STEP 1: GET READY FOR YOUR CLOSE UP
Preparing your home to sell is an important first step and, done right, can greatly enhance its value and chance for a quick sale. The old saying “You only have one chance to make a first impression” could not be truer than when you’re talking about real estate. Potential buyers may even choose not to come in if there’s no "curb appeal" when they arrive at your home. Once inside, the same principle applies. Your home should look as if you were expecting important company because that’s exactly what the buyer is!
• Walk across the street and view your home from all angles to see what needs attention.
• Some easy to make potential improvements include landscaping and lawn maintenance.
• Create a welcoming front entrance. A freshly painted front door and adding attractive plants will often do the trick.
• We all have too much stuff! So, the very first step inside is to de-clutter – and be ruthless in doing so.
• Create two categories: either (1) throw it away or (2) store it, even if you have to rent a storage locker. Then organize what's left!
• Remove and replace personal property not included in the sale (such as a chandelier or window coverings that won’t remain).
• Deep clean your home from top to bottom (including drawers, closets, ovens – if it opens, buyers will open it to look inside), inside and out.
• Take care of any deferred maintenance and minor repairs.
• Consider hiring a professional inspector to find bigger problems that need attention.
• Fresh paint is always a plus.
• Open the draperies and let the sunshine in!
• Add lamps to brighten rooms. Buyers react favorably to a home that’s light and bright.
STEP 2: DON’T GO IT ALONE
Selling your home is one of the biggest decisions of your life, and doing it on your own is a huge and daunting task. We can think of at least 23 reasons you shouldn’t try it. It’s much better to leave it in the hands of a professional and we believe you could find no better match than the resources, training, expertise and negotiating skills that our Heritage Realtors bring to the job. As experienced, full-time agents licensed by the State of Texas, they:
• Know the markets they serve
• Are known for their results
• Make the selling process look easy!
We invite you to review their information either by office locations or alphabetically. In the alternative, we’d be happy to help you find the agent best suited to work with you and list and sell your home. Find An Agent
STEP 3: PRICE IT RIGHT
You may already have a value in mind, regarding your home’s worth. Or you may have already visited and registered with the “What Is My Home Worth” section on our website in hopes of discovering its optimum sales price. But the surest way to derive the value of your home and its best possible asking price is to contact a Heritage Realtor and let them provide you with a detailed market analysis of your home’s value at no cost or obligation. Find An Agent. He or she can help you evaluate your home’s condition and special features and how they affect your sales price, and provide any other information you need to make an informed decision, including comparable sales information in our area.
STEP 4: SHOW TIME
What Your Agent Will Do
Now the listing agreement has been signed, professional photography has been done, and your home is officially on the market. Your Heritage Realtor will be aggressively promoting your home utilizing a variety of tools and resources, digitally and in print, with exposure on hundreds of websites locally and nationally. Your agents will host open houses for other Realtors as well as the public, which have been advertised in print and online. All of this marketing activity will result in requests to show your home.
What You Need To Do
Your responsibility will be to make your home easy to show with flexible, readily available appointment times. The more potential buyers who see your home, the better are your chances of a quick sale at your desired price. Even then, there are a number of things one can do that set the stage for showings that make the experience pleasant and memorable. Healthy houseplants, fresh flowers, and soft music can add a sense of well-being. As pointed out earlier, your house should look as if you were expecting important company because that’s what the buyer is.
STEP 5: ACCEPT AN OFFER
Evaluating a Response
You may have heard that the first offer is often the best. That may or may not be true but you are not bound by a “first come, first served” requirement and should give equal weight to all offers, accepting or negotiating only those which are satisfactory. There will be a rush of activity when your home first comes on the market, then decline over time, even in the hottest of markets. Many sellers may falsely believe they priced their home too low if they receive an offer quickly and turn it down or not wish to respond. However, an agent must present every offer, explain all terms and conditions, and encourage a reply to promote a dialogue between the parties and perhaps reach an agreement.
Things to Consider
The acceptability of an offer depends upon many factors. Has the buyer included additional costs to the seller within the contract? What are the costs if you wait for a superior offer? Is there time to wait for other offers? What if none are received? Or several are received? This is where your Heritage Realtor’s real estate expertise and skills as a negotiator become extremely important. He or she can advise you on the suitability of the offer, consider marketplace options, whether its terms or reasonable or encourage further negotiation to reach an agreement on price and terms satisfactory to both sides.
STEP 6: AFTER THE CONTRACT IS SIGNED
An advantage of listing with Heritage is its transaction management system, SureClose, which allows all parties involved in the real estate transaction online access to documents that pertain to them. Clients receive automatic notifications when new documents post to their SureClose file. State of the art security features ensure that you, the buyers, real estate professionals, escrow officers, title agents and lenders see only the documents specific to them, and are able to view transaction information anytime, anywhere.
Inspections and Financing
Your Realtor will “open title” and deposit the earnest money check with the title company named in the Earnest Money Contract (EMC). You will receive an Option Fee per the terms of EMC. Buyer schedules property inspections and contacts insurance agent within the Option Period defined in the EMC. Buyer also makes final loan application and the mortgage lender will order an appraisal of the property as part of the loan approval process.
If inspections reveal substantial problems, there may be further negotiation regarding requested repairs or price considerations. Meanwhile the title company, acting as escrow agent and title insurer, will research the title and send their title commitment to you, the buyer, the real estate agents, attorneys, and mortgage lender.
Once the buyer’s loan and title are approved, the closing date is coordinated between all parties. You and the Buyer contact utility companies to transfer service. The title company will prepare a closing statement with charges to both you and the buyer, usually available for review the day prior to closing. Parties sign closing papers and title transfers from you to the buyer upon funding.