Selling a home or property is a lot of work. There are several steps that go into a successful process that nets the owner their desired result and sales price. Some real estate owners may want to try their hand at selling their home on their own. However, this most likely will be an eye opening experience and a costly venture should they decide to go it alone. Unless a person’s career is selling real estate, likely they won’t have the expertise, time or resources available to sell their own real estate. So, it is best to use someone that is fully committed to selling the property, has access to a wide variety of resources and is focused on getting the highest price possible for the sale of the real estate. Following are a few of the many items a person should consider if contemplating selling their own real estate without a professional to manage these and other related items. Team Burch would handle most of these items for the seller client at no additional charge. We have made a note on all the items in this list we would handle for our client or assist in. Please contact us today to discuss these items and others if you are contemplating selling your home or property.
Know the Property. A seller must become familiar with particular aspects of the property such square footage, zoning, property taxes, lot size, set back restrictions, property line, etc. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
How is the health of the local real estate market? What have homes similar to the subject home recently sold for? How is a Market Analysis done? How to compare a recent home sale with different attributes to the subject property? What are the terms of the recent sales in the area? (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Real Estate Laws: What property disclosure laws does the seller need to take into consideration? Will the seller expose herself to legal action? (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Determine a Realistic Price: Sellers must take into consideration many factors when determining the price of the real estate. This is not an easy task and takes a combination of skill, experience and art. Too high and offers won’t materialize. Too low and money is left on the table. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Talk to Lenders: Buyers most likely will not know if the subject property qualifies for their specific loan. It is important for the seller to be informed so the buyer is confident in their ability to purchase if the question arises. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Analyze the subject property by doing a “Walk-Thru”. Look at the property from the perspective of both potential buyers and the inspector. Determine what items need to be repaired or replaced. Here are a few items sellers should consider: (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Outside: (Team Burch will Identify and Schedule Contractors on Sellers Behalf if Desired)
- “Curb Appeal”: How does the property look from the street?
- Does the home need new paint because it is old, faded, cracked, chipping or just an off-putting color?
- If the home has a yard, is it well kept and landscaped?
- Is the front door or balcony appealing? (Especially with a condo).
- Are the windows and screens clean and in good condition?
- Is the roof and gutters clear of debris, moss and in good condition?
- Are all toys and yard equipment put away?
Inside: (Team Burch will Identify and Schedule Contractors on Sellers Behalf if Desired)
- First Impressions:
- How is the interior paint? Are the colors outdated or in need of touch-up’s or redone? A fresh coat of paint can go a long way for a minimal investment. New paint can easily be overlooked and going without it if needed could cost a potential sale.
- Are the appliances newer and in working condition?
- How is the plumbing, electrical, furnace, water heater, etc? Are they all in good working condition?
- How do the carpets look? Are their stains, odors or signs of heavy wear and tear? Freshly updated carpeting and floors can go a long way.
- How is the caulking around the sinks, tubs, showers and windows?
- Do all the light fixtures function properly? Are there any bulbs out or missing?
Once the seller has finalized her inspection she should make all necessary repairs before the home is on the market. (Team Burch will Identify and Schedule Contractors on Sellers Behalf if Desired)
Neighborhood Details: Buyers will want to know details regarding the schools, transportation, parks, shopping and a plethora of other items unique to the area. Having this knowledge readily available can make or break a transaction. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Establish a Marketing Budget: It takes money to sell real estate. How much is the seller willing to spend? Here are key items to consider:
- Commission to the real estate broker who brings a buyer to your property (Cooperating Broker)
- There will be Advertising costs, signs and other fees associated with marketing.
- Attorney, closing agent and other professional fees.
- Prorated costs for your share of annual expenses, such as property taxes, homeowner association fees, and fuel tank rentals.
- Any other fees typically paid by the seller in your area (surveys, inspections, etc.).
