Some Good Advice
Over 5 million homes are sold each year in the United States and since the last decade, new Seller Disclosure statements, environmental concerns and intensive form agreements have emerged on the scene. It's certainly become more complex than it use to be! If you're thinking about selling; here's some advice to keep in mind.
Think About It
Take a good hard look at your house. Do you really want to sell? If so, you'll need to begin disconnecting yourself from the emotional attachment to your home. Get yourself psyched about moving in order to begin the next chapter in your life.
Select A Realtor
With the Internet helping to make do-it-yourself sales easier, you may be tempted to not use an agent. But in a sales environment, marketing is everything, and an experienced agent - that is, one who has actual marketing skills - is truly invaluable.
A Realtor can prepare a market analysis on your home to help determine value and a price to list. Once your property is on the market, they'll (literally) drive people to it. They'll steer you through the complex sales process, by negotiating terms and handling inevitable glitches that crop up. All while evaluating and tracking marketing and closing costs so you don't lose your shorts in the process!
Good Reasons Why You Need A Realtor
- A real estate transaction can become very complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide through this complexity can help you avoid closing delays or costly mistakes.
- Selling or buying a home is time consuming. Even in a strong market, homes in the Branson Tri-Lakes area stay on the market for an average of 90 days. And it usually takes another 60 days or so for the transaction to close after an offer is accepted. Real estate has its own language. If you don't know a CMA from a HUD, you can understand why it's important to work with someone who speaks the language
- Realtors do this for a living. Most people buy and sell a few homes in a lifetime; usually with quite a few years in-between purchases. And even if you have done this before, laws and regulations change frequently. That's why having an expert on your side is crucial. Realtors provide objectivity. Since a home often symbolizes family, rest, and security, not just four walls and a roof, home selling or buying can be a very emotional undertaking. For most people, a home is the biggest purchase they'll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps keep you focused on business and emotional issues most important to you.
Items To Clean, Fix Or Inspect
Once you've decided to sell, determine what needs to be repaired, cleaned, painted, or donated. Gerken & Associates show numerous homes a month and we can provide you suggestions that are comparable to our marketplace. Improvements should be consistent with your neighborhood and generally do not involve high capital investment.
Small cosmetic improvements, including paint and landscaping, help show your home and hold the price. Below are easy things to fix that take little money or effort, but can help sell your home faster.
- Clean gutters.
- Paint the front and garage door.
- Inspect all appliances for good-working condition.
- Trim trees, hedges and flowerbeds.
- Repair dripping pipes, faucets and showerheads.
- Inspect and replace any damaged roof shingles.
- Check for dampness in basement and attic.
- Paint door and window trim.
- Examine siding and caulking for any peeling.
- Re-seal cracks in asphalt patios or driveway.
- Clean chimney.
- Replace any broken or cracked windows.
- Inspect plumbing system.
- Repair damage to plaster, wallboard and tiles.
- Power wash vinyl siding.
Get It On The Market
Markets tend to provide balance between buyers and sellers year around. There may be fewer buyers in December; but there are likely fewer homes available as well. Thus home prices generally fall or rise due to demand patterns, rather than time of year. Owners are encouraged to sell their property once it's ready and have acquired professional advice from a local Realtor.
Great Ways To Speed Up Your Sale
- Price it right! Set a price at the lower end of your property's realistic price range.
- Have you home market-ready before you begin showing it.
- Be flexible about showings. It can be disruptive to have your home shown spur of the moment, but the more often buyers view your home, the sooner you'll go under contract.
- Be ready for the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you find acceptable.
- Don't refuse to lower the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 90 days without an offer, be prepared to lower the asking price.
Showing Your Home
Many sellers consider the marketing period one of the most stressful parts in selling their home. Everything about your life is on display to the public! In just a brief period that buyers view your home, all kinds of judgments are passed upon it. Here are tips to increase successful showings of your property.
- Add a flower pot near the front entrance.
- Control barking or intrusive pets.
- Keep walkways clear of ice, snow and debris.
- Give potential buyers time to explore the home.
- Water and maintain the yard.
- Keep the garage door closed.
- Stay flexible with showing times.
- Keep a spacious appearance both inside and out.
- Eliminate offensive odors.
- Store unused motorcycles and cars off site.
- Leave during the home showing.
Terms To Watch For In A Contract
- Closing Date. Look to see if the date the buyer wants to take possession reasonable with your schedule.
- Earnest money. Look for the largest earnest money deposit possible. Since it can by forfeited if the buyer backs out, a large deposit is usually good indication of a sincere buyer.
- Fixtures and personal property. Check the list of items that the buyer expects to remain with the property and be sure your willing to leave them.
- Requested repairs. Determine the costs and whether you're willing to do the work or rather lower the price by that amount.
- Contingencies. See what other factors the buyer wants met before the contract is final - inspections, selling their home, obtaining a mortgage, review of the contract by an attorney, etc. Set time limits on contingencies so that they won't drag on and keep your sale from becoming final.
- Contract expiration date. See how long you have to make a decision on the offer.
Once you have an accepted contract upon your home, the rest can go pretty quick; especially if you have Charlie Gerken representing you!