|The decision to sell your home is a major one indeed. There's a lot to do and a lot at stake. And although it's a business transaction, it's still your home we are dealing with.
I think a great home sale experience involves three things:
- Preparing your home appropriately for the marketplace;
- Marketing your home effectively, so it gets the most attention from buyers;
- Managing negotiation and escrow to keep things flowing and issues quickly addressed.
Getting started should involve selecting a realtor to be your seller's agent. Take the time to make a thoughtful choice. As a home seller, you are interested in how s/he will most effectively achieve all the above. And remember, your agent is there to represent YOUR decisions and objectives.
Depending on property condition and the local market, you may consider repairs and upgrades. Your realtor will help you evaluate costs vs. possible value-add. Not every improvement pays off, but some do, both in dollar terms and making your home appeal to as wide a pool of buyers as possible.
"Staging" with the help of a professional is frequently done to help potential buyers fall in love. It's exactly that emotion which helps you get the best offers for your home.
Deciding the timing is another decision--there are some seasonal tendencies, and the overall market shifts between seller and buyer advantage.
Your realtor will present you with plans to build market awareness of your listing--print and online advertising, open houses, social media. You should expect professional-looking photographs, flyers, and online presentations. You want to know your realtor is working hard to get people to find your listing and come see your home.
Pricing is a big decision. Your realtor will provide you with competitive market analyses (CMAs) to help you get a handle on likely home value, but you decide the listing price. I think the chief consideration is "what will attract buyers?" When the time comes to consider offers, you NEVER have to accept one you think undervalues your home, but a listing price that attracts multiple potential buyers is good for you--they all have to consider each other when deciding what to offer.
Deciding your selling strategy, getting offers, considering their merits and possible counters, and working through unpredictable situations is when you most rely on your realtor's support. Once you are in contract, the work continues. In recent years in Silicon Valley, we have seen both ends of the spectrum--homes being chased by many buyers the instant they are listed (or before!) as well as times when it was hard to attract viable buyers. Your approach, developed in consultation with your realtor, should be built around the current state of the market and local conditions.
As with everything important in this day and age, there's a ton of paperwork associated with a real estate transaction. Some of the initial documents you'll be asked to sign can be found HERE
. Feel free to call or email me and I'll be more than happy to help you decipher them.