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Selling A Home

Preparing and Showing Your Home

You don't get a second chance to make a good impression!

A home that stands out among similarly priced houses is the one that sells. The following suggestions for preparing your home to sell are worth the special attention:

Exterior

  • Lawn carefully mowed, edged, fertilized and watered.
  • Trees and shrubs trimmed; flower beds edged, weeded and cultivated.
  • Driveways and walks free of snow or grass clippings.
  • Exterior house paint in good condition and clean, especially the front door.
  • All door locks open properly and easily.
  • Roof in good condition.
  • Screens and screen doors repaired.
  • All exterior lighting in working condition, with fresh bulbs.
  • Absence of clutter in yard and driveway.

Interior

  • Walls clean and unmarked, preferably freshly painted with neutral colors.
  • Windows clean inside and out.
  • All light fixtures working and fresh bulbs in each.
  • Plumbing in good repair.
  • No cooking, smoking, pet or other objectionable odors.
  • Sinks and tubs stain-free; faucets in good repair.
  • Caulking in tubs and showers in good repair.
  • All clutter removed from closets, attic, basement, garage and other storage areas.
  • Ask your REALTOR® what should be boxed up to give your home a more spacious look.

Showing Your Home

When your home is to be shown, we will always attempt to make an appointment with you, giving you as much advance notice as possible. To help make the best impression during showings, we suggest you:

  • Open draperies and curtains.
  • Turn on enough lights to brighten every corner, day and night.
  • Remove dirty dishes.
  • Make beds.
  • Rooms dusted, vacuumed and clutter-free.
  • Kitchens and baths sparkling clean; no clutter on counter-tops.
  • Noise is distracting. Be sure TV and radios are turned off, although soft background music is acceptable.
  • It's best to keep pets out of the house. Even the friendliest pets become anxious when strangers appear.
  • Put away valuables such as jewelry and cash, or remove completely.
  • Never enter into a conversation with a prospect. Let the REALTOR® who is showing your home answer any questions the prospective buyers may have. It is best for you to leave while the house is being shown.
  • If a prospective buyer comes by unexpectedly without a broker, get their name and phone number. FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION, DO NOT SHOW THE HOME. Have unescorted buyers call your REALTOR® for an appointment.

Pricing Your Property

Pricing your property correctly is critical in getting the most amount of money in the least amount of time. Your asking price should be based on a Competitive Market Analysis, also known as a "CMA". This is a estimate of your homes value based on comparative homes in your area. Sheri will provide you with a CMA at no charge!

C. Tim Keagy Team will investigate all comparable properties recently sold or " For Sale " in your immediate area. She will research prices and terms of sales in the current real estate market in order to arrive at an expected sale price. The market is always fluctuating, so making sure that your price is based on the most recent CMA is a good way to ensure that you are pricing your property correctly.

Don't be tempted to over-inflate the value of your property. You will want to be careful not to start too high, or come down too low. The first days of the listing period are when the greatest activity occurs while selling your home. Overpricing may discourage prospective buyers from ever looking at your property. You will want to price you house so that it will be attractive to buyers from the beginning of the homes exposure to the market.

Offers, Contracts, and Closings

A buyer makes an offer by submitting a written and signed offer to purchase. This document becomes the sales contract when signed by all parties involved. The selling agent customarily notifies the listing associate of the offer, and the listing agent will then arrange an appointment with the seller to present the offer.

At this point, the seller has three options:

When both buyer and seller agree to all terms (including changes made in any counteroffer), and indicate agreement by their signatures, the contract becomes "firm." With signatures and notification to all parties, a sales contract now exists.

Closing Details

Several professionals may come into the home-selling process after the offer is accepted, including a housing inspector (if hired by the buyer), a termite inspector, and an appraiser.

If the buyer is financing the purchase of your home, the process will typically take 30 to 60 days. On the chance that a buyer's financing will not be given final approval, you should keep the house in good "showing" condition.

As part of the contract process, you must prove to the buyer that you have a clear title on the house - that you own the property, and that there are no legal claims against it. The lender representing the buyer and/or financial institution will do a title search and issue an opinion that the title is clear.

C. Tim Keagy Team can help you gather the paperwork that the contract requires.

Some of the details you will need to handle include:

A walk-through inspection prior to the closing allows the buyer to determine if conditions of the contract are satisfied. It is up to the buyer to perform the inspection, and if they should be accompanied by the selling and/or listing agent. The seller may or may not be present, but should make sure that utilities are on so that equipment can be operated.

At the settlement (closing), the home seller should bring all warranties on equipment (or leave them in an obvious place in the house) and instructions on equipment maintenance or operation. Be sure to bring all keys and electric door openers.

The closing attorney will explain the settlement sheets to you. These outline the closing costs to you.

Typical costs for the seller include:

If property or homeowner's insurance has been in escrow with your lender, you will receive any money that is accumulated in that escrow account for bills not yet due. Funds will be disbursed at or after settlement.
The seller, the buyer, and the agents receive a copy of the settlement sheets.

Congratulations! Sold and Settled!