Effective marketing ensures maximum exposure. Along with first impressions and prices in your neighborhood, we will determine the sales price of your home. The information below will be helpful as you go through the selling process. Please click on one of the icons above to go directly to a specific section.
A successful sale requires that you concentrate on five considerations:
While you can control some of them, you may have to overcompensate on others to offset a disadvantage in another.
Most homes need to be prepared for marketing. The amount of preparation depends on the price you are asking, your timeframe and its present condition.
Curb-Appeal often determines if someone wants to view your home. While it does take time, it is important to keep two words in mind: neat and neutral.
Neatness sells. New paint or sometimes, just painting the door, shutters and trim will work. An immaculate lawn, beautiful shrubbery, a newly sealed driveway and potted plants at the door create a positive presentation.
Neutrality is important. When painting, use neutral colors. When a Buyer looks at your home, you want them to visualize it as their own. Let them work with a clean canvas.
Use the “Sellers Checklist” under the Resource tab, as a guide. Be prepared. People look behind doors, in closets and crawlspaces. Remove clutter. Have a garage sale. Remember that the cleanliness and organization of your home directly relates to the Buyers perception of how you have maintained it during your ownership.
Certain home improvements add value and/or speed the sale of homes. These include updated utilities, decks and patios, finishing a basement, kitchen remodeling or updating, new floors and/or paint, especially in kitchen and bathrooms. Improvements that return less are items related to personal taste, such as fireplaces, wet bars, swimming pools, or converting the garage into an extra room. Only invest in items that will bring return.
Most cities require residents to obtain building permits, prior to making certain modifications. Items requiring permits vary by city as do their vigilance in enforcing permit laws. In Virginia, the laws are strict. They require applications, plans where appropriate and inspections. Avoiding permits can result in problems later. Retroactive permits can be significantly more expensive and problematic. If an inspector is unable to evaluate a situation, a prospective Buyer could require a Seller to open walls or floors, prior to releasing a home inspection contingency. Additionally, work not permitted where required must be disclosed to a prospective purchaser.
As soon as you decide to sell. There are plus’ and minus’ to each season. Your specific circumstances will determine a plan that is best for you. Weather plays an important part in the process. Early spring and fall are prime listing seasons, as homes tend to “show” better in the spring. People like llok for homes when the weather is pleasant. Keep in mind that there are also more homes on the market during prime seasons, creating more competition. While there is seasonality in the market, it should not dominate your decision on when to sell.
Probably not. Remember if your home sells for more, the home you want, will probably also sell for more.
Realistically. “Fair market value” is the highest price an informed Buyer will pay, under normal circumstances. It is determined by a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA), which analyzes your home, based on its particular strengths. It will provide information on recent sales of similar homes: sold price, time on market and specific features. Factors, specific to your situation, might affect your pricing. Together, we will decide on a list price based on all of the information we gather.
The amount of time varies according to market conditions, areas, price, terms, condition, location and marketing. We will discuss the specific factors that will affect your sale and set up realistic expectations.
Depending on the market, most Buyers leave room for negotiations. A certain degree of flexibility is often part of the buying and selling process. While it is ultimately your decision to accept, reject, or counter and offer, I will assist you during the negotiating process, always explaining your options. I am a skilled negotiator with almost 20 years of experience in real estate sales. Above all, remember this is a business transaction and remain objective.
Selling a home today is different from years past. People move further and more frequently. Company relocations are common. The result is a larger pool of potential Buyers with a wide spread of requirements. Competition to reach Buyers has never been greater. For this reason, choosing an agent that offers sophisticated marketing techniques has never been more important. Virtually everything we have discussed up to this point, from pricing to home improvements, the Competitive Market Analysis to the “For Sale” sign in the yard, is part of a marketing process put into motion, as soon as you make the decision for us to work as a team.
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a system available to licensed agents to share information and photos of homes, listed in the system.
Advertising has changed over the years. Today, the key to success lies heavily on the Internet and knowing how and where to market your home. I have an exceptional program for both printed and online marketing. In addition to my website, which was designed to help all Buyers and Sellers, I have an outstanding newsletter with a circulation of over 6000 potential readers. Each listing is featured in my newsletter and has an individual website. Aditionally, I have a presence on a multitude of social media venues.
Open Houses are part of the marketing process. They offer prospective Buyers an opportunity to view homes in a low-pressure atmosphere. It may not generate a direct sale, but will provide further exposure of your home. Open Houses are always valuable, even if few people attend. Low attendance could indicate that the price is too high or that other factors are affecting a prospective sale. In most instances, I will hold an Agent Open House shortly after listing your home.
Yes. People feel uncomfortable speaking candidly and asking questions in front of current owners. You want Buyers to be have privacy as they visualize your home as their “dream home.”
Home inspections are an important part of transferring a home from a Seller to a Buyer. Home Buyers want to know what they are buying in order to make sound decisions. They reveal needs for repairs or replacements and eliminate surprises, later. Inspections also provide invaluable information about how a home operates. Some Sellers have a home inspection in preparation for listing, to eliminate any issues that may delay closing or even cause the sale to fall through.
Most offers are contingent on a Home Inspection. If the Buyer&rsqo;s inspection reveals major structural or mechanicalsystems (heating, electrical, plumbing, etc.) issues, they may request that deficiencies be corrected prior to closing or to negotiate the price based on anticipated repair costs. Depending on the type of loan, some repairs may be required by the lender, prior to closing. This is true in sales that involve financing by the government agencies (FHA/VA loans, for example).
Only if you fail to disclose known defects that were undetectable in a non-invasive inspection. Sellers are required by law to disclose any pertinent information relative to the condition of the property that is not “open and obvious”.
When you ratify a contract on your home, the Buyer will submit a check to the Title Company for “earnest money”, showing that he/she is a serious Buyer. Assuming the sale goes through, this money will be applied to the purchase price at closing. If for any reason the sale is not consummated, the Buyer is entitled to receive the deposit back, under the conditions of your contract, unless he is in breach of contract. In certain instances, a Seller is able to retain this deposit as liquidated damages. We will discuss this process when we review the contract.
The “escrow period”, often 45 days or more, is the period during which the Buyer must remove each contract contingency. Contracts are different, but most include the following contingencies:
A warranty offers protection for you and your Buyer, covering repair or replacement costs for most major systems and built-in appliances, up to a year or more after the date of closing. There may be a small additional fee for Seller coverage during the time of their listing. As with most insurance policies, there is a deductible when making a claim.