Selling your Home

Selling Your Home Successfully

Selling your home is a big decision, so review the steps below to see how easy and painless selling your home with the help of can be.

Starting Point:

All home sellers want the same thing – to get the maximum sales price and to sell quickly. Value is based on what other homes in your community have recently sold for and market conditions (supply/demand). To find out what your home is worth, a licensed Real Estate Agent will provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which shows the prices of comparable, recently sold homes, homes currently on the market, and homes that were on the market, but weren’t sold.

Complete our CMA form and receive a free value analysis of your home delivered by a Real Estate Agent in the HomeBenefitIQ network. The agent will assist you by providing a CMA that can help you in making educated decisions about selling your home and setting the right price.

Why use a real estate agent? There are approximately 5 million homes sold each year, and about 4 out of 5 people use a real estate agent to help sell their home. One of the main reasons is that home selling has become a more complex business than it used to be. New seller disclosure statements, longer and more in-depth purchase agreements, and a range of environmental concerns have all emerged in the past decade. The process is not as easy as it was five to ten years ago. Being a Real Estate Agent today requires experience and training in such fields as real estate marketing, financing, negotiation, and closing – the very expertise available through the agents participating in HomeBenefitIQ’s program.

Improvements = Big Return

The goal is to show a home which looks good, maximizes space, and attracts as many buyers – and as much demand – as possible. The appearance and condition of your home plays a huge role in the home sale process. Homebuyers today are savvy and short on time, so it is vital to make a great first impression. You cannot control the supply and demand factors affecting your market, but you can control how your home looks. Here are a few tips to review:

  • Walk through your home and make a “to do list” of projects that need to be done before listing your home. Be objective and look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. If the list of what needs to be cleaned, repaired, and painted is long, make sure you prioritize based on the most important items to a potential homebuyer.
  • Street appeal is very important!
    • If your home needs a fresh coat of paint then repaint.
    • Make sure your lawn is manicured. Put new sod down, or fertilize and water, to get your lawn looking great.
  • Interior is the next place for you start.
    • Paint is the best improvement and least expensive one you can make. Stick to neutral tones that will work with a variety of furnishings.
    • Replacing old kitchen cabinets may not make economical sense, but replacing the flooring, updating lighting fixtures or window coverings can make a huge difference.
    • Removing clutter is the most effective things you can do before you sell. Less clutter makes your home appear larger and can help justify the asking price.
    • Clean the garage to make it look more spacious, and take items off site if need be.
  • Mechanical Repairs
    • Make sure the built-in appliances, furnace and air conditioning are in good working order.
    • Check the roof and gutters for needed repairs.

Set the Stage & Sell It

You have cleaned, repaired, and removed the clutter¬ . . . now you are ready to bring on the buyers! First impressions are lasting impressions, so here are a few tips to keep in mind when agents are showing buyers your home:

  • Introduce a pleasing smell with fresh baked cookies or bread
  • Open all drapes and window blinds to let in natural light; it also makes rooms feel larger
  • Put pets in cages or better yet, take them to a neighbor’s
  • Absolutely NO dirty dishes in the sink
  • Absolutely NO laundry in the washer/dryer or hanging dry
  • Clean or replace dirty or worn carpets
  • Put on soft music
  • Burn wood in the fireplace on cold days, otherwise, the fireplace should be clean
  • Eliminate bad smells by cleaning the carpets and keeping the trash cans empty
  • Keep the kitchen and bathrooms spotless
  • Make your beds each day

Always look at your home from the buyer’s point of view. Be objective and be honest. Walk up to your home and pretend you’ve never seen it before. What do you notice? How do you feel about what you see? Does the home seem inviting? Well- maintained? Would you want to buy this home? Your answer should be an enthusiastic YES!

Contract Negotiation & Closing

The primary focal point of a real estate purchase contract is the selling price of the home, but the sales price alone is not the only thing you need to consider. What is your net bottom-line if you are asked to pay the buyer’s closing costs? Is the buyer pre-approved? Does the buyer need to sell a home to buy your home (also called buying contingent)? Is the buyer asking for some of your furniture? Does the buyer have money for a down payment and closing costs?

The typical residential purchase and sale contract is complicated and packed with legal jargon, but don’t use that fact as an excuse for not reading the entire contract. The following are among the many items that merit your attention:

Inspection Reports? A typical contract provides an opportunity for the buyer to hire experts to check out the condition of the home. As a seller, you usually want the inspections to be completed and signed off as soon as possible. If there are repairs required as a result of the inspection(s) it does not obligate the seller to complete the repairs. Inspection reports are often used to negotiate repairs of major items.

When is escrow scheduled to close? Pay attention to this date! If you’re selling your home, you’ll be expected to move out completely before the property changes hands. You’ll want to make sure the closing date doesn’t fall before you’re able to move into your new residence. Don’t cut the dates too close. Many escrows end up closing a day or two later than the contract states–but that can happen only with the mutual agreement of the buyer and seller.

Ask your Real Estate Agent to go over the contract with you before you sign on the dotted line. It is not always about the sales price. Be prepared to negotiate the best all around deal you can get!