- If working with a real estate broker, they can give a seller a very close estimate of closing costs. (Team Burch will Take Care Of All Marketing Costs and Payment to Cooperating Broker is Paid Out Of Team Burch Commission Paid by Seller)
Hire a Photographer to Take Professional Photos & Virtual Tour: Hire a professional photographer to take photos and film a virtual tour of the subject real estate. The photos taken of the subject real estate are a potential buyers first impression of the property and it is vital the images are of the highest quality. The images will be used for other marketing including the web and must show the property in all its glory. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Print Advertising: Where can you get the best bang for your buck? Are there publications in your area that you can buy ads in that are free to the end user? Is the local newspaper a viable option? What about local magazines? Which publications get the best results and what property type, price, etc. works best in which medium? (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Internet Advertising: The seller can’t forget about the Internet. The RMLS is the go-to website for just about every broker in the real estate industry. The first place brokers look for their qualified buyers is on the RMLS web site. Highly skilled agents also place the sellers listing on hundreds of other real estate related sites and search engines to obtain worldwide exposure of the subject property as well as listing it on their own local real estate site. This is a vital step in the marketing process as brokers and buyers find most homes by searching the World Wide Web. Sellers without an agent must find a way to get this all so important exposure. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Establish a marketing plan: Now that you know what advertising will cost, create a plan on how to best (within your budget) reach prospective buyers, both local and out-of-town. Since many people do relocate from a distance, be sure to include Internet advertising in your plan. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Design your Ad: The subject property will need to have a well-written professional ad that highlights the homes selling points and features that buyers are drawn to. In addition, a seller might decide to run a larger, custom-designed ad in the paper and/or to use as flyers to hand out at open houses (or anywhere else you might meet prospective buyers). Don’t take short cuts in this area. A professional, well-crafted ad will attract buyers while a poorly designed and executed ad will often turn buyers off to the subject real estate. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Be Available. Clear Your Schedule: This may be one of the most frequently underestimated items a seller will miss. The amount of time and flexibility it takes to show the subject real estate. With so many prospective buyers in the market with varying schedules and commitments the home needs to be available to show at varying times. If it is difficult for a potential buyer to view a home, they will just move on to the next one that is more accommodating to their schedule. People won’t buy if they can’t view the property. Having a broker in this scenario ensures that a professional who knows the subject real estate is always available to show it anytime it is convenient for the prospective buyer. Additionally, buyers feel much more comfortable with a broker and won’t feel pressured or uncomfortable as they may while viewing the home with the property owner. Let me assure you, this is a very large time commitment. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Purchase a For Sale Sign. Install it: The sign needs to be well designed, attractive and weatherproof. It must be strategically placed so as many passers by can see it as possible. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Design a Fact Sheet: Design a single sheet description of your property listing the features and benefits that will draw in prospective buyers. This should be attractive and professional looking. Have enough copies on hand to give out at open house showings. Again, if you are working with Team Burch we will do this on your behalf. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Purchase “Open House” Signs: Make sure that they include a place to write the address of your property and the date/time of the open house. In addition to one for the front yard, you’ll want to place several in conspicuous locations around the neighborhood, such as main streets leading to your house. For these, directional arrows can point prospective buyers to your house even if they don’t know the area. Make sure that you take these signs down as soon as the open house is over. You don’t want people showing up on your doorstep at all hours of the day and night. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Schedule Open Houses: While most are held on the weekend, this is not convenient for all buyers. Sellers should coordinate their print advertising to include information about the next open house. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Keep Track of Prospective Buyers and Follow Up: As potential buyers visit the open houses, or as they call from the ads or seeing the sign in the front, keep a list with their names and phone numbers. Sellers will also want to keep track of all the real estate brokers who have brought clients are possibly previewed the property for a client. The seller will want to consistently follow up with all these prospective buyers or buyer representatives to potentially put a deal together. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Negotiate the Offer: As with any negotiation it should be only about business and getting a deal done. Emotions need to be left at the door or the negotiation will not go in the sellers favor. Keep in mind, a seller will most likely be negotiating with a real estate professional that knows the market and how to get the most for their client. A seller doing this on their own must stay cool, calm and collected. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Get your forms in order. A number of forms are required for the legal sale and transfer of real property in the State of Oregon. In addition to the contract for purchase and any counteroffers, there are many other forms that the seller is required to provide to the buyer. It is necessary to review the contract carefully to understand when these forms/documents are due and what the buyer’s rights are once they receive the document. The form and content of many of these documents are prescribed by state or federal law and must be adhered to in their entirety. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Negotiate Final Terms of the Sale: The buyer and seller need to come to terms on the following items:
- Inspection contingencies
- Financing terms
- Date of closing
- Date of possession
(Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Final walk-through: When both the buyer(s) and a witness can be present, schedule a final walk-through before you complete settlement in order to determine that the property being conveyed meets the expectations of all parties involved. Resolve any disputes before the transfer of title. (Team Burch will Take Care Of)
Find and make arrangements for the home you will be moving to: Unless you have already built or bought a new residence, you’ll need to be the “buyer” for a new property while simultaneously being the “seller” for your current one. You need to be moved out before the new owners take possession. (Team Burch will Assist in Finding a New Property to Purchase)
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into marketing and selling property or a home. This short list of items is just scratching the surface of items that must be executed for a successful outcome. Fortunately, Team Burch does the heavy lifting and allows the Seller to enjoy a stress free real estate transaction.