You have been through the home buying process, but now it’s time to sell your home! Whether it’s time to upsize or downsize this page will help you get familiar with the many steps along the way.
Most of us have an idea that we will be moving in the future, so it’s a good idea to start preparing as far in advance as possible. At this stage we are just getting our ducks in a row.
Pre Approval: If you are planning on financing your new home, then let’s go ahead and get pre approved with a trusted lender. We want to make sure our credit is where it needs to be and we also need to know if we need to sell our home to purchase the new home, which can make a difference in how we negotiate the sale and purchase.
Prepping the house: Even though you may not be looking to move for several months meet with your agent now. Your agent can provide information on how sales are in your area and what you can do to get your home ready to put on the market. Some things you can do will add value, while others are more of a selling feature... your agent can give you the information you need to stage your home and get it ready to put on the market. In addition, your agent can set you up on an automated search so you can follow the housing activity in your neighborhood.
Seller’s Disclosures: In Missouri and Kansas it is state law a seller must disclose all material defects they know about their home. The seller’s disclosure is the document which we use to provide this information to potential buyers. You should take your time filling this out and be as accurate as possible. If there was a problem with the home, let the buyer know what it is and what you did to remedy the situation. Getting this document in advance, gives you plenty of time to fill this out thoroughly.
Putting your home on the market:
Listing: Putting your home on mls (multiple listing service) is a critical part of the home selling process. This is where you introduce your home to all of those potential buyers and invite them to check out your home. The pictures, description and details can make or break the number of buyers that actually tour your home. Our goal is to get people through your door, so have your home in tip top shape for the 3-D photo shoot and/or digital photos.
***Be sure all valuables, medications, weapons, etc are in a secured place. We will have people we do not know coming through our home, so make sure these items are locked up.
Open House: While some people say these are only for the neighbors and/or your agent, I do not agree. We have sold several of our listings in direct relation to an open house. Even if the neighbors do come, isn’t our goal to spread the word about your home? And chances are they know someone looking to buy a home... so we invite them in. For the open house, we want your home in tip top shape, with blinds open, lights on and bake some cookies!
Showings: Those who do not attend the open house can schedule a time to view your home in person. Your agent can set the showings up by approval only or where you just get a notification someone is coming by. We never want to turn away a potential buyer, so don’t let an unmade bed keep you from approving their request. Buyers understand you have a life, so relax a bit and use this sentence: “will __________ keep someone from buying my home?” Will an unmade bed keep someone from buying your home...NO. Will a bad foundation keep someone from buying your home... YES! So just keep things in perspective.
Feedback: The buyer’s agent will provide feedback from their clients to know what they like and/or dislike about our home. Don’t take things personal! Anyone who does not buy our home will have something negative to say. If we continue to get the same feedback from multiple agents then we will make adjustments accordingly.
*** The rule of thumb is, for every 10 showings we should have an offer. If we do not, then something is wrong with the price or the house... hopefully not both. If you have 10 showings and no offers, get with your agent and go over the feed back and take appropriate measures.
How to handle offers:
We listed our home and got our first offer, what do we do now?
As your agent receives offers to purchase your home, they will contact you to present the offer. If your home is new on the market, you may want to give all buyers scheduled an opportunity to submit an offer or the first offer may be so good you want to go ahead and accept. You can discuss this with your agent to determine how to proceed. Just remember all things are negotiable (price, buyer closing costs, earnest deposit, inspections, closing and possession date, etc). Another thing to consider is the buyer’s type of financing as some loan types may require repairs.
We have a contract, what happens now?
Earnest Money: The buyer’s earnest money will be deposited at the Title Company or with the seller's agent. The earnest deposit is refundable at certain points during the process. For example if the buyer finds that the home has a major defect during the inspection period, they can cancel the contract and the deposit is refunded. However, if a few days before closing they get cold feet and decide not to buy the home they could lose their deposit. We will go over all of this in detail when we sign our offer to purchase and we will remind you along the way.
Inspections and Repairs: The buyer will have 10 days to conduct any and all inspections. These include a whole house inspection; termite inspection, survey, radon test, and the list goes on. The buyer pays for these inspector's to find any and all defects they can possibly find, so don't be alarmed if we get 7 pages of items needing attention. This does not mean the home is falling apart, many of the items will be duplicates, preventative maintenance or there because the home was built prior to that item being a building code.
Once inspections are completed, the buyer will determine if they want to proceed with the purchase. Typically the buyer will ask for us to make repairs or for an allowance and they will handle it. At this point we are back in negotiations with the buyer. Our options are to repair all of the items requested; repair none of the items requested; or repair a portion of the items requested. There are many ways to handle things and you can discuss all options with your agent. And repairs will typically need to be completed prior to closing.
Title Work: The title work will be ordered to ensure there are no liens on the home. If there are any liens or special tax assessments, those must be satisfied by or at closing. And our closing will be scheduled.
Appraisal: The appraisal is completed to determine the value of the home. If the appraised value comes in at or over the purchase price, we proceed forward. We cannot change the price. However, if the appraised value comes in under the sales price then we have a problem.... no one wants to pay more for something than it is deemed to be worth. If this happens, we can cancel the contract, reduce the price or the buyer can pay the difference between what his lender will loan and the sales price. The appraisal is normally the item that takes the longest to complete and is a big factor in determining how soon we can close.
Insurance and Utilities: Even though we have our home under contract, it is still ours. So we need to keep insurance and utilities in good standing and the home in the same condition that the buyer agreed to purchase it. If something breaks, the buyer needs to be notified and consulted.
Clear to Close: These are the words we want to hear! This means the buyer is completely approved for their loan and we can get ready to sign on the dotted line.
Final Walkthrough: A day or two before closing the buyer will tour your home again for a final look. They understand you are moving, so don’t stress on boxes and a mess here or there. They mainly want to make sure the home is in the condition they agreed to purchase it in.
We made it! Today is the day we actually sell our home and get ready to transition to our new chapter!
Who attends the closing? The seller, their spouse and anyone else on title. The closer from the title company will direct the closing and notarize the documents. And of course we will be right there with you!
What items will I need at closing? You will need a picture ID and your banking information if you want your proceeds to be wired directly to your account.
How long does closing take? Selling your home, unlike buying is a quick process with very few documents. It will take about 15 minutes and you are done!
When do I get my money? Most of the time this will happen the same day the buyer signs their papers. But depending on the time of day everyone signs, it could be the following day; and if late on Friday it could be Monday.
When do I have to be out of my home? This is called the possession date and is determined when we negotiated the contract with the buyers. It could be at closing, at funding or a few days later.
Congratulations! You just sold your home!