Monday, April 4, 2016
By Jed Williams
Getting It Sold

As a quick overview of what you can expect when you list your home, I’ve created this blog post. Keep in mind that every transaction is very different. From the type of market to the economic climate, negotiations to inspection, the only thing we can absolutely guarantee is that something will happen that I haven’t covered. In transactions that are high dollar and oftentimes emotionally charged, there are bound to be situations that are new or unusual. Have no fear, that’s why you have a real estate agent. At Hagan, we’re trained to expect the unexpected. We know that the best way to handle an unforeseen circumstance is with a level head and a team that openly communicates and is working for your best interests. With that in mind, here is a brief over view of what you can expect from the time you decide to put your house on the market until closing.

1) Call your Hagan agent

Unlike buying a home, when you list your home, this is the first step. You don’t need to check your credit or call your bank to set up a meeting. Getting a good agent who will work for you and guide you through the process is where you need to start.

2) Get you home sale-ready

Where do you even begin? Packing away your children’s toys or family memories can be hard. We totally understand. How much work does your home need in order to be attractive to the broadest range of buyers? The good news is, we have the answers to all of your questions. We’ve listed hundreds of homes, and we understand that you may only sell one or two in your lifetime. We will give you guides and advice about getting your home picture perfect for our marketing materials and open houses.

3) Setting a price

Once all the work is done, we’ll give you our best advice on what price you should set for your home. We’ll show you comparable properties that have sold, and tell you what certain upgrades are going for in your area. There are real pitfalls to both overpricing and underpricing, but we will steer you toward finding a price that is marketable and appealing to the broadest range of buyers.

4) Putting your home on the market

Now comes the fun part. We have a team of experts who work behind the scenes to create cutting edge marketing materials for you. Depending on the level of service that you choose, we may create booklets, videos, photographs, and much, much more. Our industry-leading digital tours and videos make sure buyers can view your house at any time on our website without any inconvenience to you. The books we create include professional photographs and write ups and are designed by our marketing expert. We’ll make sure you get the most exposure and that your home looks attractive to entice potential buyers to make an offer.

Part of the process of marketing is getting foot traffic through your front door. Nothing can give a better impression or the feeling of “this is the one” to potential buyers like actually being in your home. We take steps to ensure that your home is secure. We want you to feel safe and comfortable throughout the whole process. Remember all the cleaning and repairing we had you do before we even set a price? You’ll be thankful to have a baseline in tact to keep your house at a show-ready state.

5) Receiving offers and negotiating a price

This is where all of your efforts will come to a head. Hopefully you’ll receive multiple offers the first day your home is on the market. Realistically, that probably won’t be the case. Likely, even the first, and possibly only, offer you receive won’t be exactly what you’re asking. That’s okay. There is power in negotiation, and we are trained to handle those situations. We have tactics and strategies that will work for you. Before you accept an offer, we will make sure its price and conditions are acceptable to you.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, the price we originally set for your home either isn’t attracting buyers or is just not getting offers. If that’s the case, we will sit down with you and explain what we believe is the culprit and how to eradicate the situation. In the end, you have the final say in all that we do, but we want you to be able to trust our expertise and experience.

6) Accepting an offer

Once you’ve accepted an offer, we still have a little bit of work ahead of us. We’ll open escrow and order your title. A date will be set for closing that works for both you and your buyer, and the buyer’s earnest money deposit will go into escrow. That is money that you cannot get to; it’s more or less a guarantee that your buyer is serious about purchasing your home.

An appraiser will also come to your home. The appraiser is hired by the buyer’s lender, but if you’re not happy with their price, you can also hire your own independent appraiser. Because you don’t hire the initial appraiser, you’re not entitled to see a copy of their findings, but your agent will have a good idea where to go from there if that happens.

You will also have a home inspection. This too is paid for by the buyer, and you should be prepared to receive a list of repairs. No home is perfect: some have more problems than others, but even new construction has some element of human error. It’s okay. The list is negotiable, and if a buyer is being unreasonable, you have an opportunity to walk away. Nothing is set in stone until you reach the closing table.

The buyer may also request a number of other inspections. Pest, roof, and mold are just a few of the common ones. It is almost always in your best interest to comply, especially because if there is a problem, you’ll need to get it fixed whether this buyer decides to buy or walk away.

7) Go to closing

Once everything is taken care of and the final walk through has been done, you’ll head to the closing table. There will be a lot of papers to sign, but at this point it should be smooth sailing. Of course there are always things that can go wrong at the last second, but we will be by your side to be your advocate in case anything arises. We will explain all documents before we reach the table, but if you have any questions, we’ll be happy to answer them. Congratulations. You’ve sold your home.

Jed WilliamsJed Williams
Principle Broker and founder of Hagan Realty