Gone are the days when a real estate agent simply listed a property in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and placed a sign in a yard. Today, the Internet is inevitably the first step for prospective buyers who are starting their search for a new home. Because of this, sellers need an agent who has social media savvy, who can write descriptions that entice, and who knows the value of magazine-quality photos. Selling a house takes proper preparation!
Sellers should interview at least three potential agents and pay attention when they answer your questions. An agent who gives thorough, thoughtful answers will more than likely handle her business in the same manner.
Staging Your Home for Buyers
If you want to sell your home in today’s market, staging it to perfection is key. Today, when people walk into a property, they want to see a lifestyle they aspire to and sophistication they would like to emulate.
Clean lines, airy fabrics, white furniture, textured rugs over hardwood floors: all things that are appealing to the buyers of today. Bright pops of color are on-point, as are a few photos showing vacations and other happy times that might give buyers a “feel-good” vibe.
Set the Right Asking Price
Your agent will get comps (comparable homes) for you. This is a list of homes in your area that have sold recently and will include the listing prices, sale prices, and how long those homes were on the market. Analyzing this data will give you the best idea of what your home is worth. If you’ve had good market exposure, staged correctly, and set your price properly, you should see offers within the first two weeks.
Accepting an Offer When Selling a House
Typically, buyers are going to offer 5 to 10 percent less than the asking price. When you receive an offer, your agent will tell you whether a counter-offer is a good move. You want an experienced negotiator on your team. Once a mutually-agreed-upon price is determined, you sign the papers to accept the offer.
Your home will then be taken off the market, and the buyer will place a deposit into an escrow account. This money will be put towards the purchase price on the house when and if the house closes with no problems. During the escrow period, the buyer will be obtaining financing. To that end, the house will be appraised by the lender and inspected to make sure it doesn’t have any serious problems. The title of the property will also be researched to ensure that it is legal to transfer the ownership to the buyer. The buyer will obtain homeowner’s insurance and will arrange a final walk-through of the property to ensure that it is still in the agreed-upon condition. This walk-through will occur just before closing.
What to Expect on Closing Day
Most experts advise you to schedule the closing for a few days before the end of the month so that you have extra time to allow for resolution of unexpected problems.
You will be signing documents transferring the ownership of the property to the buyer. You can do this ahead of time, or you can attend the actual meeting. The buyer will sign all the mortgage documents relating to ownership of the property. The buyer will also pay any closing and escrow costs and will receive the keys to her new home.
After this meeting, the sale proceeds can be wired directly to your bank account or your escrow account.
The common expectation is that you will move on or before the closing and leave the house clean and habitable. You do need to keep any documents related to the sale as you may need them when you prepare your taxes the next year.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Peachtree Realty Group, LLC a call today at 404-538-1639 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.