Selling Your Home
Selling your home can be both exciting and overwhelming. This page will walk you through the steps that a typical home seller goes through in the life of a home sale transaction. The agents at The Bill Heenan Group will be happy to answer any questions you might have about selling your home!
Improving Your Home to Increase Value
If you're thinking about selling your home within the next 18 months, it is a great idea to meet with an experienced Realtor now. We can help you come up with a plan for which improvements would give you the biggest benefit. Factors such as location, the condition of your home relative to other similar homes in your area and general market conditions are taken into consideration when deciding what projects you may want to consider. If you are early in the process and are considering some projects to ready your house for sale, we strongly suggest that you . We'd be happy to walk-through your home with you and make suggestions about what, if anything, you might consider doing to your home prior to listing it for sale.
Once you are ready to sell your home, the first step is to understand the current market value of your home. Accurate pricing is critical to maximizing your sale price and minimizing the time on market. Selecting a price that is too low or too high can negatively impact the final purchase price of your home.
Sellers often assume that the best strategy is to price your home above the market value in hopes that they will either find a buyer who loves the home and agrees to a higher price or that it will give them extra room to negotiate an offer with potential buyers. In reality, overpricing your home often has a severely negative impact on the selling process and eventual sale price of the home for several reasons. Pricing your home higher than you expect to finally receive can immediately eliminate a significant number of potential buyers. This can happen because:
- Your asking price may fall outside of buyers search parameters for properties - buyers may not even be aware that your home is on the market.
- Buyers will be comparing your house to other to houses that are more accurately priced at the same price point. Therefore your house will, by definition, compare much less favorably to these other properties.
- It is likely that your house will not sell quickly due to the higher price. It can linger on the market for many weeks. Buyers may start to assume that there is something wrong with your property.
- Buyers may not submit an offer because they know that in a fast paced market, sellers often will not accept a lower offer. Buyers fear rejection and don't want to offend a seller.
On the other hand, pricing your house at a reasonable price can often result in one or more offers being submitted very soon after listing your home. Buyers will often feel a sense of urgency when a new property is listed that is considered to be fairly priced. This can drive buyers to move very fast to make sure that they capture the property before someone else does. The multiple offer scenario is almost always a result of pricing your home so that it offers a very fair value in a strong market. Your agent is the best resource to help you understand how to price your home for the best possible result.
Staging a home to sell is an important part of maximizing the appeal to potential buyers. It's amazing to see how in some cases the smallest changes to the position of furniture or decorations can open up a space and make it more attractive during showings. The list of items may be short or long, and sellers may choose to implement some or all of these items. Common suggestions include de-personalizing spaces, rearranging furniture, removing decorations, and painting rooms a neutral color to provide a more broad appeal. Some sellers have a hard time accepting that their personal taste is different that the styles suggested by a staging professional, but our experience has shown that staging can have a significant positive impact on the sale of their home.
The vast majority of home buyers begin their search online. Photographs are the first thing that they see in their search. High quality photographs ensure that the first impression buyers have of your home is a good one. If we don't capture the attention of buyers as they view the listing online, we may never get them to come see the home in person. We work with professional photographers who use best-in-class cameras and post-processing software. Using special lenses designed for this purpose, the pictures we use to showcase your home will capture the attention of potential buyers and make sure that your home looks like something that they need to see in person.
Marketing strategy is one of the most important things to consider when selecting an agent to represent you during the sale of your home. Effective marketing can create or amplify demand for a home and generate significant financial returns for the seller. We employ cutting edge, multi-pronged marketing strategies both before and after listing your home in the MLS. We will make sure your listing reaches the largest possible audience as early as possible. This approach, when coupled with accurate pricing, will generate enormous interest in the property.
We feel strongly that our marketing strategies set us apart from other agents. We would love the opportunity to discuss these with you in detail. We're happy to show you real examples of materials and advertisements that we have done for clients. If this interests you, please at your convenience and we will be happy to schedule a time to meet with you.
Listing on MLS and Online
When all the preparations are complete and your home is ready for showings, we will upload your property information into MLS, the network used by realtors (and this site!). In addition, we also provide our clients with featured placements on the most popular national real estate websites. Rest assured that if you list your house with us it will get the maximum possible online exposure on all possible fronts to ensure that all interested buyers will be able to find it.
Showings and Open Houses
Once your property is listed in MLS, interested buyers will schedule showings with their agents to view the property in person. You will want to make sure that your home is tidied and cleaned for each showing, make sure the lights are on and you take any pets with you. We use a lockbox system to give agents secure access to your home in your absence. For scheduling the showings, our office staff will coordinate between the showing agent and the seller (via email, telephone, and/or text messaging). This simplifies the scheduling process and ensures that showing requests can be easily requested by agents.
Open houses can also be a great way to minimize the inconvenience of preparing your home for multiple showings. Getting a large number of buyers through to look at your home at the same time can have multiple benefits:
- It minimizes the number of individual showings that you need to prepare for and leave your home for.
- Creates the perception that your home is a "hot property" that there is in high demand.
- Helps to garner multiple offers in a short period of time.
Your agent will work with you to make the best decision about when to schedule open houses.
Negotiating and Accepting an Offer
This is the part everyone is anxiously waiting for - you've got an offer! Now what? Your agent will present the offer and review the terms with you. While the purchase price is typically the main element that sellers focus on, it is only one aspect of the offer to be considered. In addition to the price, the seller should also consider the closing date, how much the buyer will be financing and what type of loan is the buyer using, whether the buyer is providing a strong mortgage pre-approval and any contingencies that are included in the offer. You may decide to accept the offer as-is, provide a counter-offer back to the buyers or reject the offer outright. If you decide to counter back to the buyers, your agent will work with you to settle on the terms of the counter offer and present the counter-offer back to the buyer via their agent. This process may be repeated for several rounds of negotiations.
Once you accept an offer, the next step in the process is typically for the buyer to schedule a home inspection. The home inspector will go through each area of the house and perform a non-invasive inspection to identify significant defects and safety issues with the structure. The home inspection may identify either very minor issues or possibly, some more significant problems.
Your agent will help you sort through the issues and the buyer's requests. In most cases, the buyer and seller agree to a fair middle ground after the inspection; the necessary issues are addressed and the sale of the property moves forward.
Unless you are lucky enough to get a cash offer on your home, the buyers will be applying for a mortgage for some portion of the purchase price. The bank providing the mortgage will order an appraisal of the property. The appraiser will come into your home to take photos and measurements. After leaving your home, the appraiser will put together an appraisal report which will compare your properties to other comparable homes which have recently sold in your area. If your home appraises at a price that is lower than the agreed-upon sale price, the bank may decide not to provide the buyer with the amount of financing that is being requested. Your agent will usually be able to identify this as a risk earlier in the process when you are reviewing offers. Your agent can also assist by providing the bank's appraiser with comparable sales to help justify the price of the sale. If this is not successful, and the appraisal still comes in lower than the purchase price, your agent will help you to understand how to proceed and what your options are.
Connecticut is an attorney state, so you will need to select an attorney for your closing. Your agent can offer you some referrals for great, local, real estate attorneys. Your agent will then communicate with them directly to get them the necessary paperwork. Your attorney will be in contact with the buyers attorney. The two attorneys will coordinate the closing date/time that works for them and you. You should let them know if a specific day/time works best for you and they can try to accommodate.
As you can see, the process of preparing, listing, and selling your home has many complicated steps for you to navigate along the way. The good news is that with an experienced, competent agent on your side giving you the best possible guidance, you can maximize the sale price of your home and minimize the hassle and inconvenience. today to let us help you begin the process!