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The Home Seller’s Guide

Are you thinking of selling your home?  There are many things you’ll need to know…

What’s the market value of your home?
You want to price your home for today’s market. You don’t want to price it too low and you want to price it too high eliminating buyers from even looking your house.
How much money will you receive?
You need to know how much money you will ‘net’ and have to buy your next home with.
How do you prepare your home to receive the most amount of money in the least amount of time?
Price and condition are the most important factors in getting your home SOLD. Knowing what needs to be done, and doing it, before going on the market is key.

Your Community Realtors
 can provide you with the information you need for the best results. Contact us today and we’ll get to work for you.

This guide provides you with an overview of the home-selling process in seven informative steps.

  1. Damage Control – Repair home wear and tear
  2. Go Pro – Enlist a Real Estate Professional
  3. Play the Price is Right – Pricing your current home
  4. Go to Market – Marketing your home
  5. Set the Stage – Prepare your home for showings
  6. Negotiating – How to handle offers
  7. Closing – Closing the deal

Take a good look around to determine where your home needs improvement. Some fixes are mainly cosmetic and you may be able to them handle on your own; fresh paint, sprucing up the lawn, updating lighting, replacing doorknobs and the like.

Other problems are more significant and may require item replacement and/or hiring home maintenance professionals. Issues concerning heating, plumbing, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC system), mold, water damage, wood rot, the water heater, gutters, foundation, or roof can all be deal-breakers if left unaddressed.

This initial investment of time and money can help generate a faster sale with a higher price.

Enlisting the service of a professional real estate broker is key.  So how do you choose the right agent? Asking friends and family for a referral is one approach.  However you might find a broker that doesn’t have the knowledge and experience you need.  To guarantee the best results, you need a broker that will  strategically market your home, expertly negotiate contracts, and has in-depth community knowledge.

Setting the right price for your property is a delicate balancing act. Aim too high and your home might sit on the market for months, and possibly not sell at all. Price it too low and you miss the potential for a more lucrative outcome. You need a comparative market analysis (CMA)

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a document, that presents pricing information, property details and photos of homes comparable to yours “comps” that recently sold or are currently on the market in your area.

We’ll provide you with a CMA so you will know what your home will sell for in today’s market.  We will also provide to you an Estimated Seller’s Net Proceeds. This document will show you the estimated costs of selling your home as well as the money you will net upon closing.
We provide this information to you, as a courtesy, so you can have the information you need.

How buyers find out about homes for sale As detailed above, strategically preparing and pricing your home are fundamentals to attract serious, financially qualified buyers. Equally important is maximum exposure for maximum results!  That means reaching the maximum number of potential Buyers for your home with the listing of your home.

Market your community as well as your home

Real estate industry surveys have repeatedly found that 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 there.

Therefore, it’s crucial to highlight your community’s amenities – like proximity to quality schools, restaurants and shopping, local parks and attractions, as well as other benefits that impact lifestyle. Your agent has access to the kinds of detailed community and school information that buyers want, and are skilled at presenting the relationship between your community and home together.

A comprehensive approach to showcasing your home and community

Buyers look online for their new home.  They know the community they want to live in and that is where they look for their new home.  When Buyer’s want to purchase a home at Lake Tapps, they go to to find their new home. is exclusive highly effective marketing tool that will give you the best results in selling your home:

Putting your home on the market is a lot like putting up a profile on an online dating service. You want to put your best face forward, minimize flaws, and set the stage for an appealing and harmonious match.

Send clutter packing

Systematically address each room and living area, and pare down with vigor. Rid your home of clutter, extraneous objects, and mess. Aim for an attractive, well-organized environment free from untidiness and confusion.

Allow homebuyers to picture themselves living in the space by getting rid of personal items such as framed photos, your kids’ drawings on the fridge, or your collection of ceramic frogs.

But don’t just stuff those things.

Potential buyers will definitely be checking out the closet and storage space in the house.  It’s better to remove extra items away from the home, after all, you’re moving right?  Renting a storage unit for a month or so could get you a great return on your money.

Boost your curb appeal

Finally, it is time to take a hard look at the outside of your house because this is the first thing buyers will see when they pull up, so you’ve got to work that curb appeal hard.

Check the condition of exterior paint, your lawn and landscaping, your front door (check the hardware and doorknob), the driveway. If any of it appears neglected, damaged, dingy, or in disarray, do something about it or you’ll lose potential Buyers before they come inside the house.

Tips for showing your home

  • If you’ve painted in neutral tones, add touches of color with accessories
  • Place fresh flowers in an area where they’ll stand out
  • Open all doors and windows beforehand to circulate fresh air
  • Pick up toys, remove all clutter, ensure beds are made, 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 (make sure toilet seats are closed)
  • Stay aware of smells inside the house, make sure they are warm and inviting
  • Ideally, pets should be unseen and un-smelt. Pet areas should be clean and odor-free. Often times people are put off by and/or are allergic to animal dander.
  • Remove all cash, jewelry, medications and small valuables from view or reach.

The reality is that most negotiations proceed without much difficulty. In the event that there are obstacles, we will be your strongest ally and best resource for solutions.

The basic process

When a Buyer makes an offer on your home they’ll do so using a contract developed by your local real estate association in conjunction with legal counsel. These contracts enable the Buyer to offer a sale price, and also include any clauses for specifying various terms of purchase, such as the closing and possession dates, the deposit amount, and a variety of other conditions. The Buyer’s agent will then deliver the offer to your broker who will then present it to you. We will closely look over all details of the offer together.

You may then accept the offer, reject it, or counter it. Countering the offer begins negotiation

Successive counter offers, with deadlines for responding and for meeting various contingencies and special conditions (e.g. a home inspection, the Buyer securing financing) will be exchanged between you and the Buyer until either a mutually satisfactory pending agreement is reached or the negotiations collapse.

Basic principles for successful negotiation

  • Disclose everything. Smart Sellers proactively go above and beyond legal necessity to disclose all known defects of their home. You can do this with a Seller Disclosure Statement as part of the Listing Agreement.
  • Ask questions. Offers may contain complicated terminology, sometimes three or more addenda.
    We will help to clarify.
  • Respond quickly. When buyers make an offer, they are in the mind set to buy your home. But that can change, especially if they have a reason to continue looking. Don’t delay if you want the sale. Stay calm and be patient. At all times keep communication key.
  • Meet halfway. If there are disagreements about relatively small expenses, consider splitting the difference with a smile and move on.
  • Be cautious with contingencies. When you’ve landed your Buyer, your signed acceptance of a written offer becomes a sales contract. Except for removing any contingencies, this document is the binding basis for the sale.

If you and your Buyer have both efficiently taken care of your respective contractual obligations associated with finalizing the sale, the process of completing the transaction will go smoothly with no surprises.
A pending sales agreement generally includes contingencies and special conditions that must be fulfilled by the Buyer and Seller by the closing date, which usually falls 30 to 60 days after both have signed the agreement.

Common contingencies and conditions:

The Buyer’s securing of financing

  • 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
  • A professional appraisal of the home, requested by the lender to ensure that the home’s actual value justifies the loan amount
  • Any additional contractual promises you have made in connection with buyer incentives, home improvements, etc.
  • An independent inspection of the home’s structural and functional condition (foundation, roof, electrical, heating, plumbing, etc.)
  • An independent termite inspection
  • A final walk-through by the buyer to verify that the home in the same condition as when the sale agreement was signed

Carefully review the sales agreement with your broker to have a clear understanding of your obligations.

Completing the transaction

While different areas handle the final settlement in slightly different ways, generally the closing agent – a third-party professional, often a lawyer, who conducts the proceedings – reviews the sales agreement and does the following:

  • Determines the total amount due from the buyer and collects the check
  • Determines all the adjustments (e.g. seller prepayment of taxes, utilities, 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 property title and all other documentation associated with the transaction
  • Collects the keys and any other necessary items from the seller
  • Provides the seller with the net proceeds as well as copies of the documentation pertaining to the sale
  • Ensures that buyer’s title is properly recorded in the local records office along with any mortgage liens

In most cases, the buyer’s possession date will be the closing date, at which point your former home will have a new occupant and your home selling journey will be complete. You did it! Congratulations!

When you work with Your Community Realtors you will be represented at the highest possible level.
We always provide you with comprehensive-high-quality service from the beginning to close, and continue to be here for you!
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How to get the most amount of money from the sale of your home