Selling Your Home Guide
If you are considering selling your home, you are in good hands with Paramount Realty Group Inc., Fayetteville, NC, we will begin by educating you on the process of selling your home by reviewing these simple, “selling your house” steps.
Step 1: Selling Your Home
The first step in selling your home is interviewing and hiring a real estate agent to list your home and will be familiar with the local market, i.e., Fayetteville and surrounding areas. A listing or seller agent, synonymous terms are responsible for representing the seller in a real estate transaction: Listing the property in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), advertising the property via social media, etc. In addition, creating a Comparison Market Analysis (CMA) to provide you with an estimated value or the right price to list your home. One thing to consider, a CMA is only an estimated value of a home, it is not an appraisal!
- A CMA is an estimated value of a given home by comparing recently sold properties, not more than 90 to 120-days, within similar areas, square footage, and features. A CMA assist sellers in determining an asking price for their home. Moreover, a CMAs can be used to assist buyers in determining a competitive offer on a perspective property.
- A home appraisal is an estimate of a home’s market value. Key take away, an appraisal is not the sale or asking price of a home, it’s the estimated value of what the home may be worth. This can differ greatly from the seller’s asking price.
Before an agent lists your home, the agent will require you to establish an agency agreement by signing a listing agreement. This is a contract that gives the agent authority to find a ready, willing, and able buyer for your home. In the agreement, you can negotiate on a commission fee for their services.
Do your research, read reviews from other sellers, and conducted interviews of potential agents before you make your final decision on an agent that will list and sell your home.
Step 2: List Price
The next step in selling your home is to determine a list price for your home, based off a Comparison Market Analysis (CMA) produced by a real estate agent or an appraisal. This price is the amount you want a buyer to pay for your home. There are factors that will influence the asking amount or list price: Market conditions in your area, location, city verses county, and the condition of the property and seasonality. CMAs are essential to ensure that you don’t underprice or overprice your home. Overpricing, home can stay on the market for a lengthy time with few showings or offers, underpricing, you are leaving money on the table, not a good thing for your bottom line!
If your home has been on the market for a while with minimal showings, it is time to reexamine your selling strategy. The home maybe overpriced based off a shift in market conditions or similar homes are on the market or have sold for less money. Consider a more competitive price to attract new buyers. In addition, buyers may assume there are problems with a house that has been listed for longer than usual in a competitive market.
Step 3: Preparing Your Home
The next step in the process is prepare your home to go on the market. Some outside / interior renovations can make your home more appealing to potential buyers. The right renovations can increase the value of a home while others will not. Example, adding a swimming pool may or may not add value verses a kitchen or bathroom upgrade.
One of the most in expensive things you can do to attract buyers: A curb-appeal / well-manicured yard with trimmed bushes, decluttering the interior of the home, depersonalize the space as much as possible, and everything is dress-right-dress. Removing unique decorations, painting over rooms with loud wall colors and putting away family pictures can help buyers imagine the home as their own.
The better condition that your home is in, it can increase your chances in getting a higher offer on your property, other words, move-in-ready. Not all repairs are necessary, they’ll give you better negotiating power and help you avoid the trouble of having to quickly fix something to close the sale.
Repair and updates to consider:
- Painting: Look around your home for paint that needs to be updated or retouched. No need to repaint the entire home unless it is an eye sore.
- Appliances: All appliances should be in good working order. If any kitchen appliances are inoperable or not in good condition or outdated, have them repaired or replaced before a home showing.
- Lighting: Home buyers like a lot of natural light, lighting can be a powerful asset when you sell your home, and it can change the spectrum of the room or how it looks. If outdated light fixtures are not updated or energy-efficient, they can make your home look older / smaller. Soft white LED lights will make your home feel warmer than fluorescent lights.
- Bathroom fixtures: Bathrooms and kitchens can be the key selling point to a buyer. Ensure that they are clean and updated if possible and repair any plumbing issues, i.e., water leaks, garbage disposals etc.
- Roof: A roof with leaks or missing shingles will draw unwanted attention and has the potential to drive away buyers. If possible, any roofing issues should be resolved before the home is shown or put on the market. If replacing and / or repairing the roof is not in your budget, you can still list your home; however, disclose your roof’s condition to the buyer at contract fruition or when completing the RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY AND OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.
- Flooring: Repair damaged flooring or replace it. Flooring that is in good condition should be clean and presentable. Any sagging or crocked flooring will draw negative attention to your home and may scare buyers away, could be linked to foundation issues.
The exterior of a home is the first impression to a home buyer and must have curb-appeal to standout to draw potential buyers to your home. See the below tips:
- Pressure wash the exterior of home if needed, clean gutters and repair and or replace damaged blinds and shutters.
- Manicure your lawn, remove weeds, and prune bushes.
- Repair and / or replace missing panels and peeling paint from fences.
- If you your home has a swimming pool, ensure that it is free of debris before showings.
- Clean and clear sidewalk or any pathways around home.
- Declutter driveway of old cars or equipment.
- Give your home as much curb-appeal as possible with plants or flowers.
The interior of a home should smell refreshing when buyers enter the home. If you smoke or have pets, odors can get embedded into the pores and create a musky smell that may turn buyers away. Therefore, wash or replace pet bedding to fight bad odors, and set up a cleaning schedule to mitigate pet hair and odors.
- A musty odor can scare buyers away, can be linked to mold or mildew.
- Mitigate odors from your sink or garbage disposal that maybe linked to under-the-sink plumbing.
- Rotten eggs or sulfur odors in your kitchen, may indicate a lack of traps or vents.
Step 4: Putting Your Home on The Market
Now that the above steps are completed, it is time to list your home in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) by an agent / firm and a for sale sign placed in your yard. This will enable your home to be viewed by other agents representing buyer clients. Potential clients can view the listing on popular sites such as Realtor.com or Zillow etc. or social media sites that you agreed upon with your agent in the listing agreement.
- Agents should have a professional-grade photography for your online listing, these are high-quality photo images that put your home in the best lighting for buyers who prefer to shop for homes online. Also consider drone shots for aerial shots.
- Another consideration are virtual tours by your agent for clients who are out-of-town or another state who are unable to view property in person.
Step 5: Accepting Offers
Reviewing and accepting offers presented by your real estate agent is the next step in the process. For sellers, choosing which offer to accept is simple, with the home usually going to the highest bidder but not in all situations. This can be influenced by contingencies, example, certain condition must be met before the sale moves forward. But there are a few other factors you should weigh beyond price.
- Are there cash offers on the table?
- Are the buyers applying for a loan, and do they have a preapproval or just a prequalification?
- Does the offer contain any contingencies?
- Do proposed negotiations meet your bottom line?
Step 6: Closing
When closing on a home, you can anticipate a few expenses that you may accrue depending on your situation:
- Commission, which is always “negotiable” that is paid by the seller to the selling and buyer agents, can range anywhere from 2.5% to 6% of the sales price of a home.
- Pre home inspections if applicable can range from $300.00 to $450.00, depending on the square footage of your home.
- Sometimes in a negotiated deal, a buyer may ask for the seller to pay part of the buyer’s closing cost, a good rule of thumb, use 3% of the sales price of the home.
- Professional cleaning usually costs can range from $250 to $400 for a professional deep clean. Figures will depend on the square footage of the home.
- Home warranty. Buyers may negotiate a home warranty in the contract, if agreed upon, they can range from $560.00 to $1,000.00, depending on the warranty plan and home warranty provider. Home warranty terms are usually for 1-year.
- Transfer taxes are prorated property tax. This amount varies by location, and if you live in the city verses county, city, you will pay both city and county taxes.
- As a seller, you may pay for the title search to make sure your claim to the property you are selling is undisputed. Although the buyer sometimes pays, this is a common seller concession. It’s typically only $200.00 to $400.00. It’s also common for the seller to pay for title insurance for the buyer to provide assurance that the title is clear.
- You can also be charged escrow fees, a brokerage fee, or a courier fee, depending on the lender and the terms of purchase agreement.
- Mortgage balance, if you have a mortgage on your home, you will have to pay off the remaining mortgage loan balance. If you have equity in your home, you will be able to pay the mortgage balance off from the sale of the house and take money away from the closing table rather than bring money to the closing table to close on your property.
There is a plethora of paperwork needed to properly document a home sale, keep it organized in one place to facilitate a smooth closing. Your agent, lender and closing attorney will make sure you are all set and prepared before closing and all documentation are submitted beforehand. Some of the main documents you will need to compile include:
- Original purchase contract
- Property survey, certificates of occupancy and certificates of compliance with local codes
- Mortgage documents
- Tax records
- Appraisal from your home purchase
- Homeowners insurance
- Home inspection report if you had one