pending sales agreement almost always includes contingencies and special conditions that must be fulfilled by the buyer and seller. For example, option period of (7-15 days usual) and closing date, which usually falls 30 to 60 days after execution of contract. Typical contingencies and conditions may include:
• Delivery of a copy the contract to the title company and all other parties.
• Delivery and receipt of option money and earnest money.
• Delivery of your existing survey and affidavit to the title company.
• The buyer’s securing financing for the home.
• A Title Search – a historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of the property to ensure that there are no claims against the title of the property. The purchasing of Title Insurance in case the records contain errors, or there are mistakes in the review process.
• Option Period - buyer's due diligence - inspection of property including termite inspection.
• Negations of repairs during option period.
• A professional appraisal of the home, requested by the lender to ensure that the home’s actual value justifies the sales price.
• Completing any additional contractual promises you have made, like repairs.
• A final walk-through – the buyer is given a chance to look at the home to make sure that it’s in the same condition as when the sale agreement was signed.
• We help you and the buyers coordinate the move date and transfer of utilities and services.
As your real estate agents, we will make sure to review the sales agreement with you so you understand your obligations. Any shortfalls or mistakes at this point can be very costly. We discuss and remind you of these obligations, as well as help arrange for their fulfillment and prepare you for the closing. Also, we will help coordinate your move, if you are buying another house, we will make sure you can obtain your funds to be used for purchase of your new home by helping you to negotiate both sales contract as such to give time to do that. Sometimes it is a balancing act, but we have helped many sellers with selling and buying homes before and know how to handle it to your benefit. Here is some more information to help you have a smooth closing. We can help you with any questions contact
Closing the deal - Completing the transaction - Closing/Hud Settlement:
In Texas, the closing takes place at the title company. The person who handles the closing is called the Escrow Officer/Closing Officer. This person works for title company, and their job is to be neutral to handle the closing and collect all money from the buyer and their lender and pay you and others using those funds. We work closely with the escrow agent to make sure everything happens promptly. The escrow officer will work with the buyer’s lender to provide them with all necessary documents: title commitment, survey, etc. (remember, the lender has a lot to say in the transaction, after all the property is their collateral and they want to make sure everything checks out). The escrow officer also works with the buyer’s lender to prepare the final settlement (HUD statement) which outlines all the costs to the buyer and seller. The escrow officer will coordinate with the buyer's agent and us to review the sales agreement and do the following:
• Receipt the earnest money.
• Works with the buyer’s lender and provides the title commitment, HOA information (if there is one), survey, and finalizes the HUD statement.
• Determines the total amount due from the buyer and collects the money.
• Determines all the adjustments (e.g. seller prepayment of taxes, commission, etc.) and ensures that they’re factored into the transaction.
• Assures that the transaction costs (closing, legal fees, etc.) are paid.
• Determines the seller’s payments, credits, and adjusted net proceeds.
• Witnesses the seller’s signing of the paperwork (like convey the title) and all other documentation associated with the transaction.
• Witnesses the buyer’s signing of the loan documents, etc.
• Collects the keys and any other necessary items from you for the buyer.
• Provides the seller with the net proceeds as well as copies of the documentation about the sale.
• Ensures that the buyer’s title is properly recorded in the local county office along with any mortgage liens.
Congratulations, you have sold your home! In most cases, the buyer’s will take possession of the property on the closing date, unless there is a seller’s temporary lease back for you to stay at the house after closing. When it comes to selling your home we can make it happen, Contact us for Free Market Analysis of your.
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