Step 1: Choose a Realtor
Choose your Realtor first because your Realtor has the knowledge and experience to help make all the other steps easier.
Step 2: Set a Price
Your Realtor has access to all the latest sales statistics and, also importantly, your Realtor has a finger on the pulse of buying trends. S/he has been showing property to buyers, attending office meetings, networking with other Realtors and keeping attuned to what sells, what doesn’t and why. Your Realtor uses that data and first-hand experience to determine the best list price for your home.
Step 3: Set the Stage
A prospective buyer will view several homes before s/he makes what, to most people, is the largest investment of his or her life.
Simply put, your home will compete with all those other homes. The buyer won’t care if you have put “x” number of dollars into remodeling your home; if you have an auto loan you want to pay off; or if you need a certain amount of money to buy your next house. Your home is being compared to other comparably-priced homes on the market. Period.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression so you have to be ready for the buyers. They come into your home pretending it will be their home. If they walk in and see Fido’s pawprints all over the wall under the window, or three months’ worth of magazines in the corner, a drippy faucet...they’re going to wonder if there are deferred maintenance problems not visible to the eye.
There is a technique for getting your home ready to show. Once you list your home, Brian French Real Estate will send you a six-page booklet full of tips and suggestions to get you on track.
Step 4: The Art of the Deal
Once you have an offer on your home (or if you’re lucky, competing offers), you and your Realtor will evaluate the terms and decide whether the contract is acceptable as is or it requires a counteroffer. This is where you really need the services of a real estate professional.
A lawyer can tell you if the terms are legal but a Realtor can help you decide if the price is fair and explain the downside and upside of the various contingencies and deadlines. These details are especially important when you have competing offers. A contract with a high price is useless if the terms and deadlines are undoable or the buyers are unqualified. Your Realtor will help you to avoid the landmines.
Step 5: The Closing Process
Inspections, appraisals, estimates, addenda: Brian French Real Estate has a department specifically trained to handle the details. Your contract will be faxed to your attorney; contract deadlines will be monitored and extended if necessary; you will receive a closing packet that describes the closing process in detail so you know what to expect.
More importantly, the closing coordinator is available to answer your questions and concerns. If you’ve ever had an urgent need for answers or reassurance and waited for a call back, then you understand the importance of instant access